An investigation is to be launched into the dumping of oil into the Atlantic Ocean by
Chinese workers at Marriott Hotel construction site in Kingston yesterday.
The incident saw a clash between three workers and personnel of the nearby location of the army’s Coast Guard.
Contacted yesterday, Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn, said he is unaware of the incident and will be liaising with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD).
The dumping was discovered by two tourists who were in the area to check out works at the Marriott-branded hotel.
They said around mid-afternoon, after viewing the construction, they went around the back of the site, at the western end which borders the Atlantic Ocean.
There they saw three workers with a blue drum dumping what appeared to be oil in the Atlantic Ocean.
After seeing the two tourists, the Chinese workers stopped what they were doing. The tourists decided to back away and, from a vantage point, observed a bulldozer taking more drums to the dumpsite.
The incident was captured on video with several photographs taken.
Shortly after, a Coast Guard rank that was in the compound of his workplace, which adjoins the
Marriott’s property, saw what was happening.
He went over and demanded that the workers stop what they were doing. The workers appeared to be reluctant. However, the rank insisted that the drums be covered.
The matter was reported to the Commander of the Coast Guard.
The angry tourists said they were contacting the media on the oil dumping.
They followed through and dropped off the videos and photos at Kaieteur News.
On the videos, the three workers were seen leaving the drums and entering the Marriott compound. On the ground, near the gates, were several other blue drums. There was spilt oil on the ground.
When this newspaper visited the scene yesterday, three drums with oil in them were still lying near to the sea defence wall. There was clear evidence of oil on the wall.
According to Minister Benn, it is not environmentally safe to dump oil. He said that it is unlikely permission was given to do so.
Kaieteur News has offered to share the videos and photographs with the authorities.
The Marriott-branded hotel, a five-star facility, has been hailed by Government as a project that will help boost the country’s tourism sector.
However, the “public/private” project has been battling questions over its investors.
A court case has been filed by a civic group demanding that Government be barred
from transferring the lands on which the hotel stands.
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