Feb 14, 2019 News Comments Off on US State Department to assist in strengthening National Oil Spill Plan
The US State Department will be assisting Guyana in strengthening its national oil spill plan. This was recently announced by Energy Department Head, Dr. Mark Bynoe.
At a press conference on Monday, Dr. Bynoe said that his Department has been working with the Civil Defense Commission (CDC) and the US State Department on the issue. He said that CDC head, Colonel Craig, related that there is need for a more robust risk assessment framework to inform the plan and the nation’s coast guards are being engaged on this front.
The Energy Department Head said, “Clearly, oil spill needs to be everybody’s business inclusive of the oil operators. So it is not just how we would react to a spill but the first point s
tarts with the operators and their subcontractors. So the idea is to place on them, the onus to ensure they are doing everything within their mandate to reduce the possibility of any such spill.”
During an exclusive interview with Kaieteur News recently, Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Vincent Adams had said that the plan will be ready by mid-2019.
Dr. Adams noted that the EPA had a chance to review the draft plan and several comments were returned to the Civil Defense Commission for consideration.
Dr. Adams described the Oil Spill Contingency Plan as “a work in progress” while noting that it needs a lot of details. The Environmental Engineer is also of the opinion that a proper risk assessment will be needed for the plan. He said that the risk assessment will identify the areas that are most vulnerable to an oil spill and the far reaching effects of such an eventuality.
The EPA Head said that the CDC may wish to hire someone to do the assessment since it is a technical area and the document will be a most important one for Guyana’s oil sector.
The Inter-American Development (IDB) is just one of the many voices which called for there to be a national oil spill contingency plan in place before oil production commences in 2020.
In its special report, the IDB noted that Guyana’s CARICOM sister, Trinidad and Tobago, which has been in the petroleum industry has taken the wise move to safeguard its sector with a national oil spill plan. That plan was updated and passed by TT’s Cabinet in January 2013.
The IDB said that with TT’s new plan, “deep-water drilling operators will now be required to demonstrate accessibility to a containment lap system to arrest a subsea blow out event…”
With this in mind, the IDB believes that Guyana can take a page from Trinidad’s book and get its own plan in place soon. (KIANA WILBURG)
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