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Oil Spill Cleanup in BVI

Tuesday, May 18. Upon investigation this past Sunday, the response team observed about 350 gallons of diesel floating on the surface of the water resulting in a strong, unpleasant odour in the vicinity. A joint operation mounted by the DDM with the Fire and Rescue Services Department, Virgin Islands Shipping Registry, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (Marine Division) and the Department of Conservation and Fisheries resulted in a four-hour clean up of the area and an investigation into the source of the spill. The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) responded to a report received of a recent oil spill at the Road Town Jetty.

The response team used various absorbent pads in the clean-up process despite the rough waters. The DDM is reminding the public that any form of oil which reaches a body of water generally creates a sheeting effect on the surface and can cut off the oxygen supply to fish and other marine organisms. Additionally, oil spills can eventually kill marine life since it is a poisonous substance when ingested and can also cause major damage to marine habitats.

The DDM is continuing its investigation into the oil spill. Residents are reminded that waste oil should be placed in sealed, airtight containers for disposal and taken to the Solid Waste Department's incinerator plant at Pockwood Pond. For more information of safe disposal of oil products, visit the Department of Disaster Management’s website at www.bviddm.com.

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