DOE taking action against Westline for oil spill out west
The Department of the Environment (DOE) is taking action against Westline Bus Company for its role in an oil spill that may have contaminated portions of the Mopan River. The incident occurred over the weekend in Benque Viejo Del Carmen Town. The DOE has issued a pollution abatement notice to the company to ensure the necessary measures are implemented to avoid further environmental impacts, and subsequently seek legal advice in the prosecution of the offence and/or levying of applicable penalties under the EPA. The move comes after the DOE inspected an area of the George Price Boulevard managed by Westline where the oil spill occurred. The company did not report the oil spill that led to the toxic material discharging into a nearby drain. The DOE determined that the incident was caused by a damaged container of waste oil. The container which had a capacity of about 1,100 gallons began leaking. According to the Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, Edgar Eck, the exact quantity of oil spilled and the damage it had on the environment cannot be determined at this time.
Edgar Eck, Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, DOE: “We are not sure the extent as to the damage it has caused. Like I had mentioned it’s damages to water and soil. We were able to contain it using containment booms that we placed at the mouth of the creek so I understand that the spill did not reach beyond that part and so thereafter what we did is that we used absorbent pads for oil that we use in terms of oil spills to clean up the oil that was found on water and so I am informed that today we had more or less reached 90% of the cleaning of the waterway that was contaminated. They’re also working on the removal of the soil that was contaminated and then thereafter they will have to propose to us what disposal method they’re going to use for the treatment of those contaminated pads and soil that was produced as a result of this spill.”