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Rubis leak is too important to play politics

In the spotlight: storage tanks at the Rubis depot in St George’s

Dear Sir,

I would be grateful if you would publish my observations concerning a recent occurrence. On April 4, Progressive Labour Party MP Diallo Rabain issued a statement indicating that he found the Rubis leak “very troubling”, as it was a “great concern”.

On April 6, One Bermuda Alliance MP Jeff Sousa responded in a Letter to the Editor. He wrote that he had been following reports and that Rubis, with the support of the environment ministry, was taking the necessary steps to remedy the situation. He informed us that his colleagues — the environment minister, local MPs Nandi Outerbridge and Kenneth Bascome, and the Premier — had visited the site.

Further, they questioned the managing director and the clean-up specialists. Then they visited local residents. Mr Sousa goes on to say that he, a Southampton MP, received information from a good authority that neither Mr Rabain nor his colleagues had spoken with Rubis officials, nor had they visited the site. MP Rabain displayed admirable restraint by avoiding a verbal clash.

MP Sousa is self-described as a dyed-in-the-wool environmentalist who for years has preached that we have to care for the land, water and air. However, he concludes that MP Rabain’s statement is more politics than real concern for the environment.

An article in The Royal Gazette published on April 12 states that the Rubis leak was not promptly reported and will require more equipment and personnel to clean up, according to the environment ministry. A department spokesman “will address the non-compliance in due course”.

The question is: will Mr Sousa belatedly share the “great concern” of MP Rabain or will his political allegiance make such an action “very troubling”?