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Rubis gasoline leak was 19,200 gallons

Environment minister Sylvan Richards

Nearly 20,000 gallons of gasoline was spilt in a leak at the Rubis terminal in St George’s last week, the company has confirmed.

Three government ministers and Michael Dunkley have been briefed by Rubis officials on site.

In a statement issued yesterday, Rubis said that the initial assessment conducted determined the quantity to be “approximately 19,200 gallons”.

“Rubis and Arcadis have also completed an initial assessment of the direction of the flow of the product released and have identified the areas in our depot where the product seeped into the ground and where free product is located underground,” the company said.

Gas had been detected in one of eight monitoring wells at the depot. The effort to recover the gas located underground began on Friday, Rubis said.

“We are confident that this recovery effort will lead to the complete recovery of the product located underground.”

According to Rubis, evidence collected to date indicated that the spill was contained within the St George’s depot.

“The coast line, seawater, and neighbouring properties adjacent to our St George’s depot, have not been impacted and there has been no presence of hydrocarbons detected in the soil, air or the sea in these areas adjacent to our depot,” the company said.

While evidence suggested the spill had been contained, the company asked residents to inform them if they smelt or detected gas on their property.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are contacting each nearby property owner that have water wells and asking them to temporarily refrain from pumping from their underground wells.”

The company said its main focus was on the safety of employees, neighbours and the community.

“Rubis has deployed and will continue to deploy all necessary resources to remove hydrocarbons from the soil and groundwater wherever detected as per international standards,” the company said. The leak, Rubis said, was caused by the failure of a gasket connecting a valve to a fuel pipeline at the Ferry Road facility on Monday.

St George’s MPs Nandi Outerbridge and Kenneth Bascome, the Premier and environment minister Sylvan Richards met with Rubis officials on Saturday at the site of last week’s oil leak.

They were briefed on the situation by Rubis managing director Graham Redford and a geologist and field engineer from Arcadis US, an environmental and engineering services company that specialises in environmental remediation.

Mr Richards, who had visited the Ferry Road site earlier this week, said: “The cleanup work is continuing.

“The findings are not yet definitive, but it appears the leaked fuel is contained within the bounds of the Rubis property.

“Rubis has said it will be providing the public with regular updates, and the environment ministry will continue to monitor the cleanup to make sure area residents are fully protected.”

Following the briefing, the Premier and Mrs Outerbridge visited area residents to answer their questions and provide them with contact information for further updates and questions.

“Residents need to be given the clearest information on the situation, and that’s what we’ve been trying to achieve since becoming aware of the leak,” Mrs Outerbridge said.

“Although the assessment by Rubis indicates there is no pollution threat to area residents, I would advise them to follow whatever advisories Rubis issues, just to be safe.”

Any area resident with concerns should contact Mr Redford at Rubis at 299-7028, the environment ministry’s Pollution Control Section at 239-2356, or Ms Outerbridge’s cell at 294-3203