Saturday, February 8, 2014

Special panel recommends better coordination to deal with oil spills

A special panel of experts comprising members from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of TT (UTT) has presented a report on the recent oil spills to President Anthony Carmona.

Carmona appointed the task force under the chairmanship of Professor Brian Copeland following the series of oil spills that began on December 17, 2013.

The panel studied the matter during January at the request of the President and handed over its findings Friday to the chairman of the National Environmental Assessment Task Force (NEATF), Dr Allan Bachan, at the Office of the President in St Ann’s.
Carmona told reporters he felt "duty bound" to make the recommendations available to the NEATF.

The Carmona team has advised that a priority must be effective coordination of agencies responsible for management of oil spills and related issues.

The newly created NEATF covers fieldwork and research from all sectors of society including academia. Bachan said the findings would be "assessed and distilled" into the NEATF’s final report.

Carmona said the establishment of NEATF "demonstrates a level of commitment which is necessary if we are to demonstrably live up to our responsibility to adequately protect our citizens from environmental and health hazards and their attendant socio-economic impact.”

In explaining why he asked a panel to examine matter Carmona said there were conflicting reports, "filled with trepidation, fear and even anger and not cohesive in many respects". He said he wanted “to bring grounded, empirical and independent clarity to the situation so if action is needed, it could be taken from a position informed by facts, best global practice and relevant laws of Trinidad and Tobago.”

The panel was mandated to provide insight into the causes, nature, extent and impact of oil spills, including any contributing historical, regulatory, policy, compliance and operational factors. The panel recommended the need for:
  • policies, measures, mechanisms and systems to be put in place to detect, counteract and treat with disasters
  • effective co-ordination of agencies responsible for management of oil spills and related issues
  • modernisation of legislation pertaining to management of national emergencies and disasters and systems to be put in place to ensure immediate and future well-being of persons affected by national emergencies, disasters and society as a whole

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai