Feeling powerless in search for oil-leak info

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There are still somewhere in the area of 400 tonnes of oil perched on a ledge beneath the shores of Notre Dame Bay.

The oil is, for the most part, contained within the rusting metal container of the Manolis L., which sank in the area in 1985.

There have been two leaks in the past year, one of which has been temporarily fixed with a patch, while the leaking oil from the second is being hopefully contained within a cofferdam for later removal.

Correspondence from the office of the minister of fisheries and oceans, the Honourable Gail Shea, through a Ministerial Correspondence Control Unit (not sure about the implications of that title) outline these temporary measures in response to my question regarding a long-term solution.

“No oil has been detected in the vicinity of the MV Manolis L. (since the installation of the new and improved replacement coffer dam). The CCG will continue to monitor the the situation and take appropriate action as necessary.”

As the area is now contained under a blanket of ice, area residents are wondering at how any monitoring is being done and are fearful of what will be discovered as the ice melts.

I am continuing to ask for details of any plans that are in place to remove the oil from the sunken ship before we have to ask for plans for a cleanup of an environment disaster.

I feel powerless when the politicians who hold the power to provide solutions hide behind Correspondence Control Units that continue to reiterate the short-term Band-Aid fixes while ignoring the long-term implications.


Tony Brathwaite

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