NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Minister of Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreira yesterday confirmed the first round of testing from wells monitoring the Equinor oil spill revealed there has been no groundwater contamination.
However, Ferreira said this was only the beginning of testing as more wells will be installed.
“Twenty-two monitoring wells have been installed, mostly around the perimeter but also in areas called hot areas where there was heavier contamination,” Ferreira said.
“Water samples were obtained and sent off to an EPA-certified laboratory for testing, particularly for the markers BTEX.”
BTEX refers to the chemicals benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.
Ferreira continued: “The result of that testing show no contamination to the ground water. We continue to monitor the site very closely.
“I want to emphasize that this is just the beginning of the testing more monitoring wells will be installed and testing will continue.”
Last month, Save The Bays claimed water testing conducted at five locations near the facility, indicate critical wetland habitats have been contaminated.
STB raised concerns that contamination will eventually make its way into freshwater resources, as the wetlands serve to filter water before it enters the water table.
The roofs of storage tanks at the South Riding Point facility blew off during the passage of Hurricane Dorian, spilling nearly five gallons of crude oil.
The environmental group claims water testing conducted at five locations near the facility, indicate critical wetland habitats have been contaminated.
According to Equinor, 119,000 barrels or 4,998,000 gallons of oil were spilled.