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Saturday 20 January 2018

Aboud calls on PM to halt seismic bombing

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea Secretary, Gary Aboud is calling on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to intervene and halt all new approvals being granted by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) of seismic bombing, until the Court has ruled on the matter.

Aboud was speaking with the media yesterday in Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain.

“We are accusing the Environment Minister, Ganga Singh, of illegal conduct in the EMA, and we are calling on the PM to remove this minister for improper conduct in the line of duty. We want the PM to intervene and stop seismic approvals being granted by EMA.

Some 50,000 fisher folk are not a small body. We are asking firmly that the PM intervenes and stop the EMA from granting approvals that are illegal, and to stop the Minister from interfering with public conduct in the EMA,” he said.

Aboud indicated that they were aware that there have been fresh approvals, and found that it was disrespectful for the Government and the EMA to continue granting new approvals, while the matter is in the High Court.

He stated that the Government and the EMA have approved the dredging of the Sea Lots area which is an area that is heavily polluted by hydrocarbon spillage by oozes from the nearby labasse, and by diesel from NP pumping station, also nearby.

Aboud noted there were hundreds of ships that load fuel by the NP Port and the spillages in the area, the residue of the toxic matter from the Beetham Labasse dump from the East West Corridor and as well as from NP are lodged in the soil.

He charged that “the EMA files were being illegally withheld from public viewing. The conditions of the approval is not in the file. And the same file shows that there was no toxicology test done on the soil. And we are saying that soil is highly carcinogenic (having the potential to cause cancer),” he said.

He said Environment Minister, Ganga Singh, has not answered their questions on where was the toxicology test . He also asked, “Which EMA officer approved it? Can we see the name of this officer? Or is it just the Minister intervened and approved it illegally? The EMA is acting unlawfully, and this is due to political interference.”

Aboud indicated that EMA is deliberately withholding information from public viewing which is also illegal and culpable before the courts.


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