EPA investigating release of waste oil at Coverden by National Hardware facility, enforcement actions to be pursued

CDC assisted with clean up, distributed hampers to affected residents

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is conducting a thorough investigation following the release of waste oil in the Coverden, East Bank Demerara area.

EPA in a statement said it received the report on Friday, April 21, 2o23 and environmental officers were immediately dispatched to the area and determined that the waste oil was being released from a facility owned by National Hardware.

The facility is manufacturing concrete bricks and is not authorised by the EPA.

The agency said the volume of waste oil released is undetermined as further investigation is needed in order to establish the amount.

Sources of waste oil dumped in the water by National Hardware

An initial site clean-up was carried out by workers of the company with assistance from EPA.

The EPA will issue a Clean Up Order directing the operator to clean up all contaminants and a Prohibition Notice will also be issued for the operator to cease all activities at the location.

EPA will also determine other enforcement actions against the developer. The Agency continued its investigations on Saturday, April 22, 2023 in conjunction with the Civil Defense Commission (CDC) and other relevant authorities.

The agency stated that further information will be provided upon the conclusion of the investigation.

Meanwhile, the CDC after being alerted by the EPA, deployed a team to assess the situation and support the EPA in the emergency response on Saturday, April 22, 2023.

CDC staff distributing the cleaning hampers to affected households

The CDC said the team met with EPA representatives and held discussions with the management of National Hardware who informed that a waste management truck was enroute to begin the clean-up of the spilled oil in the waterways.

According to the CDC, the residents claimed that the oil was in the drains for over a decade and flows whenever it rains heavily.

The CDC assessed the households for damages and distributed 34 cleaning hampers to aid in the clean-up of the yards and homes impacted by the oil in the floodwaters.

There were 12 households of 37 individuals including 16 children affected by the incident.

The CDC reported that most of the impacted area has been cleaned and residents continue to wash away the oil from their dwelling places.

The CDC remains committed to supporting the EPA in this incident.

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