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21st January 2019, 20:22

​GSD raises public health concerns over Bunkering

The GSD is calling for a detailed review of practices in the bunkering industry to assess its impact on public health.

In a statement, the Opposition said that while it recognised the importance of the sector to the economy, it should be subject to continuous and close scrutiny to safeguard the environment.

GSD spokesperson Trevor Hammond said public health should be the number one priority.

The GSD says areas of the community are often exposed to fumes caused by bunkering adding that measures to mitigate any risk needs to be understood and acted on.

Trevor Hammond says he has raised concerns about air quality for some time, including in connection with traffic, the dockyard and the generating stations. The GSD's spokesperson for the environment pointed out that bunkering results in very polluting emissions from ships and the activity itself produces fumes from volatile organic compounds such as benzene - a known carcinogen.

Mr Hammond stressed in certain weather conditions, these fumes do reach shore and affect extensive areas of our community

He said a detailed assessment of the industry would ensure best practices are applied and would also determine where improvements can be made, to minisethe impact on public health.