The management of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), has revealed that the fuel spillage that occurred in Monrovia yesterday was caused by overflow of fuel which was being loaded to one of its storage tanks by a vessel.
The Managing Director of the LPRC, Marie Urey Coleman disclosed that the incident has been brought under control. Monrovians from poor neighborhoods, scrambled early yesterday morning to scoop fuel oil spilled in the Du Ricer.
MD Urey Coleman told reporters yesterday that the spillage was minor and that only three thousand gallons of fuel was spilled from the tank that is situated on the Bushrod Island Terminal.
Madam Urey Coleman reiterated that the spillage occurred while a vessel was loading fuel to one of the storage facilities.
The situation resulted to an early morning scramble for fuel oil by residents of surrounding communities.
.The LPRC boss dismissed reports of any damage at the facility noting that all active storage facilities are in tight and safe.
Meanwhile the Environmental Protection Agency, National Fire Service, the Coast Guard, National Port Authority and the LPRC have launched an investigation and an environmental impact assessment of the incident and a full report would be released soon.
Local media quoting acting EPA Executive Director, Randall Dobayou, said: “Preliminary findings suggest that the source of the leakage is from LPRC. EPA is leading a full-scale investigation considering all perimeter of concern.”
Authorities of the EPA said they established that on Sunday, July 19, 2020, the management of LPRC carried out normal operation of transferring petroleum products from a vessel to storage tank 402. While in the process, tank 402 began to overflow with diesel.
The operation was conducted at night with poor visibility and a manual system. It was also established that the valve, which closes the tank, was opened, thereby allowing oil to flow from the tank into the river. The situation resulted in massive water pollution spanning from LPRC facility to Vamuco in Vai Town and beyond.
The agency is leading a full-scale assessment considering all parameters of concern. The assessment team includes the EPA, Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA), and LPRC.