Alleged air pollution from SPDC’s Gas plant : Environmentalist calls for study
He made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Tombia, near Yenagoa, shortly after an assessment tour of the area.
Morris was reacting to reports of suspected air pollution from the natural gas gathering and liquefaction facility of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) which is causing breathing discomfort to residents.
NAN reports that residents of Tombia in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa on Friday complained of air pollution, allegedly emanating from oil and gas facilities located near the community.
The Environmentalist urged the oil and gas industry regulators to monitor and ensure that Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was carried.
According to Morris, the EIA Act requires periodic study to determine the environmental implications of the project and ascertain when the indices are out of tolerable limits.
“Who monitors compliance with the EIA to ensure that the steps prescribed to mitigate the negative environmental impacts of the operations of the plant were ameliorated?
“We have received reports of air pollution, very high temperature caused by gas flare and poor fish catch from the Nun River, among others.
“There is need for studies by scientific experts to compare results with the baseline studies in the EIA report.
“The results of these studies will then form the basis to request for measures to ameliorate the impact of the operations,” he said.
Morris urged the local and state governments to step up action in the interest of the health of residents in the area, requesting that the EIA report be made public.
He observed that gas flare in the area and the resultant acid rain, made rain water unsafe for drinking, thereby denying the communities access to potable water.
“The communities are losing on all fronts, as they only bear the adverse effects of oil and gas operations while the benefits in form of social amenities elude them,” Morris added.
Mr Precious Okolobo, Media Relations Manager of SPDC, however denied that the air pollution was from the company’s gas processing and gathering facility.
“There is no air pollution from our Gbarantoru plant; the plant is running efficiently,” he said.
He said that a similar occurrence was reported in Port Harcourt where there was no gas plant.
“There is a general problem that people do not understand and SPDC should not be blamed for everything that goes wrong,” Okolobo said.
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