Waste oil spills into Salt Pond, St. MaartenPOSTED: 02/19/11 5:46 PM
St. Maarten – The St. Maarten Nature Foundation was called in to clean up an oil slick that flowed into the Great Salt Pond from off the Philipsburg Landfill on Thursday. The oil had leaked from a “dumping hole” connected to a trench that runs into the Great Salt Pond.
In order to cut off the flow the supervisor at the landfill was requested to close off the trench. He reacted to the request immediately and had excavator move dirt into the trench’s mouth. According to Nature Foundation report the supervisor said many trucks dump waste oil at the Landfill without informing them and it ends up in the Salt Pond.
The Public Works Department was informed of the spill and the fact that it had spread as far as A Th. Illidge Road behind Sunny Foods. They’ve pledge to clean up the slick and remediate the problem.
The Nature Foundation states that they found “significant levels of waste oil” which could impact the Egretta), herons (Ardeidae) and pelicans (Pelicanus occidentialis) that were located near the slick.
“The Nature Foundation recommends that all steps be taken to prevent dumping of waste oil in an area of the Landfill that would possibly enable introduction into the Great Salt Pond. The dumping of waste oil and other combustible materials can contribute greatly to the danger of fires on the Landfill. The dumping of waste oil continuously further degenerates the wetland ecosystem of the Great Salt Pond and can have serious negative health effects on the populace,” the report concludes.