Oil dump on Arnell Road becoming major disasterPOSTED: 01/28/11 12:18 PM
St. Maarten – The illegal oil dump atop the G. Alexis Arnell Road this newspaper discovered in late November of last year while touring the island with Epic’s project manager Rueben Thompson has still not been cleaned up by the government. Worse, the dump has become an attraction for even more illegal dumping and it is now also used as an alternative for the landfill, Thompson reported yesterday.
Thompson, who is also the vice-president of the St. Maarten Pride Foundation, is appalled that the responsible St. Maarten Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Vromi) has not taken any action.
“Why is it left up to small organizations like ours to take care of these things? This is the task of the government,” he said.
In order to press the latter point Thompson wrote the Ministry’s acting Secretary General Louis Brown a letter pointing out that the contents of the drums, some of which are labeled “Marine Pollutants” and “Extremely Flammable” have saturated the soil and made the area “a serious fire hazard.”
“The Foundations are hereby once again requesting your Ministry to take the necessary action to resolve the matter,” Thompson wrote in his letter.
The G. Alexis Arnell Road is the shortcut between the A.J.C. Brouwers Road and Union Road in Cole Bay.
When Today toured the island in November with Thompson, we found not only this oil dump but also more than 200 car wrecks littered all over the neighborhoods, and sewage water running over public roads. Some of the car wrecks have in the meantime been removed, but the oil dump is still there.