Ag. Deputy Chief Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
The Ministry of Communication and Works has fully endorsed a three month campaign to promote petroleum and Liquid Petroleum Gas(LPG) safety in the Virgin Islands
Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool stated today at the launch of the campaign that he welcomes the initiative, which is a collaborative effort between the Department of Disaster Management and Sol Petroleum. He said it is a very important step in ensuring that safety procedures are being followed when persons are handling gasoline, diesel, LPG and other petroleum products.
Minister Vanterpool said these products are flammable and life threatening, yet many persons handle or are exposed on a daily basis and are not fully aware of the risks. He recalled several incidents including one on Anegada and two on Tortola and stated that the Virgin Islands are not untouched when it comes to persons sustaining injuries from the mishandling of petroleum products.
Honourable Vanterpool said, “These accidents may not occur on a regular basis in our islands, but one injury is one too many and efforts are needed to ensure that we heighten the level of awareness and education among the population, about the proper use and transportation of these substances.”
Minister Vanterpool stated that his ministry is supporting the campaign as it reinforces the need for the swift approval of legislation, such as the Oil Discharge Prevention, Liability and Compensation Act.
The Act he said, seeks to protect the BVI, its people and natural resources, by enacting safety standards to address issues surrounding the transportation and spillage of petroleum products and hazardous materials.
The Minister added that the Act has gone through several rounds of consultation and is currently being prepared for Cabinet’s approval.
Director for the Department of Disaster Management, Ms. Sharleen Dabreo said the campaign is fully scripted to bring awareness on petroleum disaster preparedness and prevention, and that her department will continue to educate the public on petroleum gas safety after its conclusion.
Ms. Da Breo said, “The safety of our people and our islands is a critical aspect of disaster management and it is an important part of SOL’s operations. Together we are going to work to minimise the risk of injuries to people and to our environment by ensuring that persons are aware of what they need to do and how they need to react if they are handling petroleum products or if they are using LPG gases.”
An expert from Sol Barbados will visit Tortola as part of the campaign activities and will facilitate a training session on April 11 for government entities that deal with property inspections, independent service station operators and key stakeholders.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is committed to keeping its residents and visitors safe and providing a clean environment for sustainability.