MP Chaguanas East Constituency
The following e-mail appeared in my inbox from “a concerned EMA employee:” “You need to understand the very distasteful position the EMA has taken in trying to hoodwink the public. Consider the following:
“1. The EMA issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to Petrotrin then two days after a consent agreement was reached. This has never happened in the history of the EMA. A consent agreement requires detailed input by both sides to fully determine and develop management plans and fully valuate the extent of the environmental cost of an environmental problem. This agreement was agreed upon before the NOV was served as part of the PR deal.
“2. All monies fined to polluters do not go to the EMA, it goes into the Government of T&T Consolidated Fund, therefore EMA chairman Bachan cannot dictate to Petrotrin or the public if the funds will be used for remediation. Only the Environmental Commission can do that.
“3. The sum of $20 million was predetermined probably by politicians to appease the public’s call for the EMA to do something and for Petrotrin to be liable. If you look at what the Notice of Violation cites, it deals mostly with failure of Petrotrin to report...it says nothing about the Polluter Pays Principle which is a valuation of the entire cost to ecosystem, communities, cumulative effects etc...$20 million is simply the figure the EMA sold out for.
“Unfortunately this is just a PR ploy just to take away public outcry...