As communities across Nigeria’s Niger Delta region continue to struggle with the environmental pollution from the exploration of its oil reserves, Brass, a host community of crude oil export terminals, has demanded for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Italian operator of oil terminals along the swamps of Bayelsa State, to clean up the environmental pollution from oil exploration and restore damages caused by the company’s 48-year operation in the region.
The community made this demand through a letter issued to NAOC’s Managing Director and made available to the press, dated 25 May, 2020, alleging that the company has delayed the long overdue remediation of the Brass canal and also refused to arrange a joint inter-agency visit to the sites.
The letter stated, ‘In furtherance of the human security, economic and environmental interests of your host, Brass Kingdom, touching also on Nigeria’s national interests and Bayelsa State’s strategic interest, we remind you [of] the overdue obligation on the Brass Canal, viz. proper remediation of ecological damage caused by the continuous discharge of toxic wastes at your Brass terminal every day for the past 48 years.
’We put you on notice to stop desperate attempts by your officers to compromise or induce key interests aimed at evading regulatory compliance, frustrating the ministerial directive for an independent Comprehensive Impact Assessment as a basis for adequate remediation and compensation.’
The community also alleged that some 150,000 barrels of toxic waste was discovered to be discharged every day into the canal after a team of environmental and legal experts visited the canal in 2015.
Following this discovery, the community stated that the contaminant rate in the Brass Canal ranged from 200 percent to 1,000 percent above regulatory limits, resulting in soil, groundwater, and air pollution and leading to negative effects on public health.
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