OfReg files charges against Rubis Cayman Islands; parties now in court | Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

The Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) confirmed that charges have been filed against Rubis Cayman Islands in connection with a spillage that occurred in November 2019 from one of Rubis’ bulk diesel tanks at their Jackson Point Terminal.

According to OfReg, immediately following the discovery of the leak, action was taken by Rubis to minimise the risk to the public.

Regarding the surrounding environment, OfReg confirmed that, while a significant quantity of diesel was released from the tank, there was no significant impact found on the surrounding environment, according to an assessment by Water Authority Cayman.

Once the situation was brought under control, OfReg commenced an investigation, which was carried out in accordance with OfReg’s mandate under section 19 of the Dangerous Substance (DS) Act to establish the root cause(s) of the incident.

The investigation also found that Rubis was in breach of section 12 of the DS Act, which states as follows:

12. (1) The operator of any regulated premises- (a) shall take all reasonable precautions for the prevention of (iii) any release or spillage.

In relation to the bulk terminals, these are typically equipped with active site monitoring wells to provide an early indication of hydrocarbon leaks, as a part of their normal operations.

The investigation concluded that Rubis did not take reasonable precautions to prevent the spillage, in particular, there were factors within Rubis’ control that could have prevented the incident, such as actively maintaining their cathodic protection system, which minimises corrosion in areas of the tank which are difficult to visually inspect or access.

The file was submitted to the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions and charges were laid.

The initial hearing was held on March 22, 2022 and the matter was adjourned.

As the matter is now before the courts, OfReg will update the public once a ruling is issued.