Adapted from an article by PAUL OATES
It’s a big worry
The US President has just sent the clean up bill for the current disastrous oil spill to BP. Apparently it’s BP’s responsibility to pay even though they were given permission to drill in US waters.
So if, as is likely, given the results of the Papua New Guinea government’s own environmental impact study and similar examples elsewhere (e.g New Caledonia), there is an environmental disaster from the Ramu nickel mine pumping millions of tons of toxic waste into the pristine sea off Madang, who would be held responsible?
Who could be sued by those who may end up poisoned and hungry when their marine food stocks are destroyed?
Who could wind up being responsible if the overland tailings pipe ruptures and spills toxic waste over farming ground and people’s crops?
Clearly the owners of the Ramu mine would say that they were operating under the approved permit issued by the PNG government. Clearly the PNG government would also say that they were not to blame as the new Environment Act says they CANNOT be sued.
So who would end up holding the parcel?
The landowners – that is who!