Elias Nanau | Post Courier | October 18, 2019
The Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) has assured that the waters around the Basamuk area in Madang are safe and free of toxic contamination.
CEPA officials gave the assurance yesterday following tests and conclusion of water samples tested at the Australian Laboratory Services in Brisbane.
Michael Wau, director for Environment Regulatory operations, took the media through the findings yesterday. He said water samples were obtained from the villages of Naglau, Duman, Domestic Wharf and Drains 1 and 4 outlets.
Their average concentrations were below baseline concentrations and met environment permit conditions, Mr Wau said. He said out of the 200,000-litre slurry spill, 100,000 was contained within the refinery while 80,000 spilled into the Basamuk Bay. The slurry spill was said to have been caused by pump failure.
“Results of samples did not indicate major interference with sea water composition apart from turbidity caused by outfall material after heavy rains,” he said.
Environment and Conservation Minister Geoffrey Kama who joined the presentation endorsed the statements by his officers. “I think everything is back to normal,” he said.
“It’s not about the color, we want to detect the metals,” has said whilst cautioning the local people not to consume any fish caught in the area until further test were done to make the findings conclusive.
“We are not here to support the company, we are not here to tell lies,” Mr Kama said. He said CEPA would engage two independent scientists to sample toxic contamination from fish and this exercise would be completed within four weeks.
While the Madang Provincial Government-sponsored Swiss scientist Dr Alex Mojon and his report appear to contradict CEPA’s report, they told the media they were not able to critique or criticize the report without the benefit of reading it.