Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje today ordered the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) to file appropriate charges against those responsible for the dumping of toxic wastes in Dasmarinas, Cavite, in violation of Republic Act 6969, otherwise known as Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act.
At the same time, Paje also directed the immediate evaluation of water samples from the Langkaan River to determine whether or not it has been contaminated by the toxic materials.
This, even as Regional Director Allan Leuterio of EMB-Region 4A said that a technical conference is set today (July 19) at 2 p.m. in his office.
“We will spare no one in this case. The government is definitely serious in enforcing environmental laws especially at this time when the country is facing several environmental hazards resulting from climate change,” Paje said.
Initial investigation conducted by EMB-Region 4A showed that the toxic wastes were dumped in Barangays Langkaan I and II in Dasmarinas, both of which are adjacent to a tributary of the Langkaan River.
“I have also directed the EMB to collect water samples from Langkaan River to determine if there has been any contamination of the river system,” Paje said.
The team further reported that a dug-pit, measuring 1 meter in width, 2 meters in length and 1.5 meters in depth, was found in the area, which the investigators said might be intended for the dumping of the drums containing the toxic chemicals.
Paje also said that samples of the wastes have been collected, subject for toxicity characteristic and leaching procedure (TCLP) by JEFCOR Laboratory located at the First Cavite Industrial Estate (FCIE), also in Dasmarinas. The result of the analysis will be available in 10 days, according to Leuterio.
Based on the report, Paje identified the truck driver as a certain Ramon Olaguer while the owner of the private lot where the drums were dumped is a certain Fidel Huelgas.
Olaguer said during the investigation that the toxic materials came from SOLCHEM, an accredited treatment facility in Las Pinas City.
Meanwhile, Leuterio said that he has already issued a special transport permit to Cleanway Technology Corporation in Silang, Cavite, which volunteered to transport and take temporary custody of the said toxic wastes. PAO, DENR