PNG CEPA says Madang Waters Ok to Use

The Papua New Guinea  Conservation Environment Protection Authority or CEPA says the people of Basamuk and surrounding areas can now go back to using their sea water for their daily needs.

But must not eat fish and other marine products as yet.

CEPA announced this on Thursday when formerly releasing the findings of its investigations into the sea water quality following the Basamuk slurry spill at the Ramu Nico Mine, after the Minister for Environment and Conservation Jeffrey Kama tabled it Parliament as well.

CEPA in a presentation of its findings to the media in Port Moresby says its report has now revealed findings that shows no chemical concern in the water samples tested, hence they are confident that the water is okay now for people to use.

But CEPA says this report is only for water quality hence another report will be conducted into the issue of fish dying and urges people not to eat fish as yet until further investigations will identify the real cause of the death fish.

In the report released, CEPA confirmed that 200 000 liters of raw slurry had actually over-flowed from one of the company's surge tanks within the Basamuk Plant site.

Sixty percent, which is 120 000 liters, of the slurry spill was captured within the bund and emergency ponds, and drainage within the plant site.

Only forty percent, which is 80 000 liters, escaped via the drainage into the sea off Basamuk Bay.

The report further states, the slurry spill caused the sea water within the Bay to be discolored into red maroon along the Wharf area shoreline and at a place called East Duman.

CEPA explained, the immense volume of the sea waters is a buffering solution for the acidic slurry, hence, immediately diluted and dissipated the spilled slurry and only the discoloration of the immediate Bay waters was visible for two days only but on the third day, the sea was visibly clear.

CEPA further says it collected marine water quality samples from identified impact sites to test for presence of heavy metals in the waters.

According to CEPA, the water samples were than dispatched to Australia Laboratory Services (ASL), a renowned laboratory in Brisbane, Australia for analysis, which took 15 days for the results to be analysed and sent back.

CEPA says it then engaged an independent national environmental consulting firm to review and interpret results to form a report, which the Environment Minister presented in Parliament on Thursday.

The report reveals that samples results indicate no major interference or impacts on the sea water composition at Basamuk Bay and nearby marine areas.

This, according to CEPA, means the water there is now safe for swimming and recreational uses only.

However, people should not eat fish and refrain from fishing now and for the next four to six weeks until CEPA has conducted further investigation to establish any negative impacts, with findings to be made known in due course.


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PNG Govt says, no damages to Marine Life despite slurry spill by Ramu Nickel Mine

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