Oliver Bugarin 2 0 0 4 min to read

DENR-EMB takes action against contamination of the Cebu River.

Following the Goyong River in Cebu Province’s waters turning “milky white” on August 21, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is taking action to undo the harm caused by improper trash disposal.

DENR-Region 7 (Central Visayas) is already “coordinating with the pertinent individuals and authorities to make sure that the substance discharged to the river is removed,” according to EMB Director William P. Cunado.

“To find out what was discharged into the Goyong River, EMB-Region 7 conducted testing, and we are awaiting the results. To ensure that this won’t happen again, we will also be speaking with local government authorities in the interim, Cunado stated in a news release on Thursday.

The Goyong River, which flows through the Borbon town neighborhood of Don Gregorio Antigua, is mostly utilized for irrigation. There are about 80 dwellings near the river.

Using the information from the initial inquiry, barangay officials named a man named Elmer Pogado Degamo as the person who is accused of dumping the tainted water and oil that were used to wash a flexible tank into the river.

According to the local authorities, the flexible tank is owned by the trucking firm where Degamo works.

According to EMB-Region 7’s preliminary evaluation, “there were no traces of damaged life forms such as dead plants or animals.”

To ensure that the improper trash disposal activity does not negatively impact the surrounding ecology, it assured that it would continue to monitor the river for an additional week.

While the EMB collected samples a day after the occurrence, the municipal authority of Borbon obtained a water sample immediately after it was reported that a white substance was present in the river.

The municipal authority of Borbon tested water samples, and the results revealed that the chemical oxygen demand (COD) level had increased to 347 milligrams per liter (mg/L), indicating “contamination of inorganic waste.”

EMB and Borbon officials have notified the concerned trucking company to “avoid a repeat of the occurrence.”

The Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 or Section 27 of Republic Act No. 9275 shall apply to hold the liable entity or person accountable if it is established that the discharged substance is dangerous or poisonous, according to the EMB.

Discharging, depositing, or causing to be deposited materials of any kind directly or indirectly into bodies of water or along the margins of any surface water, transporting, dumping, or discharging toxic substances and hazardous and nuclear wastes control act of 1990-listed chemicals, substances, or pollutants, and discharging regulated water pollutants without a valid required discharging permit are all prohibited acts under Section 27.

On the suggestion of the Pollution Adjudication Board, violators may be required to pay a fine ranging from PHP10,000 to PHP200,000 for each day of violation.

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