By Bernadette A Parco/Manila Times
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is investigating reported fish deaths at the North Bais Bay, affecting at least four barangays in Bais City and in Manjuyod town in Negros Oriental.
Eddie Llamedo, DENR Central Visayas information officer, told Manila Times that personnel from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) had already collected water samples from the affected area on Wednesday.
He added that tests on the samples would be on the Biological Oxygen Deman or BOD and level of fecal matter of coliform.
“The water samples collected are now being analysed in the laboratory and (results) may be out two weeks from now,” said Llamedo.
“We’re trying to look into the possibility that the water discharge of a sugar mill were not properly treated,” he added.
The environment agency will send a team to conduct an ocular inspection on July 13, that will comprise personnel from EMB, Negros Oriental Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office and Protected Area Superintendent Concodrio Remoroza.
Llamedo said the team will determine the cause of the fish kill and do site monitoring on the industries and firms surrounding the area in Barangay Alanginlan in Bais City.
“The company should have a discharge permit on wastewater. Meaning, they just can’t release wastewater without passing government standards,” he explained. Republic Act No 9275 or the Clean Water Act provides for a maximum penalty of P200,000 per day being imposed if a company is found to be the culprit for the water pollution.
A water pollution case may also be filed before the Pollution Adjudication Board at the DENR Central Office in Manila.
“While waiting for the results of the laboratory tests on the water samples collected, the fish in the area would be examined by BFAR (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources),” said Llamedo.
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