action against a Laguna Lake polluter
September 20, 2012
CALAMBA, Laguna –
In an action to expose industry polluters that “kill” Laguna Lake,
Greenpeace activists today labelled the fence of TNC Chemicals
Philippines with the words “Water Polluter”. They also unfurled a
banner listing the different hazardous chemicals previously identified
in a sampling report by the organization as the recipe for the toxic
pollution in Laguna Lake.
Laboratory results confirm
the presence of heavy metals chromium, nickel, and copper above
background levels for normal uncontaminated surface waters. Another
sample showed high concentrations of a variety of carcinogenic organic
compounds as well as some carboxylic acid esters.
“Industries that dump toxic
chemicals are depriving Filipinos of clean and safe water. What the
results show is that there are far too many chemicals that find their
way into our water without our knowledge. Worse, these chemicals such
as the ones we found in the samples from TNC discharge pipes, are not
routinely tested by government,” said Beau Baconguis, Toxics
Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Philippines.
The labelling of TNC’s
facility was part of the series of activities highlighting industrial
pollution under Greenpeace’s “Right-to-Know Water Patrol Expedition”.
The expedition, launched this month, aims to expose water polluters,
investigate and document potential polluters along Marikina River and
Laguna Lake, and draw support for the enactment of policies to bring
down toxic pollution to zero levels.
Greenpeace has been calling
on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to 1)
expand the Priority Chemicals List to include substances that have
been proven to be toxic, 2) immediately phase out these hazardous
chemicals with specific timelines, and 3) establish a pollution
“The fact that only five (5)
chemicals are regulated under RA 6969, demonstrates the lack of
capacity and political will to implement the law. Lamentably because
of government’s inaction on hazardous chemicals, it is the public and
the environment that suffers,” added Baconguis.
Meanwhile, Greenpeace calls
on TNC Chemicals Philippines and other industries to stop dumping
toxic chemicals into water bodies, to take responsibility for their
pollution and disclose the chemicals they use in their production.
Baconguis reiterated that
the government must be able to take urgent legal action against errant
companies such as TNC. “As a long term solution, DENR must work
towards a Zero Discharge policy for industries,” she concluded.