Premier Veke condemns waste oil storage and spillage
GUADALCANAL Provincial Premier Hon Anthony K Veke condemned in the strongest term the revelation of illegal importation and subsequent storage of industrial wastes in IBC Container at Tanaro, Northwest Guadalcanal that are now spilling toxic oily substance into the surrounding fragile ecosystem.
Premier Veke said that he could not believe reading from news that the transporting vessel MV Neptune Gale had already been impounded with the consignments yet managed to escape authorities after a week of its apprehension in 2015.
“The best analogy I can give is like, having a bulldozer going through your house, your bedroom whilst you are fast asleep. How is that possible?” Premier Veke Said.
“It seems that responsible authorities had let the bulldozer loose and had done nothing to the obvious offenses the importing, exporting and transporting parties have committed.
“Had it not for the leakage around February/ March of 2017, the IBC containers with their toxic contents would still be at large, unnoticed to public.
“Importation, Exportation and Trans-boundary shipment of undeclared and unlicensed hazardous waste contravene not only the Waigani convention of 2001 but also our very own Environment Act 1998.
“Article 9 of the former clearly stipulates clauses for ‘Illegal Trafficking’ whilst section 35 of the latter provides for the ‘Control of Pollution’ with section 37 clearly outlining penalties for contravention of 35.
“With that understanding, we have not only failed our own laws but also the regime we signed with our Pacific Neighbours.
“Some people need to start taking their mandated job respectfully and responsibly. Your irresponsibility is now putting my people of Guadalcanal at risk.”
It is understood that a team from the Environment and Conservation Division went to the site to contain the spill from spreading into nearby streams.
Also an assessment team from Guadalcanal provincial Environmental health division have been mobilised to conduct an independent assessment inquiry into the spillage and the type of chemicals involved.
“My office is also made aware of an investigation currently conducted by the Guadalcanal provincial Police.” Premier Veke said.
Reports of their findings will be made available to the premier’s office and the executive as soon as they are ready.
Hon Premier Veke condemn such illegal acts in the strongest terms and want to see legal actions taken per specified by our laws and the international conventions we signed and party to.