By NITZ ARANCON
CITY hall’s environment chief yesterday said he has ordered another investigation into claims that the Iponan River is being polluted again.
The announcement by City Local Environment and Natural Resources officer Edwin Dael followed the complaint of officials of Barangay San Simon who blamed the alleged pollution on the city’s new sanitary landfill in Barangay Pagalungan.
The barangay council of San Simon passed a resolution in Oct. 18 to ask city hall to act on the villagers’ problem with the waters of Iponan River. The barangay officials claimed that many villagers who have been using water from the river developed skin problems.
Dael said he directed city hall’s Environment Management Division to look into the resolution that was brought to city hall’s attention last week by San Simon barangay chairman Rodulfo Nacario.
The barangay resolution contradicted Dael’s report to Mayor Oscar Moreno that the new city dump in Pagalungan has been contributing to the Iponan River’s pollution.
Dael said he doubted if the sanitary landfill had anything to do with the alleged river pollution as asserted by San Simon officials, explaining that it was impossible given the safeguards that were in place.
He cited the Sept. 27 result of a laboratory examination of water samples from Iponan River as proof.
Dael said, “Kusog man kaayo ang ulan niadtong panahona, ma-o tong nangkuha kami og water samples sa Iponan River ug among gipa-laboratory test. Ang resulta: negative man. Wala may pollution.”
The laboratory examination was conducted by an accredited testing center of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources called Fast Testing Center which is based in the city.
Dael said it was unlikely for toxic matter to reach the river from Pagalungan given the technology used in the new sanitary landfill. The technology, he said, has been given an environment compliance certificate by the Environmental Management Bureau.
Dael said the technology uses a storage for leachate control. Underneath the tons of garbage are rubber materials with pipes connected to a lecheate storage. The system ensures that toxic liquid or wastes would remain there, he explained.
Dael said there was no scientific basis for barangay officials of San Simon to blame the river pollution on the sanitary landfill.
“Mata-mata ra nang ilang pasangil sa resolution. Ang amo scientific gyud kay nagpa-test gud mi sa water sample,” Dael said.
But he said he suspected that the river pollution was caused by something else, hence the investigation.
He said the river has been polluted for years but it has nothing to do with toxic wastes from the old or present sanitary landfills.