Danaya calls on govt to look into alleged toxic spill

National, Normal

The National, Friday, June 3rd 2011

WESTERN Governor Dr Bob Danaya has expressed concern over an alleged spillage of toxic pyrite into the environment from leaking pipes at the Ok Tedi mine.
Danaya called for harsh penalties against the mine by government.
He said: “This is unacceptable and it will not be tolerated at all by the innocent people leaving along the Fly River and the surrounding environment.
“Ok Tedi must be penalised accordingly with the imposition of a hefty fine.
“The spillage should not have occurred if the pipeline carrying the pyrite was constructed properly in the first place.
“This is a sign of bad piece of engineering. I will not accept any excuses from Ok Tedi mine management for the spillage and they must be held responsible for what has happened recently.
“This is not the first time that this has happened.
“If the mine has to close now, shut it on humanitarian grounds and in compliance with the environmental laws.
“Ok Tedi must not put profit first at the expense of people’s lives.”
Danaya said the national government, through the mining and environment departments, must take appropriate action to remedy the spillage and environmental damage.
“You perform dual roles at present –  as a shareholder and regulator. The latter has unfortunately been compromised over the years because government needs money, but money cannot buy lives in Papua New Guinea.”