Press Release
November 21, 2012

Legarda: US Navy contractor violated gov't regulations
in toxic wastewater dumping

Senator Loren Legarda today said that the US Navy contractor Glenn Defense Marine Philippines, Inc. violated government regulations when it dumped toxic wastewater in areas that are clearly within the country's Exclusive Economic Zone.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that it was clear that the contractor violated government regulations on various fronts, including its failure to secure a dumping permit from the Philippine Coast Guard to discharge wastewater in an area that is still within the country's Exclusive Economic Zone.

"It is very clear that the Glenn Defense Marine Asia violated our regulations when it did not get a dumping permit from the Coast Guard. Maybe there are other contractors too who are committing the same violation. Second, the wastewater they dumped was untreated and according to the Subic Bay Ecology Center, its level of toxicity was way beyond allowable limits under the DENR regulations," she stressed. The resource person from the Subic Ecology Center confirmed that the high toxicity levels of the water samples secured from the M/T Glenn Guardian could harm marine resources.

Legarda said the Committee will come up with a report by the end of the month. The report will try to pinpoint accountabilities, and if warranted, recommend penalties against those who may have violated Philippine laws and regulations.

"I have asked the various agencies to complete their investigation and to submit to the Committee its findings and recommendations. I also expect these agencies to enforce the law without fear or favor." The Senator also said that "there is evidently a need for government agencies to coordinate better to ensure that our environmental laws and regulations are strictly enforced."

The Senator, however, cleared that the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is external to the issue with Glenn Defense Marine Philippines.

"I will call for a hearing on the VFA because it is long overdue. But, this issue on the dumping of wastewater has nothing to do with the VFA. And I would like to stress that we will not allow our country to be a waste basket; we will not allow the waste of foreigners to destroy the marine life and source of livelihood of our people," Legarda concluded.

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