Nickel ore pollutant threatens Subic beach

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014


SUBIC BAY FREEPORT -- A stockpile of soil bearing nickel ore allegedly unloaded by an Indonesian vessel recently is threatening to pollute a beach resort here.

In documents obtained by Sun.Star Pampanga, Mark Dayrit, chair of Brighterday Subic Ltd. Inc., the developer of the 5,600-square-meter All Hands Beach Resort here, said he has "repeatedly called the attention of the ecology center on the danger of storing the stockpile of nickel ore in the former Subic Raceway lot."

Dayrit expressed fear that the stockpile would contaminate and pollute the swimming area of tourists and residents going Subic beaches.

In his letter, Dayrit has urged the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority's (SBMA) ecology center to remove the stockpile of soil bearing nickel ore inside this free port for fear that it would contaminate the waters of Subic Bay. Even after two letters to the center, he said that "there was no sign that the center’s officials had acted on his request."

"The rainy season is fast approaching and there is no sign of the ore being removed. Once rainwater starts to wash away the sediments toward the sea, we can expect an environmental problem," Dayrit said in a letter dated March 9 where he informed the center of the "unusual dust, colored red-orange, over All Hands Beach."

Earlier, the SBMA allowed the unloading and transfer of soil from the distressed Indonesian MV Pax Phoenix, which was on its way to China last year from Indonesia when it sought refuge inside Subic Freeport after its load of nickel ore-bearing soil got wet with water, unloading and attempting to dry it in the Freeport area near the beach.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 27, 2014.

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