OFFICIALS of Roxol Bioenergy Corp. (RBC) asserted that the company’s ethanol plant operating at Barangay Nagasi, La Carlota City has not caused the fishkill affecting rivers in three barangays of the neighboring Pontevedra town.
Luis Villa-Abrille, executive vice president and chief operating officer of RBC, said pending the result of the water sample tests, there is no evidence pointing to the plant’s operations as the cause of the fishkill.
Villa-Abrille said the incident can be caused by a variety of naturally occurring processes which include the climate and topography that potentially affect environmental conditions.
“RBC assures the public that it has not caused the reported fishkill,” he said, adding that the plant has instituted long-term plans and programs to comply with environmental laws.
The RBC official was reacting to the statement released earlier by the Community Environment and Natural Resources (Cenro) in Bago City, attributing the water contamination to the bioethanol plant.
Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya, head of Cenro-Bago City, said that pending the result of the tests they have a suspicion that the discoloration of water was caused by the plant’s wastewater.
Gerangaya said “there is no other cause of water contamination in the area, only the plant’s wastewater flowing at the river.”
The plant has been discharging its wastewater to the river, particularly when the substance in its treatment facility overflows, he added.
For the firm’s part, its factory operations manager Damaso Agudelo Jr., told SunStar Bacolod Wednesday that the problem was already addressed in 2014.
Agudelo said they have been trying to educate the community on the plant’s operations, adding that they are not throwing anything on the river.
“We are also waiting for the result of the water sample tests, but rest assured we are not causing the fishkill in the area,” he added.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Negros Island Region (DENR-NIR) said its attached agency Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) is expected to release the result of the water analysis this week.
On Wednesday last week, dead fish like tilapia were found floating in the upstream portions of the river in Barangay San Juan.
Cenro-Bago, which covers cities and municipalities from E.B Magalona to Pontevedra, confirmed Thursday that the water contamination has spread to rivers in Barangays 1 and 2.
Cenro’s monitoring measures along with the local government unit of Pontevedra continue, it added.