US Navy contractor liable for Subic waste dumping

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The MT Glenn Guardian docked at Alava Pier on Subic Bay: Liable ROBERT GONZAGA/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

MANILA, Philippines—The Senate has found the US Navy contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia liable for violating Philippines laws when it dumped hundreds of thousands of liters of wastewater off Subic, Zambales.

The Senate committee on foreign affairs chaired by Sen. Loren Legarda conducted an inquiry into the dumping of some 200,000 liters of waste by the MT Glenn Guardian, a vessel owned by Glenn Defense Marine Asia which has a contract with the United States Navy to remove waste from the latter’s ships.

The Senate on Wednesday night adopted the committee’s report, findings and recommendations.

A business rival of Glenn Defense’s had tipped off authorities to the dumping in 2011.

“While it may have been so that competing business interests may have motivated certain quarters to complain about the violations being committed by Glenn Defense, the fact remains that violations were committed by Glenn Defense,” said Legarda in the report to the plenary on Wednesday.

Legarda said that as far back as March 2007, a complaint had been lodged by the Lighterage Association with the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) on the alleged failure of Glenn Defense to secure permits from the latter agency.

“Notwithstanding this, Glenn Defense has done very little to comply with all the regulatory requirements of the government, while government agencies have also failed to enforce its regulations,” Legarda said.

The committee said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) was remiss in fulfilling its mandate to control marine pollution.

The panel also indicated that the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFACOM) should do more to ensure respect for Philippine laws during the temporary presence of US forces in the country.

“Although the DENR is mandated to serve as the primary government agency responsible for the implementation of the country’s environmental laws, it has shirked its responsibilities insofar as coordinating and cooperating with the Philippine Coast Guard in the enforcement of the country’s maritime laws,” the committee report said.

Legarda said “the DENR is tasked, under the country’s Clean Water Act, to review and update the country’s effluent standards that need to be observed by pertinent government agencies in the enforcement of the country’s maritime laws. Those guidelines have not been revised since 1990.”

“In the instant case, the DENR failed to take a proactive role in addressing the complaints of maritime pollution control,” Legarda said.

She said the issue at hand highlighted the need for the VFACOM to ensure that pertinent laws and regulations of the Philippines were respected and observed by all parties directly participating, incidental to, or merely providing contracted services to transport, haul and treat the sewage and hazardous waste of US ships participating in VFA exercises.

“This is only possible if the VFACOM proactively pursues its coordinative functions,” Legarda said.

The Senate recommended that the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, DENR and Philippine Coast Guard initiate administrative proceedings against Glenn Defense for its failure to comply with the country’s environmental and marine protection laws and regulations, and to impose the necessary penalties as warranted.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4R3GZTGML26TV2VGS6RVHP2THM Fred

    Magpapalit lamang ng company name yan dahil alam nila na maba black list na sila.

  • HirayaManawari

    Mabuti naman at nakasuhan na ang glenn defense, salamat kina Loren Legarda.

  • CaleeJ

    This is good news, hope they’ll be given the right punishment for what they did.

  • PTayag

    sana wag ng maulit ang nangyari insidente, dapat naman talaga na mabigyan sila ng parusa.

    • bertyvelez

      Sa tingin ko hindi na yan, matututo na ang mga may sala, isa pa anjan naman sina Legarda at hindi nya hahayaang mangyari ulit..

    • KateDula

      aba dapata lang maparusahan sila, mabigat nga ang nagawa nila.

  • http://twitter.com/Joe_The_Kano Joe Kano

    This contractor is a Philippine subsidiary of a Singaporean firm and has serviced hundreds of ships calling at the Philippines. It is therefore highly misleading to continue to refer to the company in headlines and news articles as “US Navy contractor,” as if it were US-owned or connected only to the US.

    But at least Legarda admits that the whistle-blowing stemmed from a business rivalry, rather than actual concern for the environment.

    So, any prospects of ever cleaning up S hit River?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WC2VPZRJETRO5KOU4VOZCJXEDY Tamarindwalk

    This is a good start.  But the Senate, or whomever, has a long way to go with socking it to private firms that dump junk into the waters of the country.  Next target should be all the firms dumping waste into the Pasig River and all the municipalities doing the same.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GURBWYA3AIXC22EF6E6HIHRNQE Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

    kaya ba bawal na magswimming sa beach na malapit sa pier one? ano ba yan, inuna pa ang industrial waste kesa tourism! sayang ang dagat!!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GURBWYA3AIXC22EF6E6HIHRNQE Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

      ang ganda ganda sana dito, pinapababoy natin…bakit?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.degarman Jim De Garman

    members of SBMA board who previously cleared glenn defense for dumping wastewater off Subic should immediately resign.. they have no reason to remain in SBMA board they should protect the interest of the government and their constituents, and not their personal relation with glenn defense by absolving adm. mayuga from his lapses.

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