Friday, February 18, 2011

Experts say no baseline study for Basamuk

By JAYNE SAFIHAO, The National
THE resounding question of whether or not a thorough baseline study of the Basamuk area was conducted or not prior to, and during, the environmental study revealed that there was none.
These and other questions raised in relation to sedimentation and upwelling were spelt out yesterday in the courtroom by Tiffany Nonggorr of Nonggorr and Williams Lawyers.
The scientist who took the stand today representing the developer Ramu Nico management were: Philip Tower, a marine chemist; Dr George Shou, an engineer with BRASS Engineering, a Canadian company; and Stuart Jones, an environment and social impact scientist who has an honours in geography and a bachelors in geology.
All admitted that to an extent a baseline study was not properly conducted which included, the sum total of every scientific data and the various living organisms within that particular area.
Jones spoke at length on the strong possibility of upwelling during the monsoonal rainy seasons, of which were currently being felt, was likely with the current strong northwesterly winds.
With reference to the Scottish Association of Marine Scientist report, he said that there needed to be a continual 12-month period of monitoring done.
Shou brought a 500ml plastic coke container of slurry into the court room to show the court what slurry would look like in the 350km pipeline and then, in layman’s  language, he explained the processes of the extraction of the nickel, laterite and other minerals in stages to the waste removal.
Shou, however, admitted that due to a ‘judgment error’ previously made by miscalculations the piping of the Misima mines eventually broke causing the spill that occurred in September 2004.
With leading questions still unanswered by a straight “yes–or-no” answer regarding the question of stringent monitoring and toxicological effects to the marine environment the court was adjourned yesterday afternoon to 9.30am today.
Secretary for Environment and Conservation Dr Wari Iamo and others who were supposed to take the stand yesterday will do so this morning

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