DOH-MIMAROPA warns about dam leaks 'threatening health and security of residents'. Regional director Eduardo Janairo talks about immediate 'interventions for effective cleanup of mine tailings' by planting Beema bamboo. But Marinduquenos have yet to hear what concrete action has been undertaken to address the leaks detected two months ago (January 2017), in the Makulapnit Dam diversion tunnel of Marcopper.
by Tina G. Santos, Inquirer
“Worst-case scenario if these concerns are not properly addressed is to evacuate all residents out of the province,” Eduardo Janairo, DOH-Mimaropa regional director, said in a statement.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau recently detected leaks in a diversion tunnel of Marcopper’s Makulapnit dam in Barangay Hinapulan in the capital town of Boac.
Makulapnit dam was used to collect clean water from Hinapulan creek that the company used for mining copper.
Marcopper Mining Corp. shut down in 1996 after one of its drainage tunnels gave way, unleashing about 200 million tons of mine tailings into Boac River.
“We need to prepare a contingency plan to mitigate the effects of the Marcopper mining incident and to formulate immediate and concrete solutions to provide the necessary responses to the effects of the four-decade mining incident that has affected the health, livelihood and lives of residents in 20 barangays in Marinduque,” he said.
According to Janairo, interventions for the effective cleanup of mine tailings will be started immediately, which includes Phytoremediation—the planting of various trees like the Beema bamboo—to remove, transfer and destroy degradation of contaminants in soils, surface water and groundwater in affected areas.