Guimaras seas now fit for fishing, swimming

- Wenna Berondo () - January 1, 2012 - 12:00am

ILOILO CITY, Philippines  – More than five years after the oil spill off Guimaras, the island’s coastal areas and surrounding waters have been declared safe for fishing and swimming.

The Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR-6 said the province’s coast and waters are now safe for aquaculture and recreational activities.

On August 19, 2006 the oil tanker M/V Solar I —carrying two million liters (12,580 barrels) of bunker oil —sank off Guimaras island. It was deemed the worst environmental accident in Philippine history.

DENR 6 executive director Julian Amador said the agency has been monitoring the levels of oil and grease concentrations in the waters of the island-province of Guimaras from the day of the incident until just recently.

Earlier last May, the EMB said only 16 of 24 sampling stations have reached the standard levels for oil and grease concentration, suitable for fishing, swimming and other contact and non-contact recreations.

Then from last October 18 to 21, a Water Quality Monitoring report showed a marked improvement, where all 24 sampling stations covered were already within standards of safe quality.

This report was presented to the Committee on Clean Bill of Health for the Guimaras Oil Spill, and this prompted the DENR-6’s EMB declaration of Guimaras waters safe for human and marine life activities.

Guimaras waters are classified into Class SB and Class SC waters based on their beneficial usage.

Class SB waters are those used for bathing and other contact recreation (require low concentrations for oil and grease with standards of 2.0 mg/L), while Class SC waters are those used for aquaculture purposes and no-contact activities (require a standard of 3.0mg/L,) EMB said. (FREEMAN)

CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU GUIMARAS GUIMARAS OIL SPILL JULIAN AMADOR OIL ON AUGUST V SOLAR I WATER QUALITY MONITORING WATERS
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