From: Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Delta State Government has said that the alleged toxic waste dumped in Koko town, in Warri North Local Government Area of the state, has minimal toxicity and therefore not capable of contaminating ground water.
Besides, the state government said the substance has no serious threat to human health, aquatic lives, vegetation and environmental sustainability.
Commissioner for Environment, Mr. John Nani, on Wednesday, in Asaba, said the state government carried out analysis of samples of the waste at a laboratory in Benin where it was discovered that the substance was not harmful but a solid non-toxic waste.
Consequent upon the result of the laboratory analysis, Nani, who was flanked by his counterpart in the Ministry of Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, declared that no environmental remediation will be required as samples falls below the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) intervention values.
“Having reviewed the details of the findings above, it is overtly convincing that DPR regulation as contained in the Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria (EGASPIN) was carefully followed in the process of the treatment of the substance.
“The further analysis of the collected samples using DPR parameters also revealed that the substance has minimal toxicity and therefore not capable of contaminating ground water as alleged.
“The result also shows that the substance has no serious threat to human health, aquatic lives, vegetation and environmental sustainability,” Nani explained.
He said the test findings revealed that the substance is a product of crude petroleum, adding that the substance is treated petroleum sludge.
According to him, some of the toxic parts of the crude oil such as “PAH, BTEX, Hg, Cd, Pb, As, Cr, V, Ni were among parameters analyzed and compared with Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) intervention values.
Residents of the riverine community were stunned last month when they discovered strange substance subjected to be toxic waste within the town. Anxiety among the residents was heightened considering that the 1988 Koko toxic waste debacle was still fresh in their minds.
Nani who had visited the site of the latest dump with officials of the Nigeria Custom Service and authorities of the council area, among others, assured residents that the state government was already on top of the situation, noting that result of analysis will be made public.