The heavily polluted Mambulao Bay ... a scientific study will soon be conducted to determine the degree of damaged that the gold mining operations in the municipality are causing the bay. - MWBuzzpic by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
A GOVERNMENT chemist has taken interest in studying the degree of pollution at the Mambulao Bay in Jose Panganiban, CamNorte.
Elyson Encarnacion, a licensed chemist with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), will gather core samples of the bay’s sediments and date the layers.
He told MWBuzz in an email that once he had established the timeline, he will analyze the mercury content of the soils per year.
“This will result to a profile which will show the years when Mambulao sediments had increased in mercury content – a possible indication that mining was rampant during the years covered by his study.”
Encarnacion, a graduate student of the UP-Diliman in Quezon City, is currently taking up a Master of Science in Environmental Science.
He said his Mambulao project will form the core of his graduate thesis that could be used as a scientific evidence to prove or disprove the alarming state of the bay.
“This could also be a tool that can be used to create precautionary measures and/or rehabilitation programs which can benefit both the bay and the residents of Mambulao.
Encarnacion said that his adviser and professors have been enthusiastic about project and have given him positive feedback.
“I am one of those trained to analyze mercury in water and other materials such as soil and other compounds.
“A few months ago, I have learned about the pollution at Mambulaol Bay, which is most probably due to the proximity of small scale and large scale mining areas,” Encarnacion said.
He said that he got the idea of using Mambulao Bay for his graduate thesis after reading a number of articles in MWBuzz on the worsening state of Mambulao Bay as a result of gold mining operations in the area.
The bay had become the receptacle of mining wastes from the time the defunct Philippine Iron Mines (PIM) and the gold miner San Mauricio Gold Mines began its operations during the 1940s.
Both miners did not have ponds to contain their mining wastes, which were dumped into Mambulao Bay.
Likewise, the small-scale gold mining operations in the municipality have of late contributed greatly to the bay’s silt and mud pollution.
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