Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Toxic Waste Dumped Off St. Helena Coast, Activists Express Frustration

 


Environmental activists are upset after more than 1,500 tons of toxic chemicals were dumped near St. Helena Bay.

The chemical dump came from the NS Qingdao carrier, a South Korean bulk ship on its way to the Marshall Islands. The ship was anchored in St. Helena Bay after the cargo on the ship released toxic fumes.

The cargo on the ship contained steel coils and fertilizers.

Activists from several environmental groups such as the Extinction Rebellion and The Green’s Connection said they were upset to learn the toxic waste dump was permitted by the South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA) and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.

Following its anchoring in St. Helena Bay, the ship was issued an emergency dumping permit from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.

SAMSA said the waste will end up in the bottom of the sea. The organization said they have been “working tirelessly around the clock to safely manage the unstable chemical cargo since the encounter with its bearer vessel, the NS Qingdao, in Durban last October.”

 “The vessel has no obvious structural damage, and she will return to the closest port after the dumping operation is complete and her cargo is stabilized,” SAMSA said. “An investigation will also be conducted to determine the reason for the cargo reaction.”

The dumping operation is expected to conclude by mid-March 2022.   

 

By Ben Rappaport

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