Running parallel to the access road to the residential area south east of the San Pedro Airstrip is a canal which recently became private property. This was as a result of some 49 lots which were subdivided and issued to various individuals from San Pedro by Hon. Manuel Heredia.
The new subdivision raised concerns in previous months (Vol. 20, Issue #44), and many of the lots issued ran through the only access route available to the residents of that area south west of the airstrip. Today that sub division is raising concerns for another reason, this time around, it could be a serious health issue not only to residents in the immediate area, but to all individuals connected to San Pedro's water system.
As expected, owners have commenced the reclamation process of land that is presently under water. What caught the attention of The San Pedro Sun were the approximately 15 freezers and refrigerators, along with old butane gas tanks among other non biodegradable items that were simply thrown into the canal running through about six of those properties. It brings to mind a "Dump Site". Not only is this practice very detrimental as it causes pollution in just about every form - but it provides a sore sight for adventurous tourists and visitors to the island.
While the site was absolutely deplorable, the stench that emanated from the canal was strong and putrid. What should have been a land fill project was apparently ground zero for air, water and land pollution. Opinions from professionals in the health department agreed that the items being used in that area should NOT be used as landfill.
On Tuesday, February 8th, 2011, The San Pedro Sun caught up with Councilor Juan Alamilla, the councilor responsible for Environmental issues on the island. Mr. Alamilla informed The Sun that he was unaware of that situation. "Upon learning of the situation, I immediately went over to the site to see what was going on and I noticed that there is a lot of refrigerators and stuff that are not good for filling up lots in the canal. I just had a meeting with the SPTC Foreman. So tomorrow [Wednesday] morning at 9:00am we're going over there to clean up all that mess and we are going to make sure that people don't continue to do that."
According to Mr. Alamilla the recommended materials for land fill are construction debris such cement concrete, lumber or even trees. He strongly spoke against the usage of any container that previously contained gas, air conditioners, refrigerators or any material or items that would be harmful to the environment and community. He informed The Sun that presently there are no penalties for improper landfill but agrees that there should be some sort of mechanism in place to monitor what land owners use for land fill in an effort to maintain a healthy environment. (He promised to work on that forthwith.)
Councilor Alamilla makes a plea to the general public that whenever they see any individuals using such harmful material as landfill to please contact him at the San Pedro Town Council 226-2198, or call him directly at 627-8872, with that information so that this problem can be eradicated. All tips will remain anonymous.
San Pedro Sun