DENR threatens to sue US waste exporter

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    THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) yesterday said it will coordinate with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the filing of criminal charges against the exporter and consignee of the illegal waste shipments from the United States that was intercepted at the Subic Bay Freeport early this month.

    The shipments consist of 30 container vans that arrived under the name VIPA Inc. and were consigned to Bataan 2020 Inc., with business address in Baesa, Quezon City. Its manifesto declared that it carries American old corrugated cartons for repulping.

    However, an examination of an initial five containers by the BOC and the DENR revealed prohibited materials which were illegally imported, including a mix of plastic, paper and some face masks.

    The DENR said the shipment violated the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which prohibits the movement of hazardous waste and import of mixed and municipal waste from one border to another.

    The BOC is set to open all 30 container vans to determine the specific cases to be filed against the exporter and the consignee.

    On the other hand, the DENR also issued a show cause order against Rublou Inc. to explain why it fenced off a portion of the protected Masungi Georeserve in Rizal province.

    In a television interview, Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones said they are giving the company until Thursday to respond and provide evidence of their claim on the area or face charges.