Company with Green Awards dumping effluence into Ocean
By Ranmini Gunasekara
A public nuisance action has been filed by the Executive Director of the Centre for Environmental Justice, Hemantha Withanage and five others, against the alleged attempt by a garment factory to release one million litres of hazardous effluence into the Ocean.
Withanage said the action had been filed on 28 July at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court against the garment factory, as well as the transporters of the effluence.
“We got to know that the earlier cases filed by the State authorities had been filed only against drivers of these bowsers belonging to transporters and left out the main culprit,” claimed Withanage.
He further said this company though having won numerous ‘Green Awards’ for environmentally-friendly practices, had continued to pollute the Ocean by dumping effluence since 2017.
“This company has made so much money, but they are doing it by killing our Ocean. They have ‘Green Awards’ and give money to various Corporate Social Responsibility projects, but is it fair for them to do this? It is fine if they never claimed to be sustainable and green. They are showing one face to the public and another to the environment.”
On 11 July, the Marine Environment Protection Authority, the Special Task Force and the Environmental Police, in a coordinated effort, took into custody five of the gully bowsers that had been transporting the hazardous waste to dump them into the Ocean through the Madampitiya Pumping Station.