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Statement by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) on an alleged pollution incident in Rio Cobre from the Bog Walk Gorge to Zepherton

Published Date: May 15, 2023

The NEPA yesterday responded to a reported pollution incident along the Bog Walk Gorge, spanning Flat Bridge to Zepherton. A technical team was immediately mobilized and responded to investigate the report.

The technical team spent hours conducting assessments along the entire river space and has determined that the report of a pollution incident is not credible, as no physical evidence of pollutants was found; there was no impacts on the river ecosystems; and no upwelling of concerns received from residents. In fact, anecdotal information to the team, is that the phenomenon has been occurring for upwards of six months at the location.  The team also observed residents and users happily enjoying the resources of the river bathing, swimming and wading in the water without discomfort.

The team’s investigation did observe a phenomenon of water emerging from an underground source approximately 300 meters upstream of the recreation bathing area at Zepherton, before it merged with the regular water flow along the Rio Cobre. This requires hydrological assessment. As such, the Agency has directed requests to the Water Resources Authority (WRA), the government authority with the professional and technical expertise, for investigation and assessment.

The NEPA, is committed to good environmental management and protection of our rivers and the resources, and will continue to track the development while it awaits the assessment by the WRA.

Public Education and Corporate Communication Branch,

National Environment and Planning Agency; Tel: 876-754-7540;