Environmental Management Authority (EMA) managing director and CEO Dr Joth Singh says it is no longer possible to do tests on the corbeaux and crayfish that were found dead last month. Samples were taken from the carcasses of 150 corbeaux that were found dead or dying on April 9 at the heliport in Chaguaramas and 50 crayfish that were killed in the Marianne River, Brasso Seco, a few days before.
After tests done locally were inconclusive, Singh had told the T&T Guardian on April 30 that the samples would be sent abroad for testing. But in a telephone interview yesterday he said the samples were not good after being in storage for over a month. “They are not worth analysing and we lost an opportunity to determine the cause. The samples of the corbeaux were sent to the forensic lab and we haven’t received any official results and we are not expecting anything new,” he said.
The IMA did not have the capability to test the samples, he said, adding that talks were taking place over plans for a permanent environmental testing centre. He said the EMA had been in discussions with its line ministry, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. “We had a discussion about the need to have lab. The IMA is being looked at to have the capacity for environmental testings. We are exploring the University of the West Indies and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) and a service outside. If the circumstances arise, it is to make sure we have one locally.
In a country like T&T we should have those facilities. We also see a possibility in Florida,” he said. Singh said the fish kill at La Pastora, Santa Cruz, last Friday was not a poisoning episode but was linked to a construction exercise by a private company that was building a retaining wall.