Sint Maarten Nature Foundation Expresses Grave Concern Regarding the Dumping of Raw Sewage on Philipsburg Landfill  

Raw Sewage Entered in to Great Salt Pond Before Pumped into Great Bay Due to Heavy Rainfall

On Thursday June 29th Nature Foundation received numerous notifications regarding an incident which happened recently at the Philipsburg Landfill where a septic truck was found dumping raw sewage directly unto the Philipsburg Landfill. Based on the video recorded of the event it is clear that sewage was being illegally dumped and that the septic truck in question was doing so despite objections from witnesses to the event. “It is very clear what is happening on the video. This is a clear example of rules not being followed at the Philipsburg landfill, despite mention being made of increased security at the site. We are also very concerned by comments apparently coming from managers at the landfill stating that this is allowed and happens on a regular basis, which is most definitely not the case. There are various ordinances and pieces of legislation which speak directly to waste management, in particular the disposing of sewage,” commented Tadzio Bervoets, Nature Foundation Manager.


“We all know that the Philipsburg Landfill is plagued by various issues, one of them is the constant leaching or draining of fluid from the landfill into the Great Salt Pond, which is a problem in and of itself. However this issue of dumping raw sewage is made much worse by the heavy rainfall experienced on Thursday and the subsequent opening of the floodgates to lower the levels in the pond. This means that that raw sewage has now directly entered into Great Bay, Great Bay Beach and surrounding areas during a time when two cruise ships are in port. This highlights the statements that we have made over and over again that these types of environmental issues effect our ecosystem, the health of the population and our fragile tourism-based economy,” concluded Bervoets.


The Nature Foundation has sent official letters of protest to the VROMI Ministry, the Ministry of Health VSA and the Prosecutor’s Office regarding the incident and plans to follow-up accordingly. The license plate and business to which the septic truck belongs are clearly visible in the video posted online.