DCOMM airs TV Special on RIVM, Air quality testing

The Department of Communication (DCOMM) will air a TV Special on the research group from the Netherlands, the Dutch Scientific Institute (RIVM), who has studied the air quality surrounding the Great Salt Pond and the Sanitary landfill.

After Sept. 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma destroyed St. Maarten, the destruction that was left created a large amount of garbage and debris, adding to the garbage landfill.

In the process of finding a solution to the landfill, the Government of St. Maarten commissioned a study by the Dutch Scientific Institute (RIVM) to study the air quality around this landfill. This study had to be conducted in order to find a solution or create a basis of the argument for the establishment towards a solution, a waste management system.

DCOMM, who will air and upload a TV/video Special about what exactly is the purpose and consequences of the RIVM study, spoke to Head of Infrastructure Management at the Ministry of VROMI Claudius Buncamper about the basis and reason for the scientific air quality study.

Buncamper shared that throughout the years, the sanitary landfill has grown year after year without the proper attention, in addition to the intermittent fires throughout the years. Government today has made a conscious decision to try to solve the issue once and for all.

Besides, taking acute measures to quell the incendiary activities and prepared the recovery operation, a study had to be carried out to measure the air quality around the landfill. That study has been commissioned by the Ministries of VROMI and the Ministry Public Health, Social Affairs, and Welfare, Buncamper said.

DCOMM spoke to the RIVM’s public relations officer, Jolanda Roelofs, who explained about the institute and the work they were carrying out to determine with certainty of the toxicity at the landfill and to provide a basis and a scientific argument for a solution.

Arien Stolk of RIVM also provides a more detailed explanation about the technical aspects about the research being conducted by the National Institute.

The research group will conclude their work shortly and the Institute will produce a report stipulating exactly what they found. This information will be shared with the public of St. Maarten. Thereafter, it is up to the St. Maarten Government to explain to the people of St. Maarten, what’s next—a road map to waste management.

On June 17, 2019, the TV Special will air at 7pm on channel 115 Cable TV. Viewers can view the special on St. Maarten Government’s website, Facebook, and YouTube channel at 9am on the same day.