Sala IV orders research into fertilizer contamination

The Sala IV has ordered a litany of government agencies to find within three months the sources of fertilizer contamination in the water supplies of the communities of Milano, el Cairo and Luisiana.

The agencies also must determine the cause and set up a plan to remedy the problem, said the court, according to a summary released by the Poder Judicial.

The fertilizer is a product of pineapple cultivation, according to residents of the zone. The amount of land devoted to pineapples has increased dramatically in recent years, and there have been previous environmental actions against producers. One operation was shut down for a time for environmental problems.

The court also ordered the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados to conduct a study of possible contamination at a number of water sources in the country. They include:

Barva, Libertad and Colima, Banderillas de Cartago, Río Naranjito in Quepos, Río Jiménez, Río Santa Clara, Molino, the creeks of Pacayas and Plantón, the upper part of Río Reventazón, the Caribbean coral reefs, and the mangroves of Térraba- Sierpe and Caño Negro.

The agency was ordered to report its findings to the court in two years.

Environmentalists have been protesting the cultivation of pineapple for years and blame foreign firms for damaging the environment.

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