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CHEMICAL DUMPING Print E-mail
People were alerted by a repugnant smell diffusing from a vehicle passing through their towns. Ricardus received many phone calls enquiring and requesting his opinion. Puzzling as it was, he advised people to follow the vehicle until he joined them. They did and discovered that the vehicle carried two containers of chemicals taken from a factory on the coast to be dumped on one of the summits of Lebanon.
The summit was a major watershed that replenishes groundwater and drinking water for a third of Lebanon’s population. Ricardus forbade the dumping of the containers and called for a press conference in front of the Ministry of Environment after learning that the ministry had granted approval for dumping at the specific site. It was one of the fiercest confrontations with the central authority. Ricardus did not back down for any negotiations or semi-solutions, but insisted on the withdrawal of the containers and forbiddance of their dumping on any mountainous site. The minister accused him of fraud and deception of public opinion and called him to stand before the judicial authority. Ricardus did and proved that the dumping of the containers would be an act of violence against our nature and water resources. In years to come, the dumped containers would constitute a major source of chemical pollution to groundwater and groundwater caverns that would be nearly impossible to clean up. Most dangerously, the source of the pollution will not be easy to discover due to the unannounced dumping of chemicals. The carrying on of this action would encourage similar dumping endangering more resources and expanding the area of potential damage.

Ricardus succeeded through his scientific knowledge and vigorous argumentation to maintain pressure in the media and before judicial authorities until the dumping was annulled and the containers were returned to their original place. He saved the country from a catastrophe that would have polluted a good part of Mount Lebanon’s groundwater and would have initiated a chain of dumping of pollutants with unaccountable consequences.
 
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