10 Apr 2008

Legal action off in Samoa dam dispute

2:09 pm on 10 April 2008

A matai of Ta'elefaga village in Samoa has dismissed reports of possible village legal action against the Electric Power Corporation or EPC.

It related to claims of alleged environmental damage caused by the nearby hydro power plant.

The matai, Lautua Sialafau, who is employed by the EPC to look after the plant, confirmed there had been a black substance covering the village's coastal area.

But he now says it's no longer there.

He said the bad smell from the dam reported earlier no longer exists after the government's environment officers fixed problem.

The mayor, who first raised the issue to the media about the environmental impacts of the power station, is now refusing to talk.

Meanwhile, local reports say the village mayor fears legal action could create division among matais.

The village lawyer, Leulua'ialii Tasi Malifa, says the planned legal action was the result of an environmental report into the damage caused by the dam.