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Governor inquires about "green substance" in Pago Harbor

Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga wants to know more about the green substance floating on the waters at Pago Pago Harbor.

The Governor's concerns were outlined in a July 13th letter to Ameko Pato, the director of the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA), and Lt. Tanner Stiehl of the United States Coast Guard's (USCG) local Marine Safety Detachment.

"On three separate occasions in the past two weeks, I have seen a green substance floating  in the waters of Pago Harbor," Lolo wrote, adding that other individuals have reported to him that they have witnessed the same disconcerting substance.

"I want to bring this to your attention so that you can investigate this matter to ensure that the substance is not harmful to the environment or people," Lolo wrote to Pato and Lt. Stiehl, explaining to them that they are both receiving a letter from him about the matter, "so that both ground and marine sources are investigated properly."

Lolo continued, "I would like to know the source, if it is harmful, how long it lasts in the water; and if it is an approved chemical, if it is being used properly, and if there are alternatives."

The Governor told Pato and Lt. Stiehl that if they have any information, he "would like to ask for a report as soon as possible."

Lolo concluded, "If an investigation is required, i request that you start one immediately."

Earlier this year in May, the ocean waters on the east side of the canneries became the talk of the community when passersby noticed that the sea was fluorescent green in color.

Some worried that it was a result of harsh chemicals washing into the ocean and causing major damage to sea life in the area; but investigations later determined that the source was a bucket of green marker dye, the type used by purse seiners to mark their nets.

The dye is non-toxic and had washed into the ocean off a vessel following wet weather conditions.