Environmental groups urge DENR to suspend Bataan coal power plant due to ash spill

admin   •   January 11, 2017   •   4780

Environmental groups urge the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to suspend the operation of a coal-fired power plant in Limay, Bataan.

Environmental groups urge the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to suspend the operation of a coal-fired power plant in Limay, Bataan.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is urged by environmental groups to release a directive that would suspend the operation of a coal-fired power plant owned by San Miguel Corporation and Petron in Limay, Bataan.

This, after reports that the said power plant has failed to protect the environment and has caused health hazards to residents living nearby.

READ: Residents bemoan ash spill from local power plant

“Dito kami nababahala na kapag patuloy itong nag operate (…) Kung ang suspension at desist order ay para lang sa dumping pero patuloy ang operation ng planta dito ay saan nila ida-dump ngayon ang 250 tons na coal ash,” said Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) national coordinator Ian Rivera.

(We really worry about this. If the power plant continues to operate and if the suspension and desist order against them is only for the dumping but its operation continues, where will they dump the 250 tons of coal ash?)

It can be recalled that DENR released a notice of violation and stoppage order against the dumping site. But the groups said the order is limited to coal ash pond and not included in the halt to the operation.

The PMCJ and Center for Energy, Ecology and Development argued that if the power plant in Limay, Bataan continues to produce ash, it would eventually affect the environment and the health of the residents.

WATCH: DENR investigates ash spill in Bataan

CEED national coordinator Gerry Arances stated that coal, no matter how you defend it, is still the dirtiest type of energy.

Aside from the suspension, the environmental group is also urging the DENR to audit first coal-fired power plants in line with the compliance certificates the agency is asking for.

The group also argued that the issue has to be investigated to determine the violations possibly being committed by the management of the power plant.

“Malinaw na meron, unang-una na d’yan hindi nagbigay ng pahintulot ang local government unit ng Limay na magtapon sila, mag-imbak ng ash. Ang ginawa nila ay nagtambak pa rin ng coal ash despite kawalan ng pahintulot, ng permiso mula sa LGU,” said Aaron Pedrosa, secretary general of Sanlakas

(There’s a clear violation. First is that the local government unit of Limay did not permitted them to throw or store ashes. What they did is that they store coal ash without permission from the LGU.) — Joshua Antonio | UNTV News & Rescue

DENR 7 rescues two green sea turtles in Naga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 6, 2019

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Central Visayas has rescued two sea turtles in Tinaan, Naga City.

The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) in Argao rescued the two sea turtles after they were found trapped in a fisherman’s net near the shoreline.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has declared green sea turtles as endangered. It is also one of the largest sea turtles in the world.

“The captured green sea turtles or Chelonia mydas measured (1) 57 centimeters long and 52 centimeters wide and (2) 69 centimeters long and 64 centimeters wide,” the DENR Central Visayas said on the Facebook page.

They also urged the public to help protect all wildlife and endangered species.—AAC

DENR tells LGUs: Use geohazard maps to strengthen disaster management

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2019

Government troops and civilians work together during the retrieval operations in Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has reminded local government units (LGU) to use geological hazard maps as a guide to strengthen their disaster preparedness and management.

The DENR made the call following strong earthquakes and incessant rains being experienced in Mindanao.

In a statement, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said it is highly imperative for LGUs, especially those in Mindanao, to take a look at the geohazard maps prepared by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and take note of areas declared as highly susceptible for flooding and landslide.

He said the continuous occurrences frequent rain shower “could aggravate things” in parts of Mindanao that are still reeling from aftershocks.

“Earthquakes and rains are a deadly combination,” Cimatu said. “Mountainous and hilly areas that experience earthquakes and intense rainfall render these areas highly susceptible to landslides.”

The DENR chief said he had instructed the MGB to ensure that all local officials have copies of the geohazard maps, including those who were elected for the first time in the May 2019 polls.

Around 200,000 maps, at a scale of 1:10,000, have been produced and distributed to LGUs, national government agencies, schools, and civil society groups and private organizations engaged in disaster mitigation and relief activities.

A total of 1,618 municipalities nationwide were covered by the MGB’s geohazard mapping program.

Cimatu also ordered the MGB to double its efforts in conducting rapid damage assessment, as well as updating the maps, especially in areas that have been recently hit by earthquakes.

The MGB said it has deployed teams to Mindanao to identify landslide areas and new landslide-prone areas that may have formed as a result of the recent disaster.

The geohazard maps, which are available in 1:50,000 and 1:10,000 scales, can be accessed on the websites of the DENR and the MGB.

DENR issues environmental compliance certificate to Kaliwa Dam project

Maris Federez   •   October 23, 2019

Filipinos belonging to the indigenous Dumagat tribe paddle a boat along a river in the Sierra Madre mountain range, Quezon province, Philippines, 15 May 2019 (issued on 24 May 2019). Thousands of indigenous people and peasant families residing in the Sierra Madre mountain range are living under the of threat of expulsion from the area due to the Kaliwa Dam project. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has issued the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for the construction of the Kaliwa Dam project.

According to DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, indicated in the ECC are the measures that the implementors must make to ensure that the construction of the dam will not have a major effect on the environment and on the well-being of the residents in the areas covered in the project.

Antiporda added that permission from other government agencies, such as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), must also be acquired before the project starts, as indigenous groups will be affected by the project.

“Nakakahon yung ating pagprotekta sa ating mamamayan. If, in case, hindi nila sundin o tupadin yang kanilang ginawang ‘yan, wala tayong magagawa kundi i-recall yang ECC na ‘yan,” Antiporda said.

The Kaliwa Dam, which is 60-meters high, will be constructed in the boundaries of General Nakar and Infanta in Quezon province.

It is expected to supply 600 million liters of water per day to 3-million households.

A tunnel measuring 4-meters in diameter and 27.7 kilometers in length will be installed 200 meters below the ground, stretching to the outlet portal that is set to be placed in the town of Teresa in the province of Rizal.

Its watershed will cover an area of 9,800 hectares.

China will fund 85% of the total project cost of P12.5-billion.

Meanwhile, a group opposing the project said around 5,000 families will be displaced with the construction of the dam.

They claimed that Barangay Daraitan, a famous tourist spot in Tanay, Rizal, will be greatly affected by the construction.

They also insist that the project did not go through the right process of public consultation.

“Ang ECC ng Kaliwa Dam is illegal. It contradicts and violates the law on environmental impact assessment,” said Ian Rivera of the PMCJ/Stop Kaliwa Dam Network.

The DENR, for its part, vowed to strictly monitor the construction of the dam in case the project pushes through.

The MWSS targets to start the project in 2020 and have it completed in 2023. (from the report of Rey Pelayo) /mbmf

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