DENR restores Semirara ECC
(The Philippine Star) - August 12, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has restored the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) of Semirara Mining and Power Corp., with some amendments.

Semirara, the country’s largest coal miner, said yesterday it received a DENR order dated Aug. 10 lifting the suspension order on its ECC.

Immediately after the fatal mine incident that happened last July 17, the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) issued a cease-and-desist order against Semirara until it addresses safety issues in its open-pit mine.

In lifting the suspension order, the DENR said there is no adverse effect or damage to the environment.

“It bears emphasis at the outset that the accidental collapse of the northern wall of the Panian pit did not cause any damage or impact to the environment,” DENR said.

The DENR also said Semirara has complied with the implementation of stabilization and erosion control measures under the ECC.

Investigation showed the collapse of the wall, and not the road, was not contemplated in the ECC provision.

Finally, the DENR said the “collapse of the wall was a fortuitous event beyond the control of the respondent.”

Restoring Semirara’s ECC could pave way for the reinstatement of its international certification for management system and the resumption of its operation as ordered by the Department of Energy (DOE).

DOE OIC-Secretary Zenaida Monsada earlier said the department will base its order on Semirara’s operations on the DENR’s decision on the ECC.

Following the lifting of the suspension order, Semirara is directed to submit proof of compliance on the formulation and implementation of comprehensive monitoring program.

The coal miner is also ordered to submit a detailed assessment on the cause of the slope failure to avoid another similar incident.

It should also conduct a hazard and operability study within 60 days, which should be updated every five years, and install an automatic weather station.

ACIRC DENR DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ECC ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU ORDER RESTORING SEMIRARA SECRETARY ZENAIDA MONSADA SEMIRARA SEMIRARA MINING AND POWER CORP
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