Cebu News

DENR calls out hydro plant in Cebu City for violations

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR)-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has reported violations in the operation of a hydro plant along Lusaran River in Cebu City.

DENR-EMB noted some violations by JE Hydro Plant and Bio-Energy Corporation, which include the construction of an additional lagoon and a rock embankment across the river, both of which were not part of the approved Site Development Plan (SDP) in the ECC.

The hydro plant is located along the Lusaran river in Cebu City and is within the Central Cebu Protected Landscape (CCPL).

EMB’s Engr. Mary Ann Bueno, according to the Capitol’s official news network, said the company violated conditions in the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), which include the construction of an additional lagoon, that could hold up to 200,000 cubic meters of water, and reportedly has a negative impact on the downstream flow of the Lusaran River.

This has affected the water supply to barangays in the municipalities of Asturias and Balamban.

As such, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has asked DENR-EMB to thoroughly inspect the hydro plant, together with the Provincial Engineering Water District, and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) to address the concerns immediately.

Aside from that, the company accordingly expanded the project area without undertaking another Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) or securing an amended ECC.

These violations were reported to Garcia during a meeting at the Capitol on May 23 attended by officials of MCWD headed by general manager Edgar Donoso and officials of JE Hydro Plant and Bio-Energy Corporation.

 “This is not an ordinary kind of thing… this is a crisis. It is critical. I have already declared a state of calamity, so beware,” Garcia warned.

Gov. Garcia said it is important to resolve the issue to ensure the continuous and sustainable water supply to the affected areas.

It was also stressed that it is crucial that all parties involved would work together to find solutions that will not only comply with environmental regulations, but also benefit the communities that rely on the Lusaran River for their water needs.

At the moment, desilting Lusaran River in Cebu City has begun to help improve water flow and supply for Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD). (CEBU NEWS)

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