Ethanol plant firm willing to pay fines on environ lapse
Juancho R. Gallarde (The Freeman) - August 3, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Universal Robina Corporation had manifested willingness to pay the administrative fines for operating the Fuel Ethanol Plant at Barangay Tamisu in Bais City, Negros Oriental, without the Air Pollution Source Equipment, in violation of the terms and conditions set in the Environmental Compliance Certificate issued to the company.

This was contained in a signed document among the different stakeholders after the July 24 technical conference at the Environment Management Bureau-7 office in Mandaue City, Cebu.

The conference was attended by the URC legal counsel, Mary Jane Balagtas, who committed to undertake measures to eliminate and mitigate the foul odor emanating from the plant.

The company also agreed to pursue the acquisition of the adjoining ponds, owned by private owners, which would help in solving the present problem.

URC further said it will activate its Multipartite Monitoring Team so that any problem concerning the plant’s operation can be immediately acted upon, while it vowed to be open to any complaint from the neighborhood.

Another commitment URC had issued was to improve the perimeter of the containment lagoon by concreting its boundaries, within 90 days after the signing of the agreement.

This was as far as the fish kill incident was concerned while another technical conference is scheduled to be conducted regarding the other violations of the provisions of the ECC, which include operating the waste water facility without a discharge permit, lack of information and education campaign, no mayors permit, no tree planting activity undertaken, among others.

Meanwhile, results of the water sampling sent to the regional office for examination showed parameters that were beyond the standards of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources: The pH level, the biological oxygen demand, and total suspended solids, while dissolved oxygen was reported to be zero, which could have caused the fish kill.

Loreto Rivac, chief of the Provincial Environmental Management Unit in Negros Oriental, however said the results of the sampling will still be subjected to interpretation by technical personnel.

AIR POLLUTION SOURCE EQUIPMENT BAIS BAIS CITY BARANGAY TAMISU DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ENVIRONMENT MANAGEMENT BUREAU ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE FUEL ETHANOL PLANT LORETO RIVAC MANDAUE CITY MARY JANE BALAGTAS NEGROS ORIENTAL
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