Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lopez asked to shut down Bataan coal plant

By Jonathan L. Mayuga -

ENVIRONMENTAL groups are asking the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to shut down a coal-fired power plant in Bataan whose operation caused ash fall that threaten the health and well-being of communities in Limay, Bataan.
The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) earlier staged a picket in front of the DENR main office in Quezon City last week, challenging Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez’s stance against destructive development projects.
In particular, they chided the DENR chief’s inaction regarding a coal-fired power plant in Barangay Lamao in Limay, Bataan, which left the residents of the communities with different health complications owing to bottom ash from coal-plant operation.
Lopez vowed to address the issue but Ian Rivera, national coordinator of PMCJ, said one month after allegedly issuing a notice of violation to its operator, no corrective action has been undertaken.
“I don’t think this issue is being taken seriously,” he said.
The Environmental Management Bureau’s Central Luzon office sent a notice of violation on December 28, 2016, and the Office of the DENR secretary sent a similar notice on January 6 this year.
“It was clearly stated in the documents issued to the operators of the power plant that they are prohibited from continuing their test run and dumping operations while matters are being investigated but clearly, operations are going on” Derec Cabe, coordinator of Nuclear-Free Bataan Movement (NFBM) said for his part.
PMCJ and NFBM lamented that no formal complaint was ever filed by the DENR against the operators of the power plant.

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