Guv calls on DENR to act on plant pollution

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014


NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said Tuesday the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should act on the air and water pollution problem of the San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. (SCBI).

"We do not want to step in because they might question our authority over the matter," the governor said.

Marañon said he agreed with the move of the local government of San Carlos City to order the closure of the SCBI operation if it fails to address the foul odor that has affected residents of the city and the neighboring Calatrava town.

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The smell comes from the plant’s waste water lagoon that has untreated water with high acidity.

The governor said the P10,000 daily fine required by the Provincial Environmental and Natural Resources Office (Penro) against SCBI for the odor emission is just a small amount.

"That is too small. I agree on that fine and then closure if they could not comply with the DENR standards," Marañon said.

SCBI public relations officer Jojo Salvador said they have already installed pipes in the waste water treatment facility to avoid overflowing of the waste water when it rains.

At this time, the ethanol plant is operating on a 50 percent capacity of their waste water treatment facility, he said.

He added the action taken and their future plans were presented yesterday by the company to San Carlos City Mayor Gerardo Valmayor.

Valmayor has demanded that the firm address the pollution problem, or face sanctions that could include closure of its operations.

Salvador said they will be back to the plant's full operation once the required waste water treatment is fully installed as part of the company's long term program.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 30, 2014.

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