Benguet Corporation ordered to transfer refinery-A A +A
Saturday, March 9, 2013
ITOGON, Benguet -- The legislative body recently ordered Benguet Corporation (BC) to immediately transfer its refinery plant for the protection of the people’s health.
Resolution 41 series of 2013 directs the firm’s general manager, Engr. Randolph Afidchao Jr., for the relocation of the plant to avoid further damage to health of residents.
The plant is under the BC–Acupan Contract Mining Project.
Some residents of Keymen’s Hill raised their concerns against BC refinery plant during the council’s regular session. They said the plant emits smoke which is now affecting their health. The group’s spokesperson claimed the situation has worsened.
The Council earlier requested the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)–Cordillera to conduct air quality test on the exhaust emission of the scrubber installed by the company.
Benguet Corporation later submitted the result of the air quality test conducted by a third party, Aer Aqua Terra Technologies Inc. The result stated: “Test result for the scrubber as well as ambient air quality is generally within standards set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).”
But residents claimed the test was conducted when there were no smelting and processing activities being done within the refinery plant.
In order to clean up the issues on the test, BC committed to conduct another air quality test with the presence of the people’s representatives, DENR, and the barangay and local government units. But the test was never conducted until now.
Apart from the smoke emission, the BC’s pollution control officer made several commitments to the Pollution Adjudications Board prior to the plant’s operation.
But, “it is observed that Benguet Corporation failed to substantially comply with these commitments to the prejudice of the residents of Keymen’s Hill and the adjoining and adjacent communities,” read the statement of the town officials.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 09, 2013.