EMB 7 tells school to amend ECC

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Friday, June 13, 2014


THE team from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7 that inspected yesterday a project of the University of San Carlos at its Talamban campus found cut trees and a road that is wider than what is stated in the undertaking’s environmental compliance certificate (ECC).

Ariel Gillera of EMB 7 said the ECC for the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus (USC-TC) project, issued in 2004 yet, covered the widening of a road to eight meters.

But Gillera noted that the road being constructed at USC-TC is 16 meters wide because it includes a four-meter sidewalk and bike lane on both sides.

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He also said USC does not have a hauling permit this year, although it was able to secure hauling permits every year since 2010.

Gillera said USC needs to secure an amended ECC and obtain a hauling permit.

USC, in a statement sent by e-mail to Sun.Star Cebu, said it will comply with all requirements set by EMB.

Permit

The school administration said it secured a permit to cut 170 trees within the campus in line with the development.

The tree cutting permit, issued on June 17, 2003, required USC to plant trees to replace those that will be cut.

USC communication consultant Cerwin Eviota said the university, with the help of students under the Civic Welfare Training Service program, has planted thousands of trees on the 80-hectare property of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), the religious order that owns and operates the university.

Eviota said earth-moving activities at the Talamban campus is in line with the development of a two-hectare stadium and are covered by building and hauling permits from the Cebu City Government.

Flooding

During yesterday’s inspection, the EMB 7 team was not able to determine if the USC project would cause flooding in nearby areas, as alleged by some persons that the government agency declined to name.

Eviota said the campus has 10 water detention ponds that are connected to rain catchment areas. These detention ponds would serve as mitigating measures against floods, he added.

Gillera advised school officials to amend their ECC by submitting an environmental performance report and management plan to the EMB.

He said EMB 7 will also invite USC officials to a technical conference this month to discuss how to avoid potential risks that the project may cause.

Gillera said he still has to check if the logs he found in the campus violated logging regulations.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 14, 2014.

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