SAN SIMON -- The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-Central Luzon on Tuesday, June 20, ordered the immediate shut down of two large smelting plants in this town.
Officials of EMB-Central Luzon served the cease and desist orders to Wan Chiong Steel Corporation and Melter’s Steel Corporation after their alleged failure to comply with the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999.
The EMB directive disclosed that the agency conducted separate monitoring on Wan Chiong Steel Corporation on April 21 and Melter’s Steel Corporation on May 6 and 7 to assess the measures that were implemented after receiving the notice of violation sent to their respective managements.
Wan Chiong Steel Corporation reportedly stopped its operations in October 2015 to give way for the replacement of eight old units of two-ton capacity induction furnace to twelve-ton induction furnace, including some new air pollution devices.
However, the directive disclosed that the said suction hood servicing induction furnace 1 and 2 has been having mechanical problems that cause excessive smoke emissions while the suction hood intended for induction furnace 3 and 4 are inefficient, thereby aggravating dust emission escaping through the canopy of the process building.
“Results of the sampling showed that the total suspended particulate concentration exceeded the 300 ug/Ncm Air Quality Standards which is a violation of the Philippine Clean Air Act,” the order signed by EMB-3 Director Lormelyn Claudio read.
Meanwhile, the latest compliance monitoring conducted at the Melter’s Steel Corporation revealed that its operation still causes air pollution in the immediate vicinity.
This was allegedly even after it completed the installation of dust collector No. 4 which is intended for the suction hoods connected to the roof of the process building.
Based on the said findings, the two smelting plants were ordered to cease and desist from its scrap steel smelting operations until such time that they can meet the emission standards of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The two companies, which are both located in Barangay San Isidro of this town, are also directed to pay a fine of P50,000 for violation of Presidential Decree 1586 or the Environmental Impact Statement System.
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on June 22, 2017.
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