Environmental groups file petition vs coal projects

ENVIRONMENTAL groups urged Friday the Supreme Court to compel the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to implement the Clean Air Act.

Anti-coal groups Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), communities, and other civil society organizations (CSOs) have filed with the SC a petition urging the two government agencies to act on the proliferation of coal-fired power plants in the country.

Petitioners include Toribio Ortega Jr., Nestorio Castro, Rosalina Aritmetica, Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) Inc., PMCJ, Inc., Sanlakas Inc., and Philippine Earth Justice Center (PEJC), Inc.

Cheryl Magracia, a resident of Limay Bataan victimized by the coal plants in the province, is also a petitioner.

"The DENR failed to fulfill its mandate to revise the emission standards, designate attainment and nonattainment areas, prescribe effluent standards, and to administratively prosecute coal-fired power plants not equipped with the Continuous Monitoring Systems (CEMS) and Continuous Emission opacity Systems (COMS) as required by the Clean Air Act," the petition said.

The petitioners said that despite the Renewable Energy Act and the Clean Air Act, the two agencies have allowed coal plants to proliferate in the country.

"We are finally filing a case to seek the intervention of the Supreme Court an act of total disregard on the laws of the land by our own government agencies that resulted to continuously increasing number of environmental and societal damages," Ian Rivera, National Coordinator of PMCJ, said.

According to petitioners, this is the first ever petition filed against coal powered plants. (SunStar Philippines)

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