A SANITARY landfill in Barangay Polog, Consolacion town was ordered to stop operating after the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-Central Visayas found that it had violated environmental laws.
The cease and desist order (CDO) was issued to Asian Energy Systems Corp., the operator of the landfill that accepts wastes from private haulers and the local governments of Cebu City, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City and Consolacion.
The EMB also asked the firm to pay P100,000 as fine for its violations. It will be fined P50,000 a day if it continues to operate after receiving the CDO last May 7.
Asian Energy Systems Corp. was found to have violated provisions of Presidential Decree 1586 or the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System and Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, the EMB said in a press statement.
Based on the findings of the EMB-Central Visayas personnel who inspected the landfill last April 23 and May 5, Asian Energy Systems Corp. failed to implement its Environmental Management Plan, resulting in a landslide last May 4.
The EMP implementation is one of the conditions set in the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued to the landfill operator last February 10, 2010.
A garbage truck driver was buried alive under piles of trash during the landslide.
The body of Rodolfo Malasaga, 41, was retrieved four days after.
The EMB also said the landfill exceeded the wastewater effluent standards for chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonia, and total coliform parameters, which violates one of the conditions in the ECC and provisions of the Philippine Clean Water Act.
The management of the landfill was informed about its violations during a technical conference last May 8.
As part of its commitment to correct the violations, Asian Energy Systems Corp. was required to submit a rehabilitation plan for the landslide area within 15 days.
It was also asked to implement a full rehabilitation and assessment of the affected area.
The EMB also directed the landfill operator to immediately stop discharging wastewater and seal all leakage at the site.
Another inspection will be done to check if its recommendations were complied with.
EMB Regional Director William Cuñado said while the landfill in Polog cannot operate yet, the local government units disposing of their garbage in Consolacion may dump their garbage in the landfill owned by ARN Builders Inc. in Barangay Binaliw in Cebu City.
In an interview on Tuesday, May 21, Cuñado said they did not receive any complaint on the reported stench coming from the facility in Binaliw.
He said, though, that he will send inspectors to the landfill to check the situation there.
The Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO) had already asked ARN Builders Inc. to undertake measures that would minimize the stench.
CCENRO chief Ma. Nida Cabrera said she visited the private landfill on Monday, May 20, to check the situation after learning about the complaints of Binaliw residents.
“When I visited the area, the foul smell was already eliminated. It was caused by the piles of garbage from Mandaue City and Cebu City stored in the landfill after the Consolacion landfill was closed. They had to wait for the EMB 7 to allow them to accept the garbage. That is why the wastes were not immediately processed,” she said.
Cabrera said the management of the landfill had started covering the garbage and spraying a deodorizer since Monday to minimize the odor.
The CCENRO also asked the landfill operator to wash all the garbage trucks after the drivers dump garbage in the facility. (RVC, with HBL of SuperBalita CEbu, PR)