EMB yet to issue closure orders to San Simon steel plants

SAN SIMON - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has yet to issue closure orders for three large smelting plants in San Simon town despite results of its recent investigation showing the factories’ alleged violation of environmental laws.

The EMB recently issued its findings from the inspection and collection of air quality samples on December 11 to 15 last year, which show Wan Chiong Steel Corporation, Melters’ Steel Corporation and Real Steel Corporation allegedly violated Republic Act 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act and some of their terms in their Environmental Certificates (ECC).

The memorandum issued by EMB’s Air Quality Management Section (AQMS) revealed that Wan Chiong Steel Corporation has been operating without a valid permit to operate since August 20, 2012 and Melters Steel Corporation since January 16, 2012.

Meanwhile, Real Steel Corporation successfully secured all necessary permits but failed to secure an anti-pollution device in its list of devices with permits.

With the said alleged violations, the EMB ordered its Central Luzon office to immediately issue notices of violation to the three steel plants.

EMB-Central Luzon was directed to review the ECCs of the steel plants and to require them to install a continuous emission monitoring system for particulate matter or a continuous monitoring system for particulate opacity.

The steel plants, meanwhile, were required to install closed circuit television cameras on each of their stacks, which should be equipped to transmit real-time digital information of the stack emission to the EMB-Central Luzon file transfer protocol server.

The three steel plants were also directed to improve their safe sampling ports, while Melters Steel Corporation and Real Steel Corporation were urged to conduct more stack tests for validation.
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