Guv Gwen wants water treatment plant inspected

File photo
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.File photo

A WATER treatment facility operating near the Lusaran River in Cebu City was found to have committed several environmental violations based on recent findings by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7.

Officials of JE Hydro Plant and Bio-Energy Corp., which is located within the Central Cebu Protected Landscape, were called to a meeting with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia at the Capitol on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

It was there that Mary Ann Bueno of the EMB 7 informed the governor of their discoveries.

According to Bueno, the firm that supplies water to the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) constructed an additional lagoon and rock embankment across the Lusaran River, which were not part of its approved Site Development Plan under their environmental compliance certificate (ECC).

Bueno pointed out that the firm expanded the project area without securing an amended ECC or the conduct of another Environmental Impact Assessment.

She said the additional lagoon, which can hold up to 200,000 cubic meters of water from the Lusaran, has had a negative impact on the river’s downstream flow that supplies water to barangays in the adjacent municipalities of Asturias and Balamban in Cebu Province.

Garcia directed the EMB 7, the Provincial Engineering Water District and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources to thoroughly inspect the facility and address the issue promptly.

Last Thursday’s meeting was also attended by MCWD general manager Edgar Donoso.

The governor first brought up the matter during a press conference on May 17 after she learned about the additional lagoon and rock embankment.

She then requested the EMB 7 to check the facility if it complied with environmental regulations since she believed the additions had something to do with the dwindling supply of water to the municipalities of Balamban and Asturias.

JE Hydro normally supplies 30,000 cubic meters of water daily to the MCWD. But with the prolonged drought as a result of the El Niño phenomenon, the number has dropped to 7,059 cubic meters per day, as of May 16.

The lack of rain these past few months had dried up or lowered the water level of some waterways that supply water to the MCWD. This prompted the Capitol to start desilting and dredging the Mananga River in Talisay City and the Luyang River in the northern town of Carmen to alleviate the water production deficit of the MCWD that supplies majority of consumers in these areas. / EHP

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