DENR checks if Kepco coal dust pollution in Naga within limits
THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7) recently conducted tests to determine if the amount of dust particles around the Korean Electric Power Corp. – Salcon Power Corp. (KSPC) coal-fired power plant in Naga City is within acceptable limits.
Director Allan Arranguez of the Environmental Management Bureau said KSPC would be fined, among other consequences, if the dust exceeded the limits.
Aranguez said he instructed their sanitation engineer to closely monitor the environmental compliance of the coal fired power plant.
“I also wanted to foresee the effectivity and efficiency of their newly installed mitigating measures,” Arranguez told Cebu Daily News
He was referring to measures that KSPC put in place to contain dust from their coal yard.
Arranguez said they already determined there was excess of Total Solid Particles (TSP) in the area in a technical conference with the power plant last month but gave KSPC a chance after they promised to install the mitigating measures.
“If they would exceed (the allowable amount of coal dust) this time, I would forward the findings to the Pollution Adjudication Board for investigation,” Arranguez said.
In a press statement, KSPC said they are identifying the potential source of coal dust which has continued to disturb nearby residents in barangay Colon, Naga City.
“We have identified the cause of earlier complaints and work was immediately done to solve the problem. This time, we are looking again into the specific complaints,” said KSPC General Manager for Community, Public Relations and Environment Reinerio Lastimoso.
Lastimoso said they are also ready to install additional mitigating measures for coal dust pollution after their investigation.
He said they assigned personnel during coal unloading to monitor if dust still escapes the coal yard.
DENR has set up a monitoring system for the ambient air quality, particularly on the Total Suspended Particulates (TSP), approximately 100 meters away.
Environment lawyer Ben Cabrido advised KSPC to check the stockyard of Toledo which has a “correct design” for a coal ash facility.
Cabrido said they are willing to help residents in barangay Colon if they wanted to file environment case against Kepco.
“We will consolidate the complaint with the pending case on coal ash,” Cabrido said.
He said microscopic coal dust are more hazardous to health since they can infiltrate the lungs.
Cabrido said the coal dust pollution is a violation of the Clean Air Act.
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