Naga City residents call for new order against Kepco coal

Posted on May 7, 2011

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By Candeze R. Mongaya, Reporter
 
 
 
ENVIRONMENT stakeholders are calling for the implementation of a new cease-and-desist order against the Korean Electric Power Corp.-Salcon Power Corp. (Kepco-SPC) coal-fired power plant in Naga after measures to contain coal dust pollution allegedly failed.

“With our present data and the status of coal dust reaching our house, a new CDO should be issued,” said Rodien Paca, a resident of barangay Colon in Naga City where the plant is operating.

Paca and members of the Naganian Awareness Against Pollution Association (NAAPA) have been complaining since Saturday about coal dust reportedly getting into their houses from the power plant.

Several photos and videos of the coal dust that infiltrated the homes were posted in the group’s Facebook page.

Paca said they are calling for the reconstruction of the Multi-partite Monitoring Team (MMT) of Kepco so that they would be more “functional.”

He said the evidence posted on their Facebook page is sufficient evidence to prove the non-compliance of Kepco in containing dust.

Environmentalist Vince Cinches of 350.org also said a new cease-and-desist order (CDO) should be implemented since the lifting of previous CDO had “no basis and was ill-advised.”

Cinches said that a new Multi-partite Monitoring team should also be established for Kepco.

“A genuine MMT should be constituted which would act independently and recommend corrective measures including shutting down of operations,” Cinches said.

Cinches said members of the MMT should go beyond “attending meetings to eat snacks, signing attendance sheets and collecting honorariums.”

Naga City Mayor Val Chiong said he wanted to reach out to the residents to hear their complaints. However, he said the residents have not forwarded their complaints to them.

Chiong said there's no need for their assistance regarding the coal dust from Kepco since residents already coordinated with the power plant.

Chiong also lauded the move of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Central Visayas (DENR-7) to check tTotal suspended particulates (TSP) in the area.

“Finally, they have done something. It’s also their responsibility because that task is very technical and requires their expertise,” Chiong said.

However, Chiong said he did not notice any coal dust coming from Kepco since the complaints started last week.

“I also monitor the area every time I pass by, but I did not notice anything,” Chiong said, whose house is less than a kilometer from the power plant.

Chiong said he called the Kepco management when he read about the complaints from the newspaper, and the power plant assured they investigated the matter and repaired the defective conveyor that was the reported source of dust.

Asked if he would issue another cease-and-desist order against Kepco, Chiong said that they still have to study the plan.

Kepco-SPC general manager for Community, Public Relations and Environment Reinerio Lastimoso said they had been spraying the coal with water every 30 minutes to lessen the dust.

He said they are waiting for the results of the DENR-7’s TSP tests, which measure the dust in the environment.

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