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Cebu landfill shut after ‘garbage slide’ kills driver

CEBU CITY—The Environmental Management Bureau in Central Visayas has ordered the closure of a private sanitary landfill in Consolacion, Cebu after a “garbage slide” last May 4 that reportedly killed a truck driver, an environmental regulatory body official said on Wednesday.

Engineer William Cuñado, regional director of EMB-Region 7, issued a cease and desist order against the sanitary landfill owned and operated by Asian Energy Systems Corporation located in Polog village in Consolacion.

The establishment was found to have violated the provisions of Environmental Impact Statement System (Presidential Decree 1586) and the Clean Air Act of 2004 (Republic Act 9275), Cuñado said.

“Based on the findings of the inspection conducted by EMB-7 personnel on April 23, 2019 and May 5, 2019, Asian Energy Systems Corp., failed to implement their Environmental Management Plan (EMP) that resulted to a landslide last May 4, 2019,” the bureau said in a statement sent to the Philippine News Agency.

The EMP is listed as among the conditions of the landfill’s Environmental Compliance Certificate issued by the EMB-7 last February 10, 2010.

“These ECC conditions are ought to be complied by the proponents,” the statement read. Cindy Pepito, information officer of EMB-7, told PNA that the piles of garbage that fell from the top have slid all the way down to the service road.

According to her, a truck driver whose identity is yet to be established, was killed by the trash avalanche. EMB-7 investigators also found the landfill’s failure to comply with the fifth condition of the ECC and the regulations laid down under RA 9275 as it reportedly “exceeded the wastewater effluent standards for chemical oxygen demand [COD], ammonia, and total coliform parameters.”

The cease and desist order was served last May 7, but the appraisal of the landfill’s compliance to the conditions as directed by the Technical Conference between the EMB-7 investigators and the management is ongoing.

The statement said the EMB-7 ordered the landfill to pay a fine of P100,000. To ensure commitment to solve the problem, the corporation that runs the landfill is required to submit rehabilitation plan in the area where the garbage-slide occurred within 15 days.

The bureau also directed the landfill management to conduct and implement a full rehabilitation and assessment of the area affected by garbage-slide.

The landfill is also required to immediately stop discharging wastewater and seal all leakages to avoid violating the Clean Air Act.

Re-inspection will be conducted by EMB-7 to determine compliance. The corporation is required to observe the provisions of the closure order. Otherwise, they will be fined P50,000 per day of illegal operation, the statement said.

Topics: Environmental Management Bureau , Landfill
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