The Department of Environment and Natural Reaources (DENR) is set to issue a closure order on the city sanitary landfill in Barangay Sta. Lourdes for violation of existing laws on waste management.
Palawan News has learned from several key sources at the Provincial Environment Management Office that a notice of violation (NOV) along with a cease-and-desist order is awaiting to be served by the DENR’s Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB).
Edna Velasco, chief of the Provincial the Environment Management Office (PEMO) on Monday said the city landfill was included in a list of Palawan establishments that will be issued a CDO.
“Sa list ko lang nakita. Sabi doon it must be implemented within 72 hours. Kung hindi naman din binigay sa amin ‘yon, wala kaming ano (authority) doon. Ang may hawak pa noon doon sa PAB, nasa PAB pa [ang document], hinold pa,” Velasco said.
CENRO Zaldy Cayatoc also said he is aware of the closure order but he has yet to receive a copy of it.
“Actually wala pa kaming kopya ng CDO. May inutusan ako na i-check doon sa office ng Provincial Environment [and Natural Resources] Officer (PENRO), ng EMB, kasi sila ang mag-i-issue ng CDO and Notice of Violations (NOVs),” he said.
Velasco said that aside from the city landfill, also covered by the CDO was the Agumil palm oil mill in Brooke’s Point and a resort in El Nido.
“Wala pa ngayon [ang document] pero follow up ko sa region kung ano na ang nangyari doon. July noong dumating dito ‘yong aming division chief galing ng region. Sa list ko lang nakita,” Velasco added.
Cayatoc noted that the sanitary landfill had been issued a NOV twice, in 2018 and 2019.
“Nagkaroon ulit ng commitment sila. Hindi natin alam kung nagkaroon ng follow up monitoring ‘yong EMB dito sa Palawan at naging basis ng CDO. Kung may ganon, kasi kung walang compliant doon sa commitment nila, possible nga rin na ma-issue ng CDO,” Cayatoc said.
He said that the landfill has already reached its limit and has a problem with its Leachate Treatment Plant (LTP).
“Ang ginagawa ngayon, parang mitigating measures, tinatabunan lang ng lupa, pero dahil ulan nang ulan, may katas talaga ‘yan. Supposedly ang treatment plant na ‘yan ay matapos na ang pagre-repair para di tayo maipunan,” he said.
“Kapag naipunan ‘yan at nag-overflow possible na threat ‘yan sa ilog natin na adjacent at ‘yong pit lake natin na kung saan sa ngayon ay nagakakaroon na ng pag-a-address sa mercury diyan sa pit lake,” he added.
Palawan News on Tuesday morning tried to get the side City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) chief Atty. Carlo Gomez, but he was unable to return its call.