Hermosa, Bataan—Econest Waste Management Corporation CEO Atty. Beulah Coeli Fiel said Environment Management Bureau (EMB) Region 3 found no environmental violations of their company but only failed submit certain post-Environmental Compliance Certificate documents and will be paying a fine of P50,000.00.
“EMB 3 Regional Director Wilson Trajeco admitted during our technical conference last March 16 that our failure to submit the lacking documents do not prove acts of environmental degradation on our part”, she said.
Last month, Mayor Jopet Inton padlocked the Hermosa sanitary landfill facility being operated by Econest for alleged violation of environmental laws.
The LGU Hermosa said temporary closure order was contingent on the ongoing EMB proceedings.
Econest was operating the sanitary landfill facility situated in Brgy. Mambog under the public private partnership scheme.
“Instead, it is LGU Hermosa that may be held liable for failure to liquidate the funding assistance that it received from the national government for the safe closure and rehabilitation program (SCRP) of the town’s former open dumpsite,” Fiel said.
“The local government unit did not comply with the SCRP that it submitted to the EMB for the funding to be released”, she added.
“The SCRP contained, among others, the installation of an effective gas ventilation system, a perimeter fence, and a leachate network to be connected to the sanitary landfill’s wastewater treatment facility”, she said. “But the contractor that was awarded the project, merely installed a vertical 4-inch PVC pipe, without the horizontal pipe underneath to collect the methane gas,” the Econest CEO also said.
“The contractor did not also install a leachate network but merely dug up a canal that goes directly into a pit where the wastewater from the open dumpsite would flow,” she added.
“It is the “lagoon” that the mayor, in his media interview during the closure, was imputing against Econest. They did that, they received funding. It has no perimeter fence as well”, Fiel said.
“Even worse, a coal stockyard right above the open dumpsite did not install its own leachate network system, and whenever it rains, the water with coal goes to the same “lagoon.” The stockyard is owned by the mayor’s friend”, she also said.
“Regional Director Trajeco was surprised by these revelations and vowed to investigate the compliance by the LGU Hermosa of the project that was funded by the national government as well as the coal stockyard,” she said.