Geothermal firm told: Rehabilitate

Multiagency report tells EDC to clean up, finds no water contaminant

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CEBU CITY—A multipartite monitoring team (MMT) has recommended that the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) rehabilitate the area hit by a landslide that killed 14 workers on March 1 inside its geothermal complex in Kananga town, Leyte.

The eight-man team declared five water sources surrounding the facility free from contamination. The MMT also cited EDC for complying with its environmental compliance certificate (ECC) particularly in following standard operating procedures for occupational safety inside its geothermal facility.

The four-page report was signed by Letecia Maceda, director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Environmental Management Bureau in Eastern Visayas.

Those who prepared the report were Manuel Saceda Jr. and Rosario Udtohan of the DENR regional office, Rufino Pepito of the Ormoc City government, Gerardo Reyes Jr. of the Kananga municipal government, Russ Mark Gamallo of the Department of Energy, Aristotle Mazo of the Department of Science and Technology in Eastern Visayas and Leonita Sabando and Ma. Liza Tumanda of EDC.

Fourteen workers were killed while 21 were injured when a landslide hit EDC’s Pad 403 in Upper Mahiao, Barangay Lim-ao, at 9:50 a.m. on March 1.

They were among 45 workers of JE Arradaza who were building a concrete shelter to protect steam pipes from falling rocks and debris.

JE Arradaza is the subcontractor of First Balfour, general contractor of EDC.

According to the report, the landslide cut off the two-phase line that fed the Upper Mahiao Power Plant.

“The wells were shut off past 11 a.m. [of March 1], resulting in cessation of threats to the environment,” the report said.

At least 20,000 cubic meters of debris cascaded from the mountain, creating a mark 60 meters long and 2 meters high.

In its report, the MMT recommended that EDC implement rehabilitation work in the affected area. The MMT would inspect the progress of the rehabilitation work.

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