Pampanga steel maker given notice of violation
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) officials on Thursday served a notice of violation to a steel smelting factory in San Simon town, Pampanga province, after they found its furnace to have been emitting pollutants.
The EMB issued the notice to Wanchiong Steel Corp. for “operating an induction furnace with several defective filters causing fugitive particulate emissions affecting the environment.”
The notice, signed by EMB Central Luzon chief, Lormelyn Claudio, cited violation of the Clean Air Act of 1999, or Republic Act No. 8749. She gave the company a few days to repair its pollution control device.
It came after the Fair Trade and Enforcement Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sealed several bundles of steel bars made by Wanchiong.
The steel bars, worth at least P100 million, were found to be “substandard,” according to an Inquirer source.
But video footage obtained by the Inquirer showed a truck hauling steel bars every night from Jan. 25 to 28.
Ben Co, Wanchiong president, did not reply to calls asking about the notice and alleged spiriting out of steel bars ordered held by the DTI.
DTI officials also did not answer calls seeking confirmation if the sealed bars were still inside the compound.
Air quality tests commissioned by the Clean Air Philippines Movement Inc. in October 2017 confirmed high levels of pollution by five steel plants in Pampanga, Valenzuela City and Davao City.
Particulates are said to be the deadliest form of air as these are able to enter the lungs and bloodstream that may lead to permanent DNA mutations, heart attack and premature death, the World Health Organization said.
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