Group wants to suspend Bataan coal power plant operations | Inquirer News
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Group wants to suspend Bataan coal power plant operations

/ 06:00 PM January 09, 2017

An environmental group on Monday called on concerned government agencies to uphold the suspension of the operations of the Limay Bataan coal power plant for dumping toxic coal ash.

Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) also urged the government to compel San Miguel Corporation (SMC), which owns the Bataan coal power plant, to shoulder the health and environment costs caused by its pollution.

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“Environment Secretary (Gina) Lopez’ declaration to suspend SMC’s coal power plant operations, not just its ash dumping, should be upheld until the pollution’s impact is fully remediated. SMC should shoulder all the medical and environmental rehabilitation costs incurred by its coal power plant’s toxic ash dumping,” said Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of Kalikasan PNE, in a statement.

Earlier, Secretary Lopez said that the giant conglomerate has to “stop operations,” adding that she is going to “insist that they take care of all the medical bills.”

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Kalikasan noted that coal ash contains a host of toxic substances, including arsenic, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals, and can pollute the surrounding land, water and air. Coal ash pollution can cause cancer and other serious health impacts to people’s circulatory, respiratory, nervous and other organ systems.

But SMC said it had problems in constructing its ash pond because the local government denied the necessary permits for the plant.

Kalikasan PNE noted, however, that the coal facility should not have been permitted to run if it was non-compliant with regulations.

“We expect SMC will vigorously challenge the cease and desist order against its power plant, hiding behind the electricity needs of the public. The national government must ensure the adequate, clean energy supply to consumers amid the suspension. SMC should be penalized for any power shortage that may happen because of the suspension,” said Dulce./ac

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TAGS: coal-fired power plant, Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment, Petron, Philippine news updates, San Miguel Corporation
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