DENR scraps ECCs of 6 'environmentally critical' projects | Inquirer News

DENR scraps ECCs of 6 ‘environmentally critical’ projects

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 01:04 PM January 19, 2017
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has canceled the environmental compliance certificates (ECCs) of four mining projects, a woodwork project, and a reclamation undertaking along Manila Bay.

In a press conference on Wednesday, the DENR announced cancelling the ECCs of the following:

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– a nickel extraction project of Intex Resources Philippines Inc. in the towns of Victoria, Pola and Socorro in Oriental Mindoro; and in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.

– a coal mining project of the Forum Cebu Coal Corporation in Dalaguete, Cebu.

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– an iron and copper mining project of the Cekas Development Corporation in Barangay Dansolihon, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental.

– a gold mining and processing project of the Eaglerock Mining Corporation in Diplahan and Bayog towns in Zamboanga del Sur.

– a project of Mejore Wood Works Inc. in Barangay Janipaan, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur.

– the Coastal Bay reclamation project of AllTech Contractors Inc. spanning Las Piñas and Parañaque in Metro Manila

The DENR canceled the ECCs of the projects because they had “lapsed,” said acting undersecretary for legal services Maria Paz “Ipat” Luna. She said most of the projects were currently not in operation.

“[The ECCs] were issued more than five years ago. Environmental Impact Assessments are issued based on the condition of the environment so they have to show us the changes in the environment. They have to show us a new plan. If they want to continue [operations], they have to apply [for the ECC] again,” Luna said.

But DENR Secretary Gina Lopez said the ECCs were cancelled because the projects “would have caused damage to the environment.”

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Lopez cited the reclamation project of Alltech.

As a climate change adaptation measure, “We’re going on a massive mangrove program. The [project] will kill the mangroves. Why would I allow something like that?” said Lopez.

Lopez also noted that the Intex project in Mindora was near a watershed. “Everyone there vehemently did not want mining in that watershed. And so, we’re cancelling it,” she said.

The six cancelled ECCs were the second batch from an ongoing ECC audit on an initial 50 environmentally-critical projects nationwide.

Earlier, the DENR also canceled the ECCs of Century Communities’ housing project at the La Mesa watershed, the Ipilan Nickel project, the Lebach nickel mining project in Barangay Ipilan in Palawan, the Core Mining Corporations mining project in Lopon, Davao, the Austral-Asia mining site in Mati, Davao, and the Sacobia Sun Valley Resort in Clark Special Economic Zone Mabalacat, Pampanga, operated by the Donggwang Clark Corporation.

“We’re continuing to review the ECCs. We’re also changing the policies,” Lopez said. CBB/rga

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TAGS: DENR, environment, Gina Lopez, Mining, News, Reclamation
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