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2 steel plants in San Simon found in violation of Clean Air Act

SAN SIMON, Pampanga — Two steel plants in this town have admitted to experiencing “issues” on the operation of their Air Pollution Control Devices (ACPDs), particularly their bag filters, which have resulted to massive air pollution over the past weeks.

The steel companies likewise acknowledged the findings of an investigating team assigned by Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) officials in their respective violations to Republic Act 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act.

During the technical conference held late last week immediately following the release of its investigation report, representatives from Melters Steel Corporation and Wan Chiong Steel Corporation, committed to submit a Compliance Action Plan (CAP) to prevent excessive fugitive emissions and dark smoke within two weeks.

Pollution Control Officers Mia Portia Joela T. Cabunilas of Wan Chiong and Neil L. Ricohermoso of Melters said both their companies will cease and desist from operations immediately in the event of a breakdown of their ACPDs, and to submit an emission test to be conducted every week for three consecutive weeks immediately after repair of their APCDs, and submit the result every week.

The local government unit concerned will be given a copy of the said report.

Both companies also vowed to immediately operate their ACPDs efficiently and effectively and install an emission monitoring system such as Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) and CCTVs, directed to the stacks and process building, within three months.

Wan Chiong, meanwhile, committed to apply for an amendment of the Environmental Compliance Certificate ACC) issued for the increase of production within one month.

Both representatives signed their commitment, non-compliance of which can and shall be used as basis for the issuance of a cease and desist order against the operations of their actual and /or sources of pollution.

Also signing the commitment are EMB Region 3 director Wilson Trajeco, Warren B. Biduarde of the DENR 3 Office of the Regional Director, Ramier R. Miranda of the Office of the PG-Enro Pampanga, Irene S. Maglanque of MENRO San Simon and San Isidro barangay chairman Randie Flores.