The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered the suspension in all activities inside the SMC Consolidated Power Corp. (SMCCPC) coal-fired power plant in Bataan following a reported dangerous ash spill.
DENR, through the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), ordered SMCCPC to stop the activities in the plant as residents are reportedly falling ill.
It also directed the Petron Bataan Refinery to “stop from dumping newly generated bottom ash in the area while an investigation into the ash spill incident takes place.”
The directives were issued by regional director Lormelyn Claudio of region 3 EMB on January 6.
“Notice is hereby served in connection with the dumping of bottom ash at (SMCCPC’s) facility in Limay, Bataan. This allegedly caused unmitigated spread of ash which affected the health conditions of the residents in the host community,” the notice read.
The EMB has given the power firm seven days to explain why it shouldn’t be suspended and penalized under Presidential Decree 1586 or the Act Establishing an Environmental Impact Statement System.
“Similarly, you (SMCCPC) are hereby ordered to stop from further undertaking any activity while the matters are being investigated,” the EMB said.
The bureau also said that the company should attend a technical conference scheduled today, January 9, or their absence may qualify you to be considered in default and the case shall be resolved based on evidence on record.”
SMCCPC and Petron Corp. are both subsidiaries of the San Miguel Corporation.