The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will roll out an audit of coal-fired power plants to assure there is compliance of environmental standards.
The agency is working on the guidelines and criteria for the coal-fired power plant audit and will focus on the conditions that the firms were granted environmental compliance certificates (ECCs).
“We’ll start to audit coal-fired power plants. We are just finalizing the guidelines and we’ll start within this month,” DENR undersecretary Leo Jasareno said.
A coal plant must first secure an ECC from the DENR before commencing operations.
Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has been verbal on her stand against coal projects and continues to push for a transition towards renewable energy for the country’s base load.
Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) was the first on Lopez’s list. SMPC is the country’s largest coal mine, which has been given an order to explain alleged violations or face possible suspension.
The DENR continues to audit all mining firms to ensure responsible mining in the country. The firm has already suspended 10 mining companies and audit is expected to finish within the month.
“When the smoke clears, after the review, what we will have is a roster of responsible miners,” Jasareno said.