Representatives of the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) in Western Visayas inspected the San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. waste water holding ponds Wednesday that have been the subject of pollution complaints.
The EMB team headed by engineer Paul Wellen Orosio and City Environment Management Office (CEMO) personnel examined the holding ponds, creeks, coastline, Tañon Strait, including the wastewater coming from the bioethanol plant, a San Carlos City press release said.
Orosio said the San Carlos City government through City Mayor Renato Y. Gustilo requested the DENR investigation on reports that effluent from the bioethanol already reached Tañon Strait.
They will make initial assessment based on their field inspection, wait for the analysis of the samples taken to know where the discoloration started and ended and submit it to the regional office for adjudication, Orosio said.
Orosio teams also took pictures and saw that liquid wastes stored at the plant’s holding ponds were almost overflowing. SCBI barricaded the walls of the ponds with sandbags and tires to prevent them from collapsing into the Route 7 national highway, the press release said.
Gustilo that ordered SCBI to halt its operations on February 19, allowed it process its cane Wednesday and today , and to halt operations tomorrow to address the waste water problem from its holding ponds.
The SCBI which is the first regenerative combined cycle power plant in Asia using sugar cane produces 42 million liters of bioethanol per annum and 8 megawatt of electricity.*