Kepco: “We’re working on it”

Published by rudy Date posted on May 5, 2011

CEBU, Philippines – The KEPCO SPC Power Corporation has been verifying and identifying the potential source of continuing complaints of coal dust reaching nearby communities in Naga City, and expresses readiness to install additional mitigating measures if needed.

“We have identified the cause of earlier complaints and work was immediately done to solve the problem. This time, we are looking again into the specific complaints,” said KSPC General Manager for Community, Public Relations and Environment Reinerio Lastimoso in a statement furnished to The FREEMAN.

He said that if it is determined that there is a need to reinforce what has already been installed at the coal yard, the company will immediately implement the necessary additional works.

Last Tuesday, Lastimoso himself personally went to the community where the complaints came from before he left for Manila for a meeting. He intends to personally monitor the situation together with the residents when he returns.

KSPC is now working with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the nearby residents on verifying and establishing the potential source of the coal dust problem.

DENR has put up a monitoring system for the ambient air quality, particularly on the Total Suspended Particulates (TSP), approximately 100 meters away.

KSPC has also assigned personnel during coal unloading to monitor if indeed coal dusts still escape from the coal yard and reach the residential area, and if found necessary reinforce the existing newly completed mitigating measures. It has also been strictly observing good operations procedure for the unloading of its coal.

The statement added that the company has already installed both immediate and permanent coal dust prevention measures in its coal yard.

The implemented mitigating measures were based on the technical design specifications arrived at after the collaborative meeting of engineers.

The factors that caused the March 9-incident wherein coal dust escaped to the nearby residents has also been considered. The whole coal dust remediation works cost the company P42 million.

After the completion of these mitigating measures on April 30, 2011, KSPC has conducted monitoring in the nearby barangay and received good feedback from residents that they no longer experience the same problem with coal dust as before.

However, because there are still reports about alleged complaints against coal dusts, KSPC personnel are going out of their way to check.

“KSPC officials and personnel are also people who are affected by coal dusts first because we are right there inside the plant. The nearest house from the coal yard is around 100 meters away separated by a vacant lot with a row of trees. We want to know if there are still dusts reaching them so we can immediately address the situation,” Lastimoso added. —/JPM (FREEMAN)

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