The Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 7 has released an assessment report of the proposed sanitary landfill of Dumaguete City, Mayor Felipe Remollo said yesterday.
He said the report dispels the disinformation and misinformation about the landfill's negative effects on residents of barangays Candau-ay and Camanjac.
Remollo said the site assessment of EMB-7 regional director William Cunado allayed fears of residents in surrounding areas of the landfill about the dangers it poses to their health, lives, and properties.
The report shows that the proposed SLF site in Candau-ay has complied with seven of 13 parameters, which is more than enough reason to proceed with the project with only six as the minimal requirement, while the remaining six parameters will have to wait for an assessment from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.
Remollo said that even without the results of the six other parameters, the city proposed site has already passed the requirements with flying colors.
The first requirement complied with stated that the proposed site has no confined aquifers such as deep wells within one kilometer of the site, that the facility shall be a minimum 50 meters away from any potential stream, lake, or river, and that the proposed SLF site is situated approximately 215 meters away from the nearest surface of water which is the Okoy River-Malaunay spillway downstream, classified as Class B.
During field investigation, it was noted that the nearest water supply is in Barangay Camanjac which is more than one kilometer away from the site.
It also passed the topography, terrain, slope and distance requirements and that surrounding lots had been classified as small and medium scale industrial.
Remollo had earlier belied reports that the 32 households of Bloomington housing community are very close to the proposed site. He said a 1.5-hectare lot owned by the Little Children of the Philippines that is planted with trees is located nearby, portion of which is used by homeowners to breed pigs, and adjacent is another 1-hectare dry river bed that can be planted with bamboo trees as additional buffer.
The EMB team received a letter from the Orphanage-Batang Calabnugan Inc., represented by Flora Aguit, expressing opposition to the project, but it is situated more than 700 meters away from the site while the requirement is 250 meters from existing or proposed residential, commercial, or urban development areas.
It also passed the requirement that the site shall not be located within 500 meters of the boundaries of ecologically sensitive areas proclaimed as protected areas under the National Integrated Protected Area System because Tañon Strait is located 10 kilometers away from the proposed site.
The site is consistent with the current land use classification plan and is not located within three kilometers of an airport, as it is five kilometers from the airport in Sibulan.
Other requirements are a life span for the landfill to accommodate wastes for a period of five years with a provision for expansion. Based on a 3-hectare area, the proposed site is capable of accommodating garbage for five years as long as its landfill engineering design will cater more than five years of municipal waste.
The city government said its lifespan can be extended through proper waste management practices, to include segregation at source, waste diversion, recycling, and reuse, among others.
It has also complied with the haul distance, accessibility, and road conditions.
The six other parameters that have to wait for an MGB report include local geological conditions, such as underlying rock formations to determine if a seismic condition is present in the area; soil properties and availability of cover materials; vulnerability to flooding which is one of the contentions of those who opposed the project;
Submission of a safe closure and rehabilitation plan for existing open dumpsite and must also meet with the requirements and that before the operation of the landfill, it must apply for an Environmental Compliance Certificate to comply with provisions of PD 1586 and Section 38 of RA 9003.
The assessment report was also signed by Anecita Dinoy, chief of the EMED Division and John Roy Kyamko, the SWM regional coordinator.
Peoples Solidarity Federal Party chairman Joel Obar, an environmentalist, said that if oppositors want to contest the findings, they have to come up with another scientific finding.
But for now, Obar said he believes the city is in the right direction and that the requirements are “compliable.”*JG
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