The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is conducting an investigation to determine if the 56 wells of the Bacolod City Water District have the required environmental compliance certificates.
Forester Lemuel Soriano, DENR Licences, Patents and Deeds Division chief, yesterday said their investigation aims to determine if Baciwa has been compliant with government policies.
He clarified that there had been no cease-and-desist order issued to Baciwa yet, since they are in the process of investigation.
But if the result of the investigation shows that Baciwa has been operating their wells without an ECC, they have no choice but to issue a CDO. Baciwa will be made to pay a penalty for each well operating without a CDO, amounting to about P5,000, Soriano said.
Baciwa general manager Mario Macatangay said they are coordinating withthe DENR that is inspecting their facilities in the presence of one of their engineers.
If, during the inspection, they discover that Baciwa has committed violations, the DENR will issue a notice of violation and give them time to answer. If their answer is substantial, he believes the notice will be lifted. But if it is not satisfied, they will penalize Baciwa, he said.
Macatangay said that if the DENR finds that they have committed violation, they are willing to comply with whatever requirement it will impose on them.
He said they have an existing ECC, but since they have additional facilities, they will have to amend it in order to incorporate these in their ECC.
JenelynGemora, Baciwa assistant general manager for operations, said they met with the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR yesterday.
She said they are securing their ECC because their new application for it was disregarded and they have been advised by the DENR to have their existing ECC amended.
Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasatayasaid he talked to DENR-Negros Island Region regional director Al Orolfoyesterday on the matter.
According to the DENR they are willing to sit down with Baciwathrough a technical conference, especially the Environment Management Bureau, to address some concerns, he said.
Gasataya said both parties should sit down as early as possible to prevent any further problem with regards to the operation of Baciwa.
Baciwa has been receiving complaintsof consumerswho experience intermittent water supply, how much more if there is no water? He asked.
It is high timethat Baciwa requests DENR, through the EMB, for a technical conference and he hopes they will come up with solutions to the situation, Gasataya said.
He said he believes it is not the proper time to implement any CDO. If there are some questions as to the compliance of Baciwa with its permit, a technical conference should first be conducted, he said.*CGS
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