BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The request of the San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. (SCBI) in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, to resume operations yesterday has been denied.
Mayor Renato Gustilo, who led the inspection of the wastewater storage of SCBI on Monday, said that he will not grant the request unless the company drains the ponds of liquid waste that had already spilled into the coastal area of San Carlos.
Gustilo said on the city’s FB page that the SCBI holding storage pond is already full of liquid wastes.
Arthur Batomalaque, who is the senior environment management specialist of the City Environment Management Office, said that the bioethanol plant has a 16-hectare pond, that holds 700 to 1,000 cubic meter of effluent daily.
The SCBI, that started operation in 2008, is the first regenerative combined cycle power plant in Asia using sugarcane that produces 42 million liters of bioethanol annually, and eight megawatts of electricity.
Gustilo, who ordered its temporary shutdown on Feb. 19, issued a warning that he will recommend the issuance of a cease-and-desist order to the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources should the company fail to settle its violations. In his letter to SCBI, Gustilo said he noted a series of incidents of water discoloration along the coastal waters of Sitio Maloloy-on in Brgy. Punao, San Carlos, due to its discharges, and the initiatives of the company to cushion the impact had not been enough.*