EMB cancels quarry permits

IMUS CITY, Cavite — The Environment Management Bureau (EMB) in Region IV-A on Monday called for the cancelation of all Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECC) of some 33 companies engaged in quarry operations and related activities in San Mateo and Rodriguez towns in Rizal.

EMB Region IV-A director Noemi Pranada said her recommendation for ECC cancelation covers all quarrying companies, including large-scale mining firms such as Viba Quarry and Aggregates and Marketing and Montalban Millex Aggregates Corp.

Pranada said she made the recommendation after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ordered the suspension of all quarrying operations in Rizal on Monday.

Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go consulted with DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu regarding the perennial flooding problem in Marikina and other low-lying areas in Taytay, Rizal.

Over the weekend, many parts of Rizal were submerged in floodwaters affecting 2,344 families, 23 of which were moved to 23 evacuation centers on Sunday.

In a letter to DENR dated 13 August, Pranada said instead of merely stopping the quarrying operations of the 33 companies their ECC should be canceled so they can be subjected to a new assessment on their compliance with environmental laws when they file a new ECC application.

The ECC attests that the project a company is undertaking will not cause a significant negative impact on the environment.

However, Pranada said based on reports of indiscriminate and surreptitious discharge and disposal of silts by quarry and crushing plant operators in the area the purpose of the ECC is being defeated.

“The indiscriminate and surreptitious discharging of silts by quarry and crushing plant operators in the Lukutang Maliit and Malaki River as well as Tanag River is causing heavy siltation of the waterways, thus causing flood in low-lying areas, deterioration of the roads and, without doubt, damage to the environment of the nearby communities,” Pranada said in her letter.

Pranada added the 33 firms must be required to rehabilitate areas damaged by their quarrying and related activities.

The recommendation for ECC cancelation will take effect upon approval of the DENR secretary. With PNA

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