Governor Vi seeks plant probe

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Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-    Recto has called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to conduct an inspection on the complaints regarding the flame and thick smoke emissions of a resin production plant.

Santos-Recto said she has not received reports on the emissions coming reportedly from the JG Summit Petrochemical Corp. (JGSPC) plant located in Batangas City.

But she called on the DENR and the Batangas City government to step in and resolve the issue.

“I will have it checked . . . but first it should be the city first to check on that. City yan and the permit came from them. Also, DENR should interfere!” said Recto, adding that she will have the issue checked.


Meanwhile, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) of Batangas has deployed personnel to conduct ambient air sampling following reports of a foul smelling smoke coming from the resin plant of JG Summit.
Engr. Oliver Gonzales, Cenro chief, said they have not received formal reports or complaints regarding the matter but they are continuously monitoring the plant’s operations.

“There is an ongoing ambient air sampling and city health office already conducted verification of the claims. We are also in close coordination with DENR (Region) 4A for appropriate action since the permits came from them” he said.

Gonzales confirmed that JG Summit sent an advisory about having intermittent flaring beginning August 11. This, he said, is the effect of the company’s process of clearing excess gasses in the turbines that is needed for a more efficient operation of the plant.

“As per DENR, they (the company) are allowed to conduct it (clearing excess gases) for certain days until they reach the normal state of plant operations,” Gonzales added.

As part of efforts to protect the community from harmful elements amidst the presence of various industries in the city, the CENRO has appointed an accredited Environmental Compliance Officer per industry, who will serve as the focal person for concerns regarding the environment. The said officer will be held liable together with the company if he is proven to be neglectful of his duty.

As of press time, it has been reported that the plant was temporarily shut down and flames are no longer visible.

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