A LEATHER processing plant in Bulacan is just one of the latest to receive a cease and desist order from authorities as Manila Bay rehabilitation efforts continue.
The plant sits beside the Meycauayan River in Bulacan which reeks of chemicals.
The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) said it’s likely the plant discharged waste into the river – a tributary of Manila Bay.
Apart from the order, the EMB also sealed the facility’s discharge points, as its waste water treatment facility could no longer hold its daily liquid waste which contains toxic chemicals.
Lormely Clausio, director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-EMB (DENR-EMB) in Region 3, said, “Ang waste water na nage-generate ng leather o tannery operation ay may kasamang chemicals…at some acids at kung hindi ma-treat ng maayos nakakapinsala ito sa katubigan.”
This is the 14th company in Bulacan whose discharge points have been sealed by the DENR in line with the Manila Bay rehabilitation that began on Jan. 27.
Aside from leather factories, food and poultry processing plants also failed to comply with the standard waste water treatment to prevent water pollution.
EMB Central Luzon said most of these companies failed to upgrade their treatment facilities when they expanded operations.
Caludio noted, “‘Yung capacity na design nila, ‘yun ang sundan nila at bago pa mag-expand, i-amend ang ECC (environmental compliance certificate) at i-retrofit ang waste water treatment facilities.”
The EMB said the operations of non-compliant companies will remain on hold pending retrofitting of their treatment facilities.
Meanwhile in Manila, the Laguna Lake Development Authority released a list of 21 companies whose wastewater also failed to meet standards.
They’ll soon receive notices of violation, or cease and desist orders.
Evaluation before reopening
ALT Trading, a poultry dressing plant in Marilao, is just one affected by the EMB’s decision.
It chose to suspend production after receiving a notice of violation on Friday as its treatment facility also fell below standard.
The industry’s pollution officer told media that they asked the EMB to reopen their discharge points in exchange for cutting production in half as they rehabilitate the treatment facility.
They have already siphoned off remaining liquid waste.
However, Claudio said, “‘Pag nakita natin na-dislodge na, nasiphon ‘yung pond…We do testing, that’s the time we will evaluate.” (CNN Philippines)