DENR orders shutdown of Pangasinan sanitary landfill anew

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Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu (File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has reissued a closure order against a sanitary landfill facility in Urdaneta City in the province of Pangasinan for violation of Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 and RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the issuance of cease and desist order (CDO) to the Urdaneta City engineered sanitary landfill is the DENR’s continuing commitment to make sure that RA 9275 and RA 9003 are strictly enforced.

"We are on our way towards changing the psyche of the Filipino people when it comes to solid waste management. The success of the enforcement operations is a crucial part of this gargantuan endeavor," Cimatu said in a news release on Sunday.

DENR-Environmental Law Enforcement and Protection Service (ELEPS) Intelligence Operations team leader Rogelio Demelletes Jr. said the sanitary landfill facility located in Barangay Catablan, Urdaneta City was found still being used for waste disposal months after it was first issued a CDO on March 5, 2021.

During a follow-up inspection conducted by the DENR's Environmental Management Bureau-Region 1 (EMB-Region 1) on Aug. 19, it discovered that padlocks and barricades have been tampered with and fresh tire tracks were left at the sanitary landfill facility cell and open dumpsite, indicating the arrival and departure of dump trucks and other waste disposal equipment.

The EMB-Region 1 also noted the presence of newly dumped waste at the time of monitoring, as well as the unauthorized opening of the previously decommissioned pipe connecting the storm drainage pond and canal leading to the Sinocalan River.

On Oct. 7, DENR-Region 1 Executive Director Crizaldy Barcelo and EMB-Region 1 Director Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe, together with DENR local officials and ELEPS personnel, led the reissuance of CDO to the city government of Urdaneta City to stop the operation of the sanitary landfill facility.

The DENR-Region 1 said the illegal operations of the landfill is a blatant disregard of the Pollution Adjudication Board's order pursuant to DENR-PAB Case No. 01-1024A-20.

The team had already cemented the pipe connecting the storm drainage pond and canal leading to the Sinocalan River, which is located at the back of the facility. (PR)