Environmental group submits petition to Valencia mayor re EDC’s geothermal expansion

By Jennifer Catan-Tilos

VALENCIA, Negros Oriental (PIA) – Environmental groups in Negros Oriental handed over a copy of more than 3,000 petition signatures to Mayor Edgar Teves to stop Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) 60 megawatt geothermal expansion project at Cuernos de Negros or Mt. Talinis.

According to 350 Pilipinas coordinator Zephanie Repollo, the mayor showed support to the groups and committed to ensure transparency of the project.

With this, the Office of the Mayor will likewise arrange a dialogue among the complainants, officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and  EDC.

This dialogue aims to bring answers to questions raised by the different environmental groups regarding EDC’s alleged non-disclosure of its development plans, said Repollo.

EDC is waiting for an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for its proposed development block which covers additional 60MW.

However, in a recent media briefing, Negros Island Geothermal Business Unit (NIGBU) Senior Manager Engr. Vicente Omandam of EDC explained that this latest expansion will utilize approximately 30 hectares within the “development block” of the EDC’s Southern Negros Geothermal Field in Valencia and not at Mt. Talinis as claimed by the environmental groups.

Omandam said the expansion will be distributed in at least six sites within EDC’s existing geothermal fields and power plants.

The groups have clamored for full transparency of EDC’s proposed development block and demanded that there will be no more expansion at Cuernos de Negros.

Forest Management Bureau Director Ricardo Calderon of DENR recently clarified that EDC has not yet applied for a tenure for a particular area which needs clearance from a local government and endorsement from concerned agencies before a project will push through. (rmn/jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental/this article was originally published at PIA website on Jun 29, 2016)

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