ERC to sit on PSA requests of power firms without DENR permits

by Lenie LecturaSeptember 8, 2016

from Business Mirror

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will not act on applications for power-supply agreements (PSAs) filed by power firms  until they have secured environmental permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

On Thursday the commission resolved to hold in abeyance the processing of applications for approval of PSAs that have not secured the required environmental compliance certificates (ECCs) from the DENR.

“The ERC fully shares the DENR’s concern to ensure the protection of the environment, and is determined to help safeguard the people’s right to a balanced and healthful ecology, in accordance with the Constitution,” ERC Chairman Jose Vicente Salazar said.

The ERC’s move was in response to the request of the DENR for the ERC to suspend the process of approving any PSAs pending before the ERC in view of the ongoing re-evaluation of ECCs.

Pertinent to the deferral of PSA approvals, the ERC has identified eight pending applications that are deficient or without ECCs. These are  from Moresco II and Asronergy; Paleco and Delta P;  Cebeco I and Mariveles Power Generation Corp. (MPGC);  Tarlac Electric Cooperative (Tarelco) I and MPGC;  Cebeco II and MPGC; Aurelco and MPGC; and Pelco II and MPGC. Tarelco I and MPGC have two separate filings.

An ECC is required by the DENR for any project in the Philippines that poses a potential environmental risk or a significant impact to the environment, such as mining, agriculture projects, or construction.

The ECC certifies the proposed project or undertaking will not cause a significant negative impact on the environment. It contains specific measures and conditions that must be complied with by the project proponent before and during the operation of the project. The ECC also certifies the proponent has complied with all the requirements of the Environmental Impact Statement  System and has committed to implement its approved Environmental Management Plan.