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Bataan town mayor stops unloading of coal due to health concerns

Jul 16, 2015 @ 9:43

Mariveles, Bataan Mayor Jesse Concepcion has ordered a temporary halt of the delivery of imported coal at Lucanin port as residents complain of severe dust particles that have been causing illnesses in surrounding villages.

Concepcion said he has asked the management of Seafront Shipyard and Port Terminal Services Corp. to consume first their stockpiled coal and build the proper infrastructures and storage facility before importing and unloading new stocks.

“While the shipyard has not yet undertaken mitigating measures to address the problem of villagers, I asked the port operations manager to temporarily cease the unloading of coal in their port,” the mayor said.

Concepcion pointed out that the shipyard should build a warehouse where coal dusts will not be spreading in the community like what GN Power Plant did in having its own covered stockyard with wind breaker,” the mayor said.

GN Power Plant operates a 600-MGW coal-fired power plant in Barangay Alas-Asin, Mariveles and has its own supply of coal.

Concepcion said he will ask Seafront Shipyard and Port Terminal Service Corp. to also construct two lagoons that in case of seepage, the coal leakage passes through the lagoons first before going to the sea.

“This is to prevent further negative environmental and health impact for the local residents,” the mayor said.

Coal shipments from the Seafront Shipyard and Port Terminal Service Corp. are delivered to coal-fired power plants in other parts of Bataan and Bulacan.

“Coal from the shipyard is supplied to power plants and stopping the delivery may cause brownout but if it is hazardous to the people, we have to stop it until proper safety measures are instituted,” the mayor added.

Concepcion said several residents have contracted asthma and other respiratory diseases due to coal dust from the port facility.

Dust particles have also blackened the residential houses and other private properties.

Coal seepage has also been leaking into the sea, affecting the local fishermen’s catch, Concepcion added.

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