Antique outlaws coal-fired power plants

Reducing toxic emissions from burning coal and maintaining a well-balanced and sustainable environment were the main reasons for Provincial Ordinance 2020-194 to prohibit the establishment of new coal-fired power plants in Antique.

Provincial Board member Karmila Rose Dimamay authored the said ordinance which was enacted on February 21, highlighting the harmful effects of coal-fired power plants.

Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Karmila Rose Dimamay authored Provincial Ordinance 2020-194 or “Provincial Ban on New Coal-Fired Power Plant in the province of Antique.” | Photo from Karmila Rose DImamay’s Facebook

In a report by the Daily Guardian, Dimamay said that burning coal releases mercury, lead, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates, and various other heavy metals that can cause asthma and other breathing difficulties, brain damage, heart problems, cancer, neurological disorders, and while there are some protections afforded by law, these are vulnerable to future revisions beyond the control of the province and implementation and strict monitoring have been difficult and weak.

The ordinance stated that “as an agricultural province with most of the population being farmers and fisherfolk, Antique can ill afford to bear the destructive effects of coal power on agriculture and fisheries, such as thermal pollution, coal ash resuspension and spillage to water bodies.”

Accordingly, Deputy House Speaker and Antique solon Loren Regarda embraced the said ordinance.

“With the increasing need to address the climate crisis, we have to wean our economies from over-dependence on coal and other fossil fuels,” Legarda said in a statement. “Proliferation of new coal-fired power plants will only contribute to our own destruction and will only go against our commitment to reduce emissions to ensure livable communities today and for the future,” Legards said in a statement.

Legarda said that the ordinance will help the province to reduce harmful emissions and pursue resilient and sustainable development while protecting the environment and safeguarding the health of Antiqueños.

“Coal-fired power plants are our nation’s top source of greenhouse gas emissions and the primary cause of global warming,” she added. “Our goal to reduce carbon emissions will be impossible if we will continue to allow the construction and operation of additional coal-fired power plants. Thus, this crucial action of our local government is a vital step towards climate resilience,” Legarda furthered.

The said ordinance will create a composite team of Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), Provincial Health Officer (PHO), and Provincial Legal Officer (PLO) and other related agencies to monitor and ensure that no  Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) endorsement shall be given to any individual or business organization that may apply.

BY FRANCIS MISSION

Author: theprismdaily

The Official Student Publication of University of Antique Main Campus

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