Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Luzon Submarine Cable Project

The Luzon Submarine Cable Project is located in three different regions in Northern Luzon. The main trunk is located in Calayan, Cagayan (Region 2), while the branches are in San Fernando, La Union (Region 1) and Baler, Aurora (Region 3). The project which was led by Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) supports the government’s agenda to continually develop and improve ICT facilities in the Philippines. The submarine cable connects the Philippines to an international communications cable that provides connectivity to the United States and Hong Kong. It also supports programs such as the National Broadband Plan, Free WiFi in Public Places Project, and National ICT Portal. 

As part of the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Aperçu Consultants, Inc. was engaged in the following activities:

Water Module

Oceanography of the Calayan Region

The bathymetry, seafloor topographic features, tides, surface waves, and regional sea currents were measured and assessed for the main trunk in Calayan Island. These were studied in order to see any impacts it may have on the main trunk and vice versa. 

Submarine Natural Hazards

All seismic or fault related hazards such as ground rupture, tsunamis, submarine landslides, volcanic hazards, storm surges, and turbidity currents were assessed for the main trunk in Calayan Island and the submarine branches in San Fernando and Baler. 

Marine Ecology

A baseline review and assessment of the nature of the benthic environment and validation of the presence of significant benthic coastal habitats was done for Calayan Island, San Fernando, and Baler. This evaluation was necessary to identify any susceptible habitats and organisms that may be subjected to stress associated with the project’s cable laying operations. As part of this an assessment of the nearshore marine habitats, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, coral reefs, reef associated fish, and macroinvertebrates was done. Local fishing practices and catch composition was also identified. In order to mitigate and reduce impacts: the least intrusive installation method was identified, all marine protected areas were avoided, safety zones were established for local fishermen, and collaboration with the Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine Navy was done to reduce impacts on local eco-tourism. 

Air Module

Meteorology

Existing meteorological conditions such as climate, temperature, and winds were assessed in Calayan Island, San Fernando, and Baler. 

Ambient Noise

Existing ambient noise levels in the vicinity of the landing station of the submarine cable was assessed. The noise impacts during the burial of the submarine cable in the nearshore areas of San Fernando and Baler were determined by comparing the results of the sound measurements with the criteria values in the NPCC Memorandum Circular No. 002. 

People Module

Socio-Economic Profile

A background of the demography, local services, and livelihood of all the stakeholders from the provincial level all the way to the barangay level was determined. Household surveys were also done to identify settlement patterns, livelihood profile, fishing activities, disaster risk reduction and management, and project perceptions. These surveys were important to inform and gain permission from locals who may be affected by the project. It also helped identify opportunities available for locals  upon project operationalization.

Environmental Management Plan

Mitigation and management measures were developed based on all impact analyses for the water, air, and people modules. The impact management plan covered the entire project lifetime: pre-construction, construction, operation, and abandonment/decommissioning phases. A self-monitoring plan was made to ensure all impacts continually comply with the DENR Rules and Regulations.


The Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project is currently undergoing Scoping and Screening with ECC Reference No. R03-03122018-4418.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for JUPITER Submarine Cable Project – Philippine Segment (JUPITER Project)

The JUPITER Submarine Cable Project – Philippine Segment is led by PLDT Inc. The submarine cable traverses the Pacific Ocean and municipal waters of Daet and Mercedes, Camarines Norte. It was developed to meet rising data traffic demands as well as the connectivity needs of the Philippines. The project helped increase PLDT’s international cabling capacity and reinforced the resiliency of its undersea fiber links to the United States and Japan. 

Aperçu Consultants was tasked with preparing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the JUPITER Project. As part of the preparation of the EIS, Aperçu Consultants engaged in the following activities:

Water Module

Marine Water Quality 

The physico-chemical parameters assessed were: temperature, pH, turbidity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, oil and grease, total coliform, and fecal coliform. Results from the in-situ measurements and laboratory analyses of the water samples served as a baseline of the marine environment and were compared to the DAO 2016-08 standards. The assessment was done to determine potential impacts and guide management and mitigation plans. 

Marine Ecology 

A baseline review and assessment of the nature and current state of the marine environment was done to identify significant habitats that may be susceptible or potentially impaired by the JUPITER Project. This was done through: assessing coral reefs, mangrove forests, and seagrass beds; employing a fish visual census to estimate species composition and distribution of reef fish; characterizing plankton communities, marine biotoxins, macro-invertebrates, and benthic communities; and determining dominant fishery resources and practices. 

Air and Noise Module

Meteorology 

Meteorological conditions were assessed to determine the possible sources of air pollution during the construction and installation phase of the project. Rainfall, temperature, surface winds, and tropical cyclones were assessed because these parameters are relevant to the evaluation of air pollution impacts during the construction and installation phase of the project.

Ambient Air 

The levels of total suspended particulates (TSP) were measured to provide a baseline for the ambient air quality of the coastal area in Barangay Bagasbas. A mitigation, enhancement, and monitoring plan was provided in order to ensure the project continually complies with the Clean Air Act Implementing Rules and Regulations. 

Ambient Noise 

Existing ambient noise levels were assessed to serve as a baseline and point of comparison with the noise impacts during the burial of the submarine cables in the nearshore areas. Despite the low impact of the project on the ambient noise, noise barriers were deployed as a precautionary measure. 

People Module

Socio-economic 

The socio-economic situation of the host community, Municipality of Daet and Barangay Bagasbas, was assessed in order to see the impacts of the project on the daily lives of the residents and to understand the community’s perception of the project. Household surveys, focus group discussions, and information communication education (IEC) activities were done in order to ensure complete transparency between PLDT and the community. This also helped clarify any misconceptions the community had regarding the project.


The Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on September 2019 with ECC Reference No. ECC-R05-1908-0056.

A copy of the Environmental Impact Statement is available at the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) website at the following link.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the De-Clogging and De-Siltation of Indang River Mouth For Disaster Mitigation And Flood Control

The de-clogging and de-siltation of the Indang River mouth will allow free flow of water from the river system which will inhibit seawater encroachment and prevent flooding in the area during heavy rainfall. The project is located in Barangay Latasan, Municipality of E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental and was led by Geo Alto Minerals Inc (Geoalto). The removed silt will be used by Geoalto for building materials, reclaiming land, and constructing various infrastructures. In turn, the restored riverbed will benefit the local community. 

Aperçu Consultants was tasked with preparing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). As part of the preparation of the EIS, Aperçu engaged in the following activities:

Land Module

Environmentally Critical Area (ECA)

The area was assessed using an ECA classification matrix and found to fall within at least three (3) ECA categories: (1) areas frequently affected by natural hazards, (2) water bodies that support fishing activities, and (3) mangrove areas present in the area. 

Geology

The geomorphology, topography, drainage, and various geologic and natural hazards such as ground rupture, liquefaction, tsunami, and flood susceptibility were assessed in relation to the project site. The outcome of the assessment was used to identify potential adverse impacts as well as develop management and mitigation plans.

Pedology

Soil samples were obtained using standard penetration tests and continuous sampling. Samples were analyzed and tested for soil classification, particle size distribution, natural moisture content, and Atterberg Limits. Results were used to establish subsurface profiles and the properties for determining important geotechnical parameters.

Terrestrial Ecology – Flora

The mangrove forest in Indang River was assessed through calculating the importance value index, carbon sequestration potential, species diversity, and species dominance index. The conservation status of the trees were also taken. 

Terrestrial Ecology – Fauna

An avian, mammalian, amphibian, and reptilian survey was done. Results were used to assess the diversity, dominance, evenness, endemicity, and conservation status of the species present. 

Water Module

Hydrology

Hydrologic and hydraulic parameters were assessed to determine the dredging design to be implemented for the overall strategic flood control and mitigation and alternative flood control planning.

Oceanography

Analyses of the variations in sea tides, direction of waves, and longshore sediment transport was important to study the catchment of Indang River and to estimate the average sediment yield. Bathymetric survey results served as a basis for the dredging plan.

Marine Ecology

A baseline review and assessment of the nature and current state of the benthic environment as well as validation of the presence of significant benthic coastal habitats that may be susceptible or impaired by the project. The assessment included surveying coral reefs, mangrove forests, plankton communities, benthos diversity, macro-invertebrates, conduction a fish visual census and rapid fisheries assessment, and identifying pollution indicator species.

Water Quality

The physico-chemical characteristics of the water quality in Indang River in relation to the project were surveyed. Specific parameters surveyed were: pH, total suspended solids, and oil and grease. Results of the survey provided information on the baseline conditions of the marine environment using the DENR standard methods and procedures for sampling and analysis. Results were also used in the impact assessment to determine potential impacts of the project and its activities to the water quality. 

Freshwater Ecology

Physical characteristics and biological communities in the Indang River were surveyed to provide information on the current conditions of the freshwater environment and determine potential impacts from the construction and operation phases of the project. Surveys involved in-situ assessments of the aquatic communities such as plankton, benthic macroinvertebrates, fish, and other important organisms. Ecological parameters used to further study the aquatic communities were: diversity, evenness, frequency, density, species dominance, and endemicity and conservation status.

Air Module

Meteorology

Existing meteorological conditions at the de-clogging and de-siltation site were studied. An emphasis was placed on parameters relevant to the assessment of air pollution impacts during the operation phase. 

Ambient Air Quality

Existing ambient air quality vis-à-vis applicable Clean Air Act ambient air quality standards and impacts of the construction and operation phases of the project was examined. Total suspended solids and sulphur oxide were measured to determine baseline information on the ambient air quality.

Ambient Noise

Ambient noise levels in the coastal area of Barangay Latasan were measured to serve as a baseline. The noise impacts before the operation of the project was determined by comparing the results of the sound measurement with criteria values in the NPCC Memorandum Circular No. 002.

People Module

Socio-Economic

The baseline socio-economic situation of the host community and its residents was surveyed. An emphasis was placed on resources that would be most significantly affected by the project. The survey included looking at the demography, household size, livelihood profile, sources of livelihood, community perceptions of the project, and possible opportunities for the community as a result of the project.  

Environmental Management Plan (EMP)

Mitigation and management measured were developed based on the analysis of impacts determined in the land, water, air, and people modules. The EMP covered the pre-operation and operation phases of the project. 

Social Development Plan (SDP)

An SDP framework was developed and implemented by Geoalto to address issues and concerns identified during the public scoping meeting; various public participation activities; and impacts identified in the land, water, air, and people modules.

Environmental Risk Assessment and Emergency Response Plan 

The nature of the project does not qualify for the risk screening level as determined by the DENR Revised Procedural Manual. However emergency response policies and guidelines were developed for safety risks and physical risks. An emergency plan was also developed to minimize or limit any and all damages.

The Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on March 2020 with ECC Reference No. ECC-R6-2003-0002-9999.

Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan for the Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI) 3x150MW Power Plant Project

Therma Visayas, Inc. submitted an Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (EPRMP) for an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) Amendment application for the Phase 2 expansion of its previous ECC for the proposed Therma Visayas Coal Fired Power Plant (Phase 1) secured on May 20, 2013. The EPRMP was submitted for an additional 1x150MW facility to be added to Phase 1’s 2x150MW CFB Boilers. The Phase 2 expansion is located at Sitio Looc, Barangay Bato, Toledo City. The project targets to increase the country’s energy self-sufficiency in step with the Department of Energy’s aim to strengthen the existing power sources and meet its expected increase in demand.

Aperçu Consultants Inc. evaluated the existing plant conditions and conducted the following activities to prepare for the EPRMP:

Land Module

Land Use and Classification

Primary and secondary data from  surveys were collected and used to reclassify the land use of the area. Previously, the project site was classified as a Built-Up Area in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of Toledo City but was reclassified as an Industrial Zone through an application for reclassification by TVI. Impacts and mitigation measures because of this reclassification were identified.

Geology and Geomorphology

Information from previous geologic surveys and maps from several potential hazards were collected, reviewed, and used to identify the potential impacts associated with these geological hazards. 

Pedology

Soil analysis from samples taken from the project site was conducted to identify the various potential impacts of the project to the site which considered factors such as sediment sources and riverbank stability. The results of the analysis served as the baseline data for future soil quality monitoring activities in the plant.

Terrestrial Ecology

The biodiversity of the project location’s flora and fauna were surveyed. The distance of the project site with respect to established Important Bird Areas in Cebu were identified. The species were identified via bird-watching, observations, interviews, and literature reviews. The initial baseline environment within the project site was grassland but site development within the project area has altered its floral characteristics, however no major impact resulted from this.

Water Module

Hydrology/Hydrogeology

Information about the drainage morphology, hydrogeology, rainfall and streamflow measurements, surface water and well characteristics, aquifers, and major water users were obtained to  identify the impacts of the project as well as the mitigating and management factor.

Oceanography

Data gathering and analysis, bathymetry surveys, temperature and salinity profiles, water current measurements, hydrodynamic modeling, particle dispersion modeling, were conducted to characterize the oceanography of the area. These were used to assess the potential hazards and permanent impacts of the project such as changes in bathymetry, water circulation, and littoral current, as well as impacts on the coast, water quality, and climate.

Water Quality

Water samples from marine and groundwater sampling stations were collected from the project site and its vicinity and tested for various parameters which served as baseline information for the water quality. This information is used to pinpoint the future impacts of the project to the water quality.

Marine Ecology

A marine ecology survey was conducted to identify the marine habitats (coral reefs, seagrass and seaweed communities, mangrove forests, fisheries) and organisms (planktons, macroinvertebrates, marine mammals) within the impact area of the project site. The threats to the existence of these species as well as the marine resources due to the project were identified and mitigating measures were established.

Air Module

Meteorology

The existing meteorological conditions (climate, rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, cloudiness, surface wind, tropical cyclones) at the project site were collected. Information on predictions on the local climate and its effects on surface temperatures and rainfall were as well as the project’s estimated greenhouse gas emissions were studied to be used to determine the impacts.

Ambient Air Quality

Surveys to determine the pollutants (SO₂, NO₂, TSP, PM10, lead) and trace metals due to coal combustion emissions were conducted. The values collected from these surveys were used for air dispersion modeling which was used to predict the air pollutant and particulate levels during construction and operation of the project.

Ambient Noise

Sound measurements at stations were used to describe the sonic profile at the project site and used to predict and analyze potential noise impact during the construction and operation phases of the project.

People Module

The demographic profile of the host community of the project site was identified and data on the population, gender and age, health, socio-economics, education, employment, industry, crime, agriculture, and social services were collected from the impacted barangays. Potential impacts such as displacement of settlers, disturbance of properties, traffic congestion, and threats to delivery of services and health were identified and mitigating measures for the impacts were established.

Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA)

The ERA identifies the occupational health and safety hazards and risks during the project. It involves risk assessment, characterization, and screening as well as consequence and frequency analysis. Recommended management measures are determined and guides for possible hazards are established.

The amended Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project was approved by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in January 2018 with ECC Reference No. ECC-CO-1506-0018. The ECC is available at the following link.

Tayabasan Multi-basin System Project (IEE Checklist)

The Tayabasan Multi-basin System project was led by WawaJVCO and served as a response to the growing water demand and recurrent flood woes of Metro Manila. It will deliver 80 MLD of water by 2021 to Manila Water’s treatment plant. The multi-basin system is located in Barangay San Rafael, Rodriguez, Rizal and Sitio Apia, Barangay Calawis, Antipolo City, Rizal. It is considered a category B project (non-environmentally critical project) and as such required an initial environmental examination (IEE) checklist in order to secure the Environmental Compliance Certificate.

As a part of the preparation of the IEE checklist, Aperçu Consultants engaged in the following activities:

Baseline Survey

Water Quality

A baseline assessment of the physical and chemical properties of the water in the three (3) rivers covered by the project: Montalban, Tayabasan, and Sapa Bute-bute was done. The specific parameters assessed were temperature, pH, salinity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids, and oil and grease.

Freshwater Ecology

Existing conditions of the river system in terms of ecological parameters such as abundance, richness, diversity, and evenness of planktons and microfauna was studied.

Terrestrial Flora and Fauna

The site is classified as a forest area, as such the tree species were identified and the biodiversity index of regeneration species for the area was assessed. Avifauna was assessed by listing and counting all species seen or heard. Rodents were captured from various areas of the project site. Reptiles and usual fish type and catch were

 identified through interviews with representative guides and key informants. 

Ambient Air Quality 

Existing air quality at the site vis-à-vis applicable Clean Air Act ambient air quality standards were assessed. Impacts on the air quality as a result of the project’s construction and operation phases were also projected. 

Ambient Noise Quality

Existing ambient noise levels at the primary impact zone, Sitio Apia were taken. The sound measurements were compared with the criteria values in the NPCC Memorandum Circular No. 002. Impact predictions showed that only the construction phase will contribute to the ambient noise, as such, mufflers were installed on the construction equipment.  

People

The income and economic activities the host province, Rizal was evaluated. While the population, indigenous peoples, economic activities, tourism, social services, and poverty profile of the host city, Antipolo was evaluated. Local benefits to the host local government unit and community as a result of the project included job generation, increased business opportunities for locals, decrease in unemployment, and decrease in poverty incidence.  

Traffic Study

Pertinent traffic routes were observed to evaluate the traffic situation and count the vehicles plying on these routes. Sampling was done during the weekday and weekend to get a complete traffic study. 

Environmental Impact and Management

All impact assessments and mitigating measures were grounded on the baseline studies and done for both the construction and operation phases. 

The Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on September 2019 with ECC Reference No. ECC-OL-R4A-2019-0559.

Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (EPRMP) for the Quarry and Cement Plant Expansion of the Republic Cement Corporation

The Republic Cement & Buildings Materials Inc., (RCBM) Bulacan Plant secured its ECC on July 3, 1996. However, the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) limited its project’s processing methods and daily production rate. As such, an EPRMP was submitted for an ECC amendment application for the expansion of RCBM’s 1.5 MMTPY Finish Mill 6 in Barangay Minuyan, Norzaragay, Bulacan. This project will substantially improve the cement production of RCBM and help meet the increasing market demand for urbanization. It will also contribute to the current development thrusts of the Philippines by increasing national and local economic development and pushing forward the sustainable development agenda.

As part of the preparation of the EPRMP, Aperçu Consultants Inc. assessed the existing cement plant operations as well as engaged in the following activities:

Land Module

Geology & Land Use

Geomorphology, topography and drainage, and regional tectonic features were assessed to see any geology related impacts during the construction and operation phases of the project expansion. 

The compatibility of the project with the existing land use, existing land tenure issues, ancestral domains, and protected areas covered by presidential proclamations were assessed to ensure compliance with the national government as well as the local government and community.

Pedology

The different soil types and their distribution in Norzaragay were identified. Soil quality was tested in the abandoned used oil waste treatment facility in the RCBM Bulacan Plant. Results showed that the presence of metals, hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (PCBs), and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) were all minimal and did not require remediation. Annual monitoring was recommended to determine any accidental spills or leaks that may affect soil quality as well as ensure soil quality still meets the DENR MC 2017-03 standards, Dutch Target Standard Intervention Values, and Canadian Standards. 

Terrestrial Wildlife and Vegetation

Biodiversity assessments were done to improve existing information on the biodiversity of flora, fauna, and aquatic biota in the RCBM Bulacan Plant area; determine ecological statue of flora, fauna, and aquatic resources in the area; update relevant maps of the area particularly the remaining vegetation; and recommend strategies to protect and rehabilitate the area in line with the RCBM mission, vision, and advocacy. 

Water Module

Hydrology/Hydrogeology

This module included the assessment of the hydrogeological setting and existing aquifers, flood and drought occurrences, rainfall and stream flow measurements, water availability, and depletion of water resources or competition in water use. Results were used in the evaluation of project impacts, mitigating measures, and monitoring plan. 

Water Quality

Water samples consisted of groundwater, surface water, and effluents. Samples were collected within the project site as well as its immediate vicinity. Additional stations along Angat River were taken to serve as control station due to its distance from the site. Parameters assessed included pH, temperature, salinity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids, oil and grease, phosphates, ammonia, chromium, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, total coliform, and fecal coliform. Sources of water degradation due to the construction and operational phases were identified and minimized. It was recommended to continue the quarterly monitoring plan.

Freshwater Ecology

The physical characteristics and biological communities in Angt River, Pintong Pala-pala Creek, and the Reservoir were assessed. The freshwater ecology survey provided information on the current conditions of the freshwater environment and helped determine potential impacts from the construction and operation phases of the project. Surveys involved assessments of in-situ water quality and various aquatic communities. Monitoring was recommended in order to comply with environmental regulations.

Air Module

Meteorology

Existing climate conditions were assessed parameters included: climate, rainfall, surface temperature, relative humidity, cloud cover, surface winds, regional climate and prevailing meteorology, wind pattern, tropical cyclones, and surface temperature. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the RCBM plant was calculated in terms of direct CO2 emissions, indirect CO2 emissions, and CO2 from combustion of biomass. 

Air Quality

Existing ambient air quality at the site was determined as well as the ambient air incremental impacts of the cement plant through air dispersion modelling. Parameters assessed for these included: gaseous pollutants (i.e. SO2, NO2, CO, and NH3), particulates, trace metals, total suspended particulates, and particulate matter 10 (PM10). Mitigation measures and ambient air quality monitoring schemes were recommended to RCBM. 

Noise

The existing sonic profile at the cement plant and its vicinities was determined. Noise impacts were assessed by comparing the results of the sound measurements and predicted sound level with the Environmental Quality Standards for Noise in General Areas and noise criteria during construction. Noise monitoring records from 2015-2018 were also analyzed to see which stations within the plant exceeded the DENR noise standards for Categories A (residential) and D (heavy industrial). Mitigating measures were recommended in order to reduce noise impacts. 

People Module

Host Province and Municipality

The income, economic activities, mining, poverty profile, and development direction of the province of Bulacan was identified while population, indigenous peoples, economic activities, agriculture, tourism, social services, and education of the municipality of Norzaragay was determined. 

Social Development Program

The RCBM Bulacan Plant employee profile was and social development and management programs were assessed. Results identified the local benefits of the project to the host LGU and community.

Traffic Study

All routes in the RCBM plant were evaluated for the existing traffic situation during weekdays and weekends. The possible influx of vehicles due to the project may degrade the air quality in the area. Proper preventive and safety measures were enforced in order to reduce potential traffic incidents.

Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA)

The ERA involved: hazard identification, consequence analysis, frequency analysis, risk, risk assessment, and risk management. This process was done to identify potential risks to human health and safety. It also assessed the proposed safety management schemes to minimize if not eliminate such hazards and risks. 

The amended Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on March 2020 with ECC Reference No. ECC-CO-1910-0030. The ECC is available at the following link.

Petron Updated Environmental Performance and Management Plan (EPRMP) (2012)

The Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (EPRMP) for the Petron Bataan Refinery Upgrading Project was updated to include changes in the capacities of the Refinery Master Plan Phase 2 (RMP-2) process units, location of the ashpond, and number of storage facilities. The updates also included the additional RMP-2 process units and other additional support utilities. The Petron Bataan Refinery Upgrading Project allowed for the processing of heavy and cheaper crude oils, reduction of raw material cost, and production of fuels which conform to the more stringent Euro IV environmental standards. Overall, the entire upgrading project substantially improved the energy and yield efficiency of the refinery making it more reliable and economically competitive within the Asia Pacific region.

Aperçu Consultants Inc. conducted the following activities to update the EPRMP:

Land Module

Geology, Soils, Land Use, and Topography

The baseline geologic, pedologic, topographic conditions as well as current land use of the municipality of Limay was assessed in order to identify critical environmental parameters, assess possible impacts, and identify mitigating measures. 

Flora and Fauna

The flora and faunal biodiversity of the project site was assessed. The conservation status of each species observed was also identified. An emphasis was placed on the avifaunal assessments since Bataan is a declared Bird Sanctuary. Species found within the Petron Bataan Refinery compound were known to have high tolerance to areas with high human activities and high levels of industrial noise. 

Soil and Groundwater Quality Assessment

An Environmental Site Assessment was done for both the Benzene Tank Farm and Old Sludge Pint. Soil and groundwater samples were taken from appropriate sampling sites then shipped to MGT Environmental Consulting Pty. Ltd. in Victoria, Australia for analyses. Soil samples were tested for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) and Monocyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Results from the soil analyses were compared to the DENR Screening Guidelines. Groundwater samples were taken from wells and sampled for TPH, BTEX compounds, and Methyl-tert Butyl Ether (MTBE). Results from groundwater analyses were compared to the DENR Screening Guidelines.

Water Module

Description of the Aquatic Environment

The nearest water bodies surrounding the Petron Bataan Refinery are Manila Bay (east), Limay Bay (north), and Lamao River (south). Previous studies on these water bodies were assessed and analyzed.

Marine Biology

Marine waters adjacent to the Petron Bataan Refinery were surveyed. Marine surveys were representative of the general conditions of the marine ecology in the vicinity of the project site. Benthic communities at risk of being affected by the project’s activities were identified. Spot dives and water sampling was also conducted in selected areas. 

Hydrology

Results from previously commissioned studies by the Petron Bataan Refinery relevant to the EPRMP were analyzed. Among these were the geo-resistivity surveys, pumping tests, aquifer hydraulic characterization, pump rating tests, safe yield estimates, sensitivity analysis, surface water availability, water quality, and status of new wells.

Water Quality

Water quality of the effluents from the sewage treatment facility (STF) and oily wastewater treatment plant (OWWTP) over the past five years were checked to see if it consistently conformed to the DENR standard.

Thermal Plume Modeling

The objectives of this study was to generate a local circulation model for the region of interest and to use the resulting current fields as forcing for the thermal plume model. The areal extent of distribution of warm water from the project’s outfall discharge was also examined. 

Air Module

Climate

The climate of the project was assessed in order to describe rainfall patterns, relative humidity, annual maximum and minimum temperatures, cloud cover, surface winds, sea and land breezes, and cyclone frequency. 

Meteorology

Secondary data from PAGASA synoptic stations in Port Area, Manila was used to describe the project site’s meteorology. Climatological normals and extremes were also assessed. 

Air Quality and Sonic Profile

Air quality of the site was described using data from the Self-Monitoring Reports submitted by Petron to the Environmental Management Bureau in 2004-2011. Ambient air quality and sound level measurements were compared to the National Ambient Air Quality Guidelines Values. 

Air Quality Modeling

The impact assessment focused on the air quality effects of both the existing refinery operations and proposed expansion using air dispersion modeling (ADM). EMB Guidelines for Air Dispersion Modeling was used in predicting ground-level concentrations of the project pollutant emissions. The USEPA methods were followed in assessing contaminant concentrations against the Clean Air Act air quality guidelines and standards. 

People Module

Socio-economic and Health Profile

The socio-cultural background, economic environment, and annual vital health statistics of Limay, Bataan was assessed. This was done to see any impacts the project may have on the local community’s life. 

Environmental Risk Assessment

A Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) was done to provide a quantitative estimate of the risks associated with the hazardous activities of the project. Quantified risks were assessed by comparing them against various defined criteria. This helped to easily identify potential improvements that were ranked for risk-reduction effectiveness. 

The amended Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) is currently undergoing scoping and screening with Reference No. CO-07162020-718

Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (EPRMP) for Petron Special Projects Brgy. Alangan, Limay, Bataan

An Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (EPRMP) was prepared for the Petron Bataan Refinery. The refinery was built in 1957 and since then has had multiple changes in ownership. The amendment applied for in this ECC application was for the additional supporting facilities to be built as part of the Refinery Master Plan 2 (RPM-2) project. The RMP-2 project helped transform Petron’s Bataan Refinery into one of the most advanced facilities in the region in terms of processing and energy efficiency, operational availability, and complexity. Through this project Petron was able to enhance the country’s supply security and lessen its dependence on higher-costing imported fuel products. The project is located in Brgy. Alangan, Limay, Bataan.

As part of the preparation of the EPRMP, Aperçu Consultants Inc. was engaged in the following activities:

Desktop Review

A review of the quarterly monitoring reports of Petron Bataan Refinery was done to assess existing conditions and impacts of the project. It also served as a tool for the impact management plan.

Impact Management Plan

All potential impacts of the project from pre-construction to decommissioning phase were identified. Each impact was recommended a prevention, mitigation, or enhancement plan and assigned to either Petron, its contractor, or both.

Environmental Risk Assessment

A quantitative risk assessment was done to provide a quantitative estimate of the risks associated with the hazardous activities of the project. This was done to identify potential improvements and rank it for risk-reduction effectiveness. 

Social Development Plan and IEC Framework

A review of Petron’s social development plan included their environmental programs, health and welfare programs, community interactions, community donations and relief good donations, hiring of locals, and proposed plans for the future. An Information and Education Campaign (IEC) was also conducted to inform and update the community about the RMP-2 project. 

Environmental Compliance Monitoring

A review of Petron Bataan Refinery’s compliance with its existing ECC was done. The parameters in its Environmental Quality Performance Levels (EQPL) was compared to the DENR standards. 

Abandonment Policies and Institutional Plan

An abandonment/decommissioning plan was proposed to address issues such as site restoration, cost and source of funds for proposed abandonment/decommissioning plans, and more.

Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan for the Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI) 3x150MW Power Plant Project

Therma Visayas, Inc. submitted an Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (EPRMP) for an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) Amendment application for the Phase 2 expansion of its previous ECC for the proposed Therma Visayas Coal Fired Power Plant (Phase 1) secured on May 20, 2013. The EPRMP was submitted for an additional 1x150MW facility to be added to Phase 1’s 2x150MW CFB Boilers. The Phase 2 expansion is located at Sitio Looc, Barangay Bato, Toledo City. The project targets to increase the country’s energy self-sufficiency in step with the Department of Energy’s aim to strengthen the existing power sources and meet its expected increase in demand.

Aperçu Consultants Inc. evaluated the existing plant conditions and conducted the following activities to prepare for the EPRMP:

Land Module

Land Use and Classification

Primary and secondary data from  surveys were collected and used to reclassify the land use of the area. Previously, the project site was classified as a Built-Up Area in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of Toledo City but was reclassified as an Industrial Zone through an application for reclassification by TVI. Impacts and mitigation measures because of this reclassification were identified.

Geology and Geomorphology

Information from previous geologic surveys and maps from several potential hazards were collected, reviewed, and used to identify the potential impacts associated with these geological hazards. 

Pedology

Soil analysis from samples taken from the project site was conducted to identify the various potential impacts of the project to the site which considered factors such as sediment sources and riverbank stability. The results of the analysis served as the baseline data for future soil quality monitoring activities in the plant.

Terrestrial Ecology

The biodiversity of the project location’s flora and fauna were surveyed. The distance of the project site with respect to established Important Bird Areas in Cebu were identified. The species were identified via bird-watching, observations, interviews, and literature reviews. The initial baseline environment within the project site was grassland but site development within the project area has altered its floral characteristics, however no major impact resulted from this.

Water Module

Hydrology/Hydrogeology

Information about the drainage morphology, hydrogeology, rainfall and streamflow measurements, surface water and well characteristics, aquifers, and major water users were obtained to  identify the impacts of the project as well as the mitigating and management factor.

Oceanography

Data gathering and analysis, bathymetry surveys, temperature and salinity profiles, water current measurements, hydrodynamic modeling, particle dispersion modeling, were conducted to characterize the oceanography of the area. These were used to assess the potential hazards and permanent impacts of the project such as changes in bathymetry, water circulation, and littoral current, as well as impacts on the coast, water quality, and climate.

Water Quality

Water samples from marine and groundwater sampling stations were collected from the project site and its vicinity and tested for various parameters which served as baseline information for the water quality. This information is used to pinpoint the future impacts of the project to the water quality.

Marine Ecology

A marine ecology survey was conducted to identify the marine habitats (coral reefs, seagrass and seaweed communities, mangrove forests, fisheries) and organisms (planktons, macroinvertebrates, marine mammals) within the impact area of the project site. The threats to the existence of these species as well as the marine resources due to the project were identified and mitigating measures were established.

Air Module

Meteorology

The existing meteorological conditions (climate, rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, cloudiness, surface wind, tropical cyclones) at the project site were collected. Information on predictions on the local climate and its effects on surface temperatures and rainfall were as well as the project’s estimated greenhouse gas emissions were studied to be used to determine the impacts.

Ambient Air Quality

Surveys to determine the pollutants (SO₂, NO₂, TSP, PM10, lead) and trace metals due to coal combustion emissions were conducted. The values collected from these surveys were used for air dispersion modeling which was used to predict the air pollutant and particulate levels during construction and operation of the project.

Ambient Noise

Sound measurements at stations were used to describe the sonic profile at the project site and used to predict and analyze potential noise impact during the construction and operation phases of the project.

People Module

The demographic profile of the host community of the project site was identified and data on the population, gender and age, health, socio-economics, education, employment, industry, crime, agriculture, and social services were collected from the impacted barangays. Potential impacts such as displacement of settlers, disturbance of properties, traffic congestion, and threats to delivery of services and health were identified and mitigating measures for the impacts were established.

Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA)

The ERA identifies the occupational health and safety hazards and risks during the project. It involves risk assessment, characterization, and screening as well as consequence and frequency analysis. Recommended management measures are determined and guides for possible hazards are established.

The amended Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project was approved by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in January 2018 with ECC Reference No. ECC-CO-1506-0018. The ECC is available at the following link.

ECC Compliance Monitoring for the Atimonan One Energy 2x600MW Coal-Fired Power Plant Project

In 2018-2019 and 2020-2021, Aperçu Consultants conducted the environmental monitoring program (EMoP) for Atimonan One Energy (A1E). The EMoP was done to assess the impacts of the 2x600MW Coal-Fired Power Plant Project on Barangay Villa Ibaba, Atimonan, Quezon and the surrounding environment. Aperçu Consultants conducted quarterly monitoring for the water quality, marine ecology, ambient air and noise quality, and soil quality for contamination assessment. Semi-annual monitoring was done for terrestrial fauna ecology and annual monitoring for terrestrial flora ecology. 

Water Quality

The water quality of surface water, marine water, and groundwater were assessed and compared against the DENR standard (where applicable) and previous monitoring measurements. Parameters measured for water quality included: biochemical oxygen demand, chloride, color, dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform, nitrate, pH, phosphate, temperature, total suspended solids, salinity, total dissolved solids, sulfate, total coliform, turbidity, oil and grease, Cr+6, Pb, Cd, Hg, and As.

Marine Ecology

Various stations in Lamon Bay were assessed for the abundance, dominance, density, percent cover, species richness, and biomass of the plankton, corals, fish, and benthos communities. The findings were compared to previous monitoring reports to assess the impacts of the coal-fired power plant on the marine ecology of Atimonan. 

Ambient Air and Noise Quality

The ambient air quality parameters measured were: sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), total suspended particulates (TSP), and PM10. Heavy metals such as lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), and arscenic (As) were also monitored. Data was gathered at multiple locations within and around the project site.

Soil Quality for Contamination Assessment

The stations established during the impact assessment study were reassessed to check for any contaminants such as oil, diesel, ash, and wastewater that may have originated from the coal-fired power plant. The soil was also assessed for pH, Cd, Cr+6, Pb, As, and Hg.

Terrestrial Fauna Ecology

Three major terrestrial vertebrate groups (mammals, birds, and herpeto-fauna) were assessed for species richness, diversity, abundance, and endemicity. All sampling stations were the same ones assessed during the first ECC compliance monitoring on A1E.

Terrestrial Flora Ecology

Terrestrial flora was assessed for ecosystem stability, productivity, growth and reproductive performance. Specific parameters measured were: population counts, density, occurrence, frequency, dominance, diversity, evenness, abundance, importance values, and species observed. Any presence of natural and anthropogenic disturbances were also noted.