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.

Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) Checklist Report for the De La Salle Santiago Zobel Vermosa Campus Project Phase 1 in Imus, Cavite

An Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) Checklist Report was submitted on the year 2016 for the Phase 1 of the De La Salle Santiago Zobel Vermosa Campus in Cavite. The Phase 1 of the project includes the construction of the following components: spark building, senior high school building, and an open gravel parking, which were aimed to begin by the 2nd quarter of 2016 to accommodate by 2017 the upcoming Grade 11 and 12 students. 

The IEE checklist report was prepared by the Aperçu Consultants, Inc. The report has four (4) parts, the Project Description, Environmental Impacts and Management Plan, Abandonment/Decommissioning/Rehabilitation Policies and Generic Guidelines, and the Institutional Plan for Environmental Management Plan (EMP) Implementation. In addition, as part of the requirements of the IEE checklist report, the following annexes were accomplished and attached to the report: proof of authority over the project site, proof of compatibility with the existing land use plan, site development plan, vicinity map of the project site, actual site photographs, Project Environmental Monitoring & Audit Prioritization Scheme (PEMAPS), and an accountability statement of the preparer and proponent. 

Project Description

The Project Description includes the following contents: project summary, project components, utilities/requirements, manpower, and indicative project cost. 

Environmental Impacts and Management Plan 

It includes the possible environmental/social impacts of the project to the four (4) modules, namely, the Land, the Water, the Air, and the People, with the corresponding baseline environment, preventive/mitigating measures, monitoring parameters/implementation, and cost of mitigation/monitoring. 

Abandonment/Decommissioning/Rehabilitation Policies and Generic Guidelines 

It provides a description of the abandonment activities to be conducted if the project is to be abandoned. 

Institutional Plan for Environmental Management Plan (EMP) Implementation

It includes an organizational chart, and drawings/plan for mitigation measures that contains facilities. 

Environmental Impact Statement for the Alimit Pumped-Storage Project (2018)

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared for the 250MW Hydropower Plant by SN Aboitiz Power – Ifugao, Inc, (SNAPI). The project is a 53.61-hectare property located in Barangays Olilicon and Tupaya in Lagawe, Ifugao which is considered an environmentally critical area. The Alimit Pumped-Storage Project is in line with the Department of Energy’s endeavors to accelerate the development of renewable energy resources and will help address the electricity demand in Luzon.

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

Land Module

Land Use Classification

Reviews of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and satellite imagery complemented with ground truthing mapping were used to assess if the project was in line with the land use of the area. 

Pedology

Soil samples were collected from representative stations in the project site and analyzed in the laboratory. Results provided insights on the potential impacts of the project’s activities to the pedology of the site.

Geology and Geomorphology

Geologic characteristics and various hazard maps were assessed to see potential hazards and its impacts on the project.

Terrestrial Ecology 

Vegetation and fauna assessments were done to identify critical species (endemic, threatened, or vulnerable) as well as to serve as a basis when monitoring for changes in species due to project activities.

Water Module

Hydrology

Physical characteristics and flows of the Alimit River based on the drainage system and delineated watershed were used to assess the potential of the project to induce flooding or deplete local water resources. Outcomes of the assessment were used to manage and mitigate potential adverse impacts.

Water Quality

Surface water and groundwater were assessed for the baseline conditions of the watercourses to serve as a basis for monitoring future impacts of the project on the surface and groundwater quality.

Freshwater Ecology

Physical characteristics and biological communities (algae, zooplankton, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish) were assessed to see the general conditions of the freshwater environment and determine potential impacts from the construction to operation of the project.

Air Module

Ambient Air Quality

Air dispersion modeling was done to assess impacts of construction to the ambient air. Air samples were collected and analyzed. The results were used to inform all future air quality and track the project’s compliance with the Clean Air Act.  

Ambient Noise

Existing sonic profile and noise impacts of the construction phase were compared to see if sound levels were within Environmental Quality Standards for Noise in General Areas.

People Module

Socio-economics

Impact assessments were focused on the resources most affected by the project from its pre-construction, construction, and operational stages. 

Health Study

A health impact investigation was done to identify risks and rank them for its probability to occur and the severity of its impact. 

Cultural Heritage

Baseline heritage conditions were assessed and the potential impacts were evaluated in order to mitigate potentially adverse impacts, where appropriate.

Traffic Study

Existing transportation and traffic situation in the vicinities of the project site were evaluated to mitigate potentially adverse impacts and assess site accessibility.

Environmental Risk Assessment

All possible risks associated with the project as well as the probability of occurrence of accidents and their magnitude were assessed. Results from the assessment were used avoid and reduce consequences of the project’s activities.

The Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on November 2018 with ECC Reference No. ECC-CO-1603-0011. The ECC is available at the following link.

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

Environmental Impact Statement for the Alimit Hydroelectric Power Plant (Alimit HEPP, 2019)

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared for the 140MW hydroelectric power plant (HEPP) in the Municipalities of Aguinaldo, Lagawe, Lamut, and Mayoyao in Ifugao. The project has two major generation components, the Alimit HEPP which is a 80 m dam with a total 120MW energy generation and the Olilicon HEPP which is a 14 m high weir with a 20MW energy generation. This project is in line with the Department of Energy’s goal to accelerate and develop more sources of renewable energy to meet Luzon’s electricity demand.

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

Land Module

Land Use

Reviews of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of the covered municipalities, comparison of project site aerial view and NAMRIA maps, ground truthing, and  follow up site surveys were done to ensure the compatibility of the project with the land use of the area.

Geology & Geomorphology

Assessments of the geological characteristics and natural hazards of the area in relation to the siting and development of the project was done to evaluate the capacity of rocks to support the dam and related structures with consideration to hazards such as earthquakes, erosion, and mass movements. 

Pedology

Literature review and laboratory analyses of the soil was done to assess the soil erosion potential of the project site. Each soil unit was also rated for its erosion susceptibility by assessing contributing factors such as rainfall, slope erodibility, vegetation or land use, and slope. 

Terrestrial Ecology

Flora and faunal assessments were done to identify critical species (endemic, threatened, or vulnerable). Results were used to assess the project’s impacts during its construction and operational phases as well as provide preventive and mitigating measures to the identified potential impacts. A biodiversity management plan was also developed for this project. 

Water Module

Hydrology and Hydrogeology

The physical characteristics and flows of the Alimit River and Ibulao River were identified based on the drainage system and delineated watersheds. Potential project impacts due to changes in drainage morphology, potential to induce flooding, reduction in river volumetric flood, and depletion of water resources/water use competition were assessed. Results from the assessments were used to develop management and mitigating plans for the potential adverse impacts.

Water Quality

Physico-chemical characteristics of the upstream and downstream of Rivers Alimit and Ibulao were done. The water quality survey provided information on the baseline conditions as well as determined potential impacts of the project and its activities to the surface and groundwater quality. Management and mitigating measures of potential impacts were based on the water quality assessments.

Freshwater Ecology

Baseline surveys of the freshwater environment in Rivers Alimit and Ibulao included algae, zooplankton, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish. Fisheries data and general uses of water sources were also identified through interviews with locals. These assessments were used to determine potential impacts of the project and its activities as well as provide suitable mitigating and preventive measures.

Air Module

Climate & Meteorology

Existing meteorological conditions and the potential impacts of the Alimit HEPP project to local climate and greenhouse gas emissions were identified. Mitigating measures were developed for the identified potential impacts on the local community and in relation to climate change. 

Ambient Air Quality

Total suspended particulates (TSP) and particulate matter of 10 micrometers (PM10) were measured and compared to various air quality standards. Air dispersion models were done to project maximum ground-level concentrations of TSP and PM10 as well as air pollution “hotspots” during the construction phase. Results were used to identify mitigating measures to minimize potential impacts on the ambient air quality.

Ambient Noise

Existing noise conditions were measured while noise impacts of the project and its activities were projected. Mitigating measures were recommended for the construction and operation phases of the project.

People Module

Baseline socio-economic, health, cultural heritage, and traffic of the province, municipalities, and barangays affected by the Alimit HEPP project was identified. Assessments focused on the people living in the direct impact area as well as resources that would be significantly affected by the project. Results were used to identify suitable social impact mitigating measures as well as identify benefits of the project to the local community.

Environmental Risk Assessment

This assessment focused on determining the probability of occurrence of accidents and their magnitude. Specific assessments for potential dam break  (i.e. breach or rupture) were also done. Possible mitigating measures were provided for the various risks identified in this assessment.

The Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in February 2019 with ECC Reference No. ECC-CO-1603-0012. The ECC is available at the following link.

A1E 2x600MW Coal-Fired Power Plant Project

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared for Atimonan One Energy’s (A1E) application for an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) of its proposed 2x600MW Coal-Fired Power Plant. The project is located in Barangay Villa Ibaba, Atimonan, Quezon and has approximately 139.31 kilometers in land area. The project is a response to the country’s growing demand for electrical power, especially in Luzon.

To prepare for the EIS, Aperçu Consultants Inc. conducted the following activities:

Land Module

Land Use and Classification

Land use data from the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of Atimonan classified the location of the project site as mainly coconut and brushland, designated for agriculture use. The Sangguniang Bayan passed two ordinances to reclassify 70 hectares for industrial use for the project. A Foreshore Lease Agreement application was also filed for the 9 hectare foreshore area belonging to the project site.

Geology and Geomorphology

An assessment of the geology of the project site accompanied with a study of hazard maps was conducted to  identify the potential impacts that may occur within the project location induced by geologic hazards, particularly those associated with mass movement, earthquakes, and flooding.

Pedology

Soil within the project site was classified according to the soil map of Quezon Province. To determine soil quality, samples were collected from sampling stations within the project site and its vicinity and analyzed. Impacts to the soil quality were identified.

Terrestrial Ecology

Sampling was conducted for the collection of floral data within the impact area. Vegetation was delineated according to their land use and the plants were identified and classified. Assessment of the fauna in the impact area was also conducted, which included birds,  mammals, amphibians. Impacts to the flora and fauna during the pre-construction, construction, and operational were identified and the mitigating measures and management plan were established.

Water Module

Hydrology/Hydrogeology

To determine the baseline conditions of the project area before the proposed project, information on the drainage morphology, hydrogeology, rainfall and streamflow measurements, spring and well point inventory, water availability, aquifers, and major water users were collected and summarized.  Flood and drought occurrences were also studied. 

Oceanography

Collecting information on the tides, bathymetry, and the conduct of a hydrographic survey are used to establish the baseline parameters within the impact area. Thermal plume modeling was done to assess the possible impacts of the project.

Water Quality

The baseline data of the water quality in the project site for the impact determination of the project were determined based on the parameters of the water samples from marine, freshwater and groundwater sampling stations collected from the project site and its vicinity.

Freshwater Ecology

Sampling stations were established in the rivers found near the project site where the habitat was assessed and plankton, macrobenthos, and fish samples were collected and identified. The impacts of the project to these organisms as well as the water quality of the river were determined and corresponding mitigating and management measures were established.

Marine Ecology

Assessments for the coral reef, fish communities, as well as marine water and sediment samples collected from sampling stations for benthos and plankton identification were conducted. These marine resources were characterized. Occurrences of red tide cases within the impact area were also studied. The threats to the existence of these species and other marine resources due to the project were identified and mitigating measures were established.

Air Module

Meteorology

Information on the meteorological conditions at the project site were described and parameters that directly contribute to air pollution and climate change were established. Impacts from the project that affect climate change projections and greenhouse gas emissions were determined.

Ambient Air Quality

Measurement of the ambient levels of criteria pollutants were used to describe the existing ambient air conditions  in the project area. Sources of air emissions and existing air pollutant levels were determined. Surveys to determine the pollutants (SO₂, NO₂, TSP, PM10, lead) and trace metals due to coal combustion emissions were conducted. The results were used for air dispersion modeling.

Ambient Noise

Ambient noise level measurements during the construction and operation phase of the project were described and were assessed by modeling and compared to the guidelines from DENR.

People Module

Collection of primary and secondary data to establish the baseline information in the impact area was carried out. Information on the population, gender and age, health, socio-economics, education, nutrition, employment, industry, crime, agriculture, and social services were summarized and perception surveys were conducted. Potential impacts from this information were identified and mitigating measures for the impacts were established.

Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA)

All probable risks and sources of accidents that might come from the project are identified and screened. Risk estimation and probability occurrence of these accidents due to the project are presented and emergency response measures were recommended to combat these risks.

The Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in October 2015 with ECC Reference No. ECC-CO-1412-0029. The ECC is available at the following link.

SMC Davao 600MW Power Plant, Malita, Davao del Sur ( 2013)

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared for the 600MW Coal-fired Power Plant of San Miguel Consolidated Power Corporation (SMCPC). The power plant is located in Barangay Culaman, Malita, Davao del Sur. The project was launched in response to the power supply shortage in the Mindanao grid. It aimed to provide a solution to the rotating brown-outs experienced in Mindanao.

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

Land Module

Land Use and Classification

The existing land use data of Malita from the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) was confirmed through visual observations on the field. This was done to ensure proper land use compatibility and that there were no tenurial land issues. 

Geology/Geomorphology

Both the regional and local geology was assessed along with various tectonic structures and geologic hazards. Results from the assessment were used to identify possible hazards and its impact on the project. It also served as a basis for the mitigating measures and monitoring plans made.

Pedology

A soil impact assessment was conducted in order to identify possible impacts of the power plant on the local pedology, topography, and geomorphology. Management and monitoring plans were recommended based on the results of the assessment. 

Terrestrial Ecology (Flora and Fauna)

Fieldwork for the fauna was supplemented with ethno-biological interviews with locals and consultation with published accounts and databases. Results were used to assess the distribution, ecology, and conservation status of the species present in the project site. Threats to wildlife were identified and a management plan was developed to address each threat. 

Flora was assessed through species diversity indices, endemicity, conservation status, historical occurrence of pest infestation, diseases, and forest fires. Significant impacts of the project on the local flora was identified in order to recommend suitable monitoring, mitigation, and preventive measures to be taken by SMCPC. 

Water Module

Hydrology & Hydrogeology

The hydrological setting, drainage system, watershed, floodplain, flood and drought occurrences, stream depth, and water availability was assessed. Results were used to identify significant impacts of the project in order to make suitable management and monitoring plans. 

Oceanography

Drogue surveys and thermal plume modeling was done to identify possible disruptions to the local circulation patterns. A monitoring and model validation exercise was recommended upon operationalization of the power plant.

Water Quality

Water quality was assessed to identify the baseline conditions of Malita River, groundwater, and coastal waters in close proximity to the project site. The physico-chemical parameters were compared against DENR standards. Monitoring and mitigating plans were recommended to prevent the degradation of these water sources.

Freshwater Ecology 

Parameters assessed for this section included: soft bottom fauna, plankton, fish, benthic fauna, and plankton samples. Threats to abundance, frequency, and distribution were identified and the proper mitigation measures were recommended.

Marine Ecology

The project site is located along the coastal waters of Malita which is a high priority marine biodiversity conservation area. As such, all marine resources were thoroughly assessed and  predicted impacts due to project activities were identified. A detailed marine ecology monitoring plan was developed in order to protect the marine biodiversity of Malita.

Air Module

Meteorological Conditions

Parameters assessed included climate, rainfall, relative humidity, cloudiness, surface winds, historical typhoon tracks, and PAGASA climate change projections. Expected greenhouse gas emissions of the power plant was also calculated.

Ambient Air Quality

Ambient levels of criteria pollutants (TSP, PM10, SO2, and NO2) and heavy metals (As, Cd, Pb, Cr (VI), and Hg) were measured at the host barangay and the identified potential receptors of emissions from the power plant. Air dispersion modeling focused on the near-field effects of project air emissions during the construction and operation phases of the project. Significant findings were identified from the models and used to recommend appropriate monitoring and mitigation measures.

Ambient Sound

The existing sonic profile at the project site was measured and compared to criteria values as determined by the National Pollution Control Commission. Noise control strategies were identified for both the construction and operation phases of the project. 

People Module

As part of this module, the Aperçu team conducted an information education and communication (IEC) campaign, perception surveys, and various focus group discussions (FGDs). Baseline data for the socio-economic status of the host barangay was also assessed. These factors were considered in the disaster risk mitigation and climate change strategy of the project. 

Environmental and Ecological Risk Assessment

All substances stored, used, and handled by the proposed project and in relatively large quantities were assessed for its possible hazards. Safety management and emergency responses were created to ensure the safety of the power plant.

The Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in June 2013 with ECC Reference No. ECC-CO-1304-0010. The ECC is available at the following link.

EPRMP for Petron Bataan Refinery’s Petro-Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Unit Project (2006)

In 2006, Petron Corporation implemented the PetroFCC Project to enable production of at least 140,000 MT per year of polymer grade propylene product by converting an existing Thermofor Catalytic Cracking Unit (TCCU) into a high propylene yield producing Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU). The project is located inside the existing refinery compound in Barangay Alangan, Limay, Bataan. Since the PetroFCC is an expansion within an already existing operation, Apercu prepared an Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (EPRMP). The EPRMP included the documentation of the actual environmental performance of PBR based on current and past environmental management measures being implemented. The detailed comparative description of the proposed process modifications, corresponding material balances and the pollution control devices were also discussed in the report. Since the activities in oil refinery operations include handling substances classified as combustible and/or flammable, an Environmental Risk Assessment was also undertaken to assess the likelihood or probability of a hazardous accident. The PetroFCC Project ECC was secured in November 2006.

For a backgrounder on EPRMPs and the EIA process, please visit our Services page.

EPRMP for Petron Bataan Refinery’s Benzene, Toluene and Xylene Project (2007)

A year after the PetroFCC Project, the Refinery Division of Petron Corporation invested in a benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX) Project. The BTX Project involves both the revamp of existing process units as well as the addition of a new unit. The EPRMP scope essentially covered updating the data provided for the PetroFCC EPRMP. Since the ECC issued for the PetroFCC required the conduct of a full Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) of the existing refinery, as well as future projects, Petron commissioned a foreign entity to undertake the QRA. Preliminary results from the QRA were included in the EPRMP report prepared by Apercu. The ECC was acquired in July 2007.

For a backgrounder on EPRMPs and the EIA process, please visit our Services page.