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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.