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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.