A town local government unit (LGU) has filed a complaint with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) against a funeral parlor service for allegedly dumping tons of indescribable toxic wastes at an open field in the barangay.
Balilihan Ecological and Solid Waste Management focal person Myrna Chatto filed the complaint against St. Peter Chapels, the alleged culprit in transporting to Barangay Datag in Balilihan, Bohol and burning there drums of identified infectious/hazardous wastes.
The municipal LGU charged the funeral parlor, which has a regional base and is operating in the province, for violating Republic Act 6969, otherwise known as “An Act to Control Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes.”
The complaint had cited DENR’s Administrative Order (DAO) 2013-22, which contains the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 6969.
Balilihan Mayor Pureza Veloso-Chatto said in an interview other town LGUs should check in their places whether there are funeral parlor firms that have violated environmental laws in relation to the disposal of hazardous wastes.
The complaint against St. Peter Chapels should also serve as a warning to other businesses and establishments generating wastes, hazardous or otherwise, to manage their wastes properly, the mayor said.
In its notice of violation with technical conference, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the DENR Regional Office had penalized the establishment (St. Peters Chapel) P160,000 for illegal treatment and disposal of hazardous wastes, transport of hazardous waste without proper manifest form, and non-registration for hazardous waste generators’ ID through the online hazardous waste system.
Photographs taken during the actual dumping and burning of funeral wastes last June were obtained by the Balilihan police.
The funeral parlor and embalming facility did not secure a waste generators’ ID, a requirement for generators of hazardous wastes.
It also did not fill out a proper hazardous waste manifest form during the transport, treatment, and disposal of the hazardous waste.
Moreover, the establishment illegally treated and disposed hazardous wastes by burning.
The EMB called the funeral parlor management to a technical conference for simplification of issues, stipulation of facts, and execution of commitment to abate or mitigate pollution, including applying remedial measures.
In addition to the penalty, the funeral parlor was compelled to register online as a hazardous waste generator.
It was asked to designate an accredited pollution control officer and avail of the services of an accredited hazardous waste transporter and treater.
Immediately, the funeral parlor has to implement proper waste management by containing the hazardous wastes in appropriate containers with proper labels required under DAO 2013-22.
Meanwhile, Chatto said there are yet unidentified establishments/agencies which have been throwing their garbage/wastes in certain areas in her town, even scattering them on or along the highway.
By its name, Balilihan literally means a green grassland and, thus, suggests a fresh nature, a nurturing environment.