Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has suspended the transporter permits of Chevalier Enviro Services, Inc. (CESI) and the AEC Hauling Services (AEC) for allegedly transporting and attempting to dump untreated medical wastes at a landfill in Capas, Tarlac in violation of Republic Act 6969, also known as the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.
At the same time, Paje also ordered a halt on the processing of CESI’s application for renewal of its Treatment, Storage and Disposal (TSD) registration pending resolution of the case filed against the company.
The suspension orders, signed by EMB Director Juan Miguel Cuna, directed Chevalier Enviro Services, Inc. and AEC Hauling Services in Parañaque and Pasig cities, respectively, to cease and desist from transporting and accepting healthcare wastes for treatment at their facilities.
Cuna cited in the suspension orders the investigation report submitted by its regional office in Pampanga which found that the hospital wastes loaded in the two trucks were “unsafe to transport due to unsanitary condition such as foul odor and drenching of blood residue,” and without any appropriate hazard warning labels or covering.
Further, the permit to transport (PTT) submitted by the truck drivers did not match with the manifest, which stated CESI as transporter but which the PTT was identified as AEC .
According to Cuna, both AEC and CESI would be subject to sanctions as defined under the prohibited administrative and criminal acts as well as the penalty provisions of RA 6969 and its implementing rules and regulations.
“This should serve as a warning to other waste treatment facilities and transporters to abide by the rules. Public health comes above business interest,” Paje said, as he lauded the police officers of Capas, Tarlac for apprehending the two trucks containing some eight tons of medical wastes intended for dumping to the Metro Clark Sanitary Landfill, also in Capas, but which were refused by the landfill management due to its “untreated condition”.
Paje is also enjoining hospitals and other medical facilities to ensure that their wastes are treated and disposed of properly. “The management of wastes, particularly hazardous wastes, requires not only collection and disposal at the designated facilities but more importantly, proper treatment and safe transport to shield the public from unnecessary exposure to microbes and other pollutants that may have adverse effect on public health,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, EMB-Region 3 Director Lormelyn Claudio said that a representative from AEC indicated during the technical conference called by her office on Tuesday that the wastes loaded in the trucks were “a mix of treated and untreated hospital wastes.” The wastes have been hauled back to Chevalier treatment facility on order of EMB.
Claudio also said that based on consultation with the local government unit, the EMB will be reactivating the Multi-partite Monitoring Team composed of representatives from various sectors to prevent a repeat of the incident
- Published: 07 December 2011