Business establishments have only until the end of this month to file for approval of their Compliance Action Plan (CAP), a prerequisite to availing of the five-year grace period for complying with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) more stringent general effluent standards (GES).
Under DENR Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 001 s. 2019, entitled “Supplementary Clarification on the Coverage of DAO No. 2016-08 Relative to the Granting of Not More Than Five (5) Years Grace Period,” establishments have not later than December 31, 2019 to get their CAPs approved by their DENR Environment Management Bureau (EMB) regional offices, according to an advisory issued by the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT).
The approved CAP is a prerequisite for business establishments to be covered by the five-year grace period for compliance with DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2016-08 or the “Water Quality Guidelines and General Effluent Standards of 2016.”
Without the CAP, DAO 2016-08 is automatically enforceable on all businesses, in which non-compliance may result in penalties that start from P10,000 per day and/or the issuance of desist or closure orders.
The CAP must include the following items: description of the establishment; process production flow (including the rate and volume discharge); description/nature/characterization of the wastewater; modification of the wastewater treatment facility; and timeline of corrective action.
MC No. 001-2019 reminds that under DAO 2016-08, GES shall apply to “all point sources of pollution, regardless of volume, that discharge to receiving body of water or land and shall be used regardless of the industry category.”
Further, the DAO “provides a grace period of not more than five (5) years, provided that the establishment submits Compliance Action Plan (CAP) and periodic status of implementation to the DENR on the steps taken for the establishment’s compliance schedule within the prescribed period….”
The grace period is until December 31, 2022. It “shall be limited to parameters wherein the values for the GES became stringent compared to the values in DAO 1990-35 and new significant effluent quality parameters identified for the sector. Establishments shall submit their quarterly status of implementation and compliance verification shall be done by the EMB Regional Office,” the MC declares.