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The Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has once again ordered the closure of the Pangasinan sanitary landfill.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has reissued a closure order against a sanitary landfill facility in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan, for violating Republic Act 9275, also known as the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, and Republic Act 9003, also known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

The issuing of a cease and desist order (CDO) to the Urdaneta City-designed sanitary landfill is part of the DENR’s ongoing commitment to ensure that RA 9275 and RA 9003 be strictly enforced, according to Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

“When it comes to solid waste management, we are on our way to change the Filipino people’s minds. The effectiveness of the enforcement activities is critical to the success of this massive undertaking “Cimatu stated this in a press statement issued on Sunday.

The sanitary landfill facility in Barangay Catablan, Urdaneta City, was discovered still being used for waste disposal months after it was first issued a CDO on March 5, 2021, according to DENR-Environmental Law Enforcement and Protection Service (ELEPS) Intelligence Operations team leader Rogelio Demelletes Jr.

Padlocks and barricades had been tampered with, and fresh tire tracks had been left at the sanitary landfill facility cell and open dumpsite, indicating the arrival and departure of dump trucks and other waste disposal equipment, according to a follow-up inspection conducted by the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau-Region 1 (EMB-Region 1) on Aug. 19.

At the time of monitoring, the EMB-Region 1 also noticed newly dumped rubbish and the unauthorized opening of a previously decommissioned conduit connecting the storm drainage pond and canal leading to the Sinocalan River.

DENR-Region 1 Executive Director Crizaldy Barcelo and EMB-Region 1 Director Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe, along with DENR local officials and ELEPS employees, led the re-issuance of a CDO to the city administration of Urdaneta City to halt the operation of the sanitary dump site on Oct. 7.

According to DENR-Region 1, the landfill’s unauthorized operations are a flagrant violation of the Pollution Adjudication Board’s order in DENR-PAB Case No. 01-1024A-20.

The pipe connecting the storm drainage pond and canal going to the Sinocalan River, which is located at the back of the facility, had already been cemented.

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