Last week, ELAW partners in the Philippines rejoiced when local government officials shelved plans to allow a company to dump coal ash on beachfront property in Naga City.
Coal ash is a toxic byproduct of coal-fired power plants. Coal ash contaminants such as mercury, cadmium, and arsenic pose a significant threat to water resources.
ELAW partners Gloria Estenzo Ramos and Benjamin Cabrido with the Philippine Earth Justice Center called on ELAW’s science team in 2011 for help evaluating whether plans for the dump included adequate pollution mitigation technology to keep local residents safe.
ELAW’s science team reviewed the plans and found that the coal ash landfill would have been located in a floodplain and did not allow enough distance between the liner, a barrier intended to prevent groundwater contamination, and groundwater, violating the requirements of the Philippine Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
Using this information, ELAW partners successfully argued that the site is not a good place for a dump. We were thrilled when Gloria wrote:
“ELAW has been a tremendous ally and partner and a major source of assistance and support to us in the struggle for environmental justice.”
Victories like this inspire us, and we hope they inspire you too!
Read more in the following news report: