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CAPAS, Tarlac — RESIDENTS in a farming village here expressed fear for their health and furious over the existence of a hazardous waste processing plant that emits black smoke with disgusting odor from its facilities allegedly causing health problems to residents of surrounding communities.

This was revealed to the media based in Central Luzon by the complaining residents of Capas who declined to be named for security reasons.

“The black smoke that is being release mixing in the air from the chamber of hazardous waste processing plant emits foul and obnoxious smell. We have been experiencing health problems since the plant started its operation,” the source said.  

The source, who resides just a few meters away from the Clean Leaf International Corporation’s hazardous waste processing plant, said most of the residents have filed formal appeals and complaints at the Barangay Hall in a bid to put a stop on the operations of hazardous waste treatment facilities in their area but failed.

“We have filed complaints against Clean Leaf but our plight landed on deaf ears of our barangay officials,” another resident said while pointing a thick black smoke emitting from the plant stack.

“We have been experiencing difficulties in breathing especially the elders who were likened to persons gasping for air each time Clean Leaf releases the smoke into the air that rapidly spread within the community,” said the source whose livelihood have been greatly affected due to air pollution.

He added that some resident has to cover their nose with a piece of wet cloth to avoid inhaling “poisonous” smoke.

Inhabitants of surrounding communities including Barangay Cutcut ll and nearby Bgy Anupul, Bamban town, turned to social media hoping their plight will reach the office of the local government unit.

The source also pointed to a lagoon situated inside the Clean Leaf compound, that may aggravate the obnoxious smell being experienced not only by residents but also other people visiting the community.

“Sumasakit po ang sikmura ng mga taong nakalalanghap ng mabahong amoy and we’re not going to wait for a member of family to suffer health problem because of air pollution,” the source pointed out.

Hazardous wastes collected from different industrial plants inside Clark and other areas in Central Luzon and even Metro Manila are being transported into the Clean Leaf waste facilities for processing.

The local government unit is allegedly knowledgeable of the existence of the highly hazardous waste treatment facility but did not lift a finger to act on their constituent’s complaints.

Residents assumed that the LGU might have issued a permit to Clean Leaf due to the fact that truckers carrying hazardous waste have been crisscrossing the roads since the waste disposal plant started its operations, informed sources said.    

It was learned that the Central Luzon regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Environmental Management Bureau 3 issued a permit to operate to Clean Leaf International Corporation. It was signed by Raldy Pagador, officer-in-charge of the Clearance and Permits Division.

Clean Leaf secured an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) from the DENR3 headed by the Regional Executive Director Paquito Moreno.

FrontpagePH sought comments from Clean Leaf about the issue but to no avail.

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