Issue of February 10, 2019

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NWRB grants water permit for 500-MW hydro project
by Harley F. Palangchao

The National Water Resources Board has approved the conditional water permit (CWP) for Coheco Badeo Corp., the proponent of the 500-megawatt pump-storage hydropower project in Badeo, Kibungan, Benguet.

The CWP, which authorizes Coheco Badeo to use water not exceeding 2,449.73 liters per second, was approved NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr. on Dec. 17, 2018 and set to expire on Dec. 17, 2020.

Under the conditions set in the CWP, Coheco Badeo shall submit a copy of the plans and specifications of its diversion works, pump structure, water measuring device, and other required structures and the implementing schedules of construction of the project.

The company is also required to submit a monthly generation or diversion schedule to the NWRB, an environmental compliance certificate, a certification of pre-condition from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and clearance the Protected Area Management Board.

The NWRB also mandated the company to construct facilities for the continuous release of environmental flow and/or maintenance of the measures.

It must not also be remiss in its obligation to pay the appropriate annual water charges during the validity of the CWP.

Coheco Badeo is also obliged to implement mitigating measures should significant impacts on the ecology are observed or identified in areas affected by the project.

The NWRB has earlier dismissed the case filed by three individuals claiming to be members of an indigenous peoples’ group against the water permit application of Coheco Badeo.

The NWRB has subsequently endorsed Coheco Badeo’s water permit application to the NCIP for determination of the issuance of the certificate precondition that would allow the company to proceed with its proposed 500-MW pump-storage hydropower project within the ancestral domain of Kibungan.

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