Principle 7: Compliance monitoring and inspection

Capacity Development Key to Stopping Illegal Trade in Hazardous and Electronic Waste

Date posted: 
Dec 7 2012

Building capacity among environmental and customs officials for detecting illegal transboundary shipments of hazardous and electronic wastes was the focus of the Second International Hazardous Waste Inspection Project. 11 countries participated in the Project, which was convened by the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) Seaport Environmental Security Network (SESN).

Re-Evaluating and Continuous Assessment of Biodiversity Issues and the EIA: The Case of Vietnam

Date posted: 
Nov 20 2009

The Environment Impact Assessment is ideally an integral component of a project's planning process. It identifies potential risks given the present scenario and the perceived impact of the project's activities. Given this, the EIA gives recommendations given the set of information available during the time of the assessment. However, once the project takes place, a review of the EIA is seldom made. There is a need to revisit the EIA especially if perceived environment conditions change.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

There is a tendency for the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) process to focus primarily on technical aspects (e.g. pollution created, emission). However, the process sometimes misses on actual environment concerns will surely be affected by the project, like relocation or biodiversity. Worse, concerns on economic development often takes the prime seat while issues related with conservation and biodiversity are placed aside. The problem is that environmental damages might prove to be irreversible. Also, biodiversity issues that seem to be trivial at initial glance might become big risks as an economic activity or project progresses. The case of cement manufacturing in Ha Tien Plane in Vietnam, a critical ecosystem, displayed the need to continually assess impacts of economic activities on biodiversity. A change in the treatment of the EIA, from being a mere procedural step in project implementation to a guide that advises and gives warning to potential impacts, is highlighted.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

A Swiss-based cement company, Holcim, approached the International Finance Corporation (IFC) about a proposed greenfield cement plant in Hon Chong in 1993. Around that time, Vietnam was experiencing economic growth, and was opening its country to foreign investment. Specifically in the cement industry, the supply of cement from two initial operators was already being overtaken by demand. The proposed site of Holcim was highly scenic, which actually supports tourism activities. However, the view then was that the area appeared to be unproductive. In fact, the site did not appear to meet the IFC’s natural habitat standard. Interestingly, the initial EIA undertaken for the proposed cement factory noted that there is little wildlife in the area and lack of birdlife. The EIA also focused on technical issues (e.g. emission), with modest attention to biodiversity. Issues on biodiversity were raised but it was concluded that the need for cement was of prime importance relative to conservation. With the operation of the cement plant, it was realized that construction and related costs were higher than expected. Also, the production volumes were lower compared with the projected volumes. At the same time, the Asian Crisis halted the growth of the cement industry. Around that time as well, stakeholders slowly learned and realized the biological value of the affected area. Simultaneous with the cement plant’s operation, the IFC revisited the adequacy of the earlier EIA. It was learned that the landscape of the area is one of the world’s most threatened karst landscape. The biodiversity value of the area also changed due to what was happening in the other parts of the region. Grassland habitats were lost throughout the region due to the expansion of shrimp farming and rice cultivation. As grasslands slowly disappear in other areas, the endangered Eastern Sarus Crane (the world’s tallest flying bird), congregated in larger numbers in other areas, specifically the Holcim Vietnam site.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

Given the “change” in the biodiversity value of the site, Holcim and the government were placed in a predicament. The government’s priority was still economic development. At the same time, Holcim holds mineral rights on the limestone of the site. In 1999, the IFC commissioned a biodiversity assessment of the site, and the entire Hon Chong region. The assessment recognized the need for an integrated conservation initiative, encompassing the adjoining limestone, wetland, and sandstone. Though Holcim recognized that the concern is region-wide and not limited to its site, it realized that its corporate image could be affected. The biodiversity issues that emerged prompted Holcim Vietnam and the IFC to form a partnership with the International Crane Organization. Their primary aim was to demonstrate that maintaining the natural habitat could be more economically valuable than pursuing competing activities like shrimp and rice cultivation. An area (Phu My) was finally identified as an area for conservation management. It showed to be economically viable for the area. Other small-scale industries from conservation management also emerged like handicrats-making. The development of the area won the financial support from the World Bank Development Marketplace. Local government support is also strong for the conservation management efforts in the area. The linkage between IFC and the Industrial Bank started in 2004, with the IFC’s initial investment of US$ 52 million on the bank. The first-phase of the risk-sharing arrangement in 2006 made possible the creation of a facility that has been used to leverage a portfolio of US$ 65.7 million of energy efficiency equipment and project loans for small and medium-scale projects. Projects typically pursued were industrial boiler retrofitting, wasted heat recovery, co- and tri-generation projects for district heating, power saving, and optimization of industrial energy use. The initial efforts of the IFC and Industrial Bank attracted two prominent international co-investors, namely the Hang Seng Bank of Hong Kong and Singapore’s GIC Special Investments. In March 2008, participating banks in the CHUEE program approved 70 energy efficiency loans, with a loan portfolio of US$ 243 million. Interestingly, projects financed by the loans contribute to a net annual reduction of greenhouse gases of 4.3 million tons.

A. Policy Framework: 

There is a strong need to review how the EIA is conducted, particularly on the issue of securing commitment to the measures prescribed by the EIA. Also, regulatory and implementation polices that make the review of EIAs possible should be in place, with the fact that economic activities can surely have unforeseen impacts.

B. Budgetary and Financial Requirements: 

The concerned government agency needs to set up a fund that will finance regular review of selected EIAs, particularly large-scale and huge-impact projects.

C. Human Resources: 

There is a need to have a strong monitoring staff that traces whether the stakeholders comply with the measures identified by the EIA and the commitments given by respective parties. Also, given that economic activity could have irreversible consequences, the environment agency should have skills that would allow them to take preventive actions.

D. Material Resources: 

Given that a preventive action is the ideal stance, resources that would enable the regulator to track commitments and performance are necessary. A sole unit, equipped with a good data base system, is required in tracking industry actions.

E. Institutional Support: 

Partnerships with the local government and other stakeholders (NGOs, civic groups) are required to continuously keep track of biodiversity concerns. In the case of Holcim, the clamor for a review of the EIA came from the scientific community.

On-line Posting of the Transporter Capabilities in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

The main objective is to drive out of business unscrupulous Toxic and Hazardous Wastes (THW) transporters with fake or expired licenses.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The main objective is to drive out of business unscrupulous Toxic and Hazardous Wastes (THW) transporters with fake or expired licenses.

Sector/subsector:

The good practice addresses the transport and movement of THW, minimize potential accidents from THW, and reduce the quantity of illegally dumped in the environment, and discourage illegal recovery and re-use of dumped THW.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

Transporters of THW are required to undergo training on the documentation, emergency procedures and impacts of various THW on human health and the environment. The trucks for hauling must be provided with first aid facilities, equipment and chemicals necessary for clean up in case of emergencies, and special signage identifying the type, quantity, nature , first aid and emergency procedures. Due to stringent licensing requirements, a number of THW transporters with fake or expired licenses proliferate in the market THW transporters with fake manifest are also common.

The capability of THW transporters, the expiration dates, truck fleet, licensed drivers and personnel are posted in the internet. The administrative procedure was also revised, putting on the THW the responsibility of consulting the Environment Management Bureau website to check the validity of the THW transporter license , the capabilities and limitations imposed on the license and the responsible person to contact to prevent third parties from using another transporter’s license. The THW generator is equally responsible with the illegal THW transporter.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

Within 30 days after the new regulations and website was available, more than 100 new applications or renewal of THW transporter license were received and an unknown number of illegal transporter went out of business.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

The Administrative Order governing the responsibility of the THW generator during transport was modified to make them equally responsible if the THW transporter is unlicensed. Prior to this amendment, the THW generator could claim that he had been tricked into believing that the THW transporter is duly licensed and even goes to provide a copy of the fake license provided by the transporter with the authority to transport the THW. An additional copy of theTHW transporter permit is submitted to the IT unit for posting in the webpage.

Human Resources and Skills

The main personnel skill required is knowledge to update the webpage periodically.
Material and Resources

Computer, webpage and server.

Institutional Support

The server was provided by a World Bank grant.

V. Further Information: 

References and Publications:

Revised guidelines for the licensing of THW transporters
http://www.emb.gov.ph

Promotion of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in Bangladesh via Command and Control Schemes

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

The transport sector is identified to be one of the contributors of air pollution in Dhaka. In particular, two-stroke auto rickshaws or baby taxis were identified as one of the strongest contributor. It was also found out that this vehicle emits a hydrocarbon; volatile organic compound; and particulate matters. The program to achieve better air quality was kicked-off by conversion to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and the startup of fueling stations in October 2001. In December 2002, the Ministry of Communications issued a ban on two stroke baby taxies.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The transport sector is identified to be one of the contributors of air pollution in Dhaka. In particular, two-stroke auto rickshaws or baby taxis were identified as one of the strongest contributor. It was also found out that this vehicle emits a hydrocarbon; volatile organic compound; and particulate matters. The program to achieve better air quality was kicked-off by conversion to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and the startup of fueling stations in October 2001. In December 2002, the Ministry of Communications issued a ban on two stroke baby taxies. The following year, a new fleet of CNG three-wheeler was introduced.

Sector/subsector:

The objective of the policy was to ease air pollution problems in major cities like Dhaka. It was easy for the government to pinpoint the source of pollution in the capital since there are no heavy industries or power stations near the city.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The program employed command and control schemes to address the problem. The government introduced an option by bringing in CNG. The program was also accompanied by an air quality-monitoring project funded by the World Bank and the Dhaka Clean Fuel Project of the ADB.

With the introduction of CNG in 2001 and the start-up of fueling stations, about 25,000 light vehicles were converted to CNG. Initially, conversion to CNG was thought to be prohibitive, averaging to about US$583 per vehicle. However, increasing prices of fuel triggered the demand for conversion. Currently, an average of about 3500 vehicles are converting to CNG. Currently, there are more than a hundred refueling stations in the country.

Currently, the government is also converting their fleet to CNG. As of today, almost half of their fleet converted to CNG. The government also recently established the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission, which aims to monitor and make regulations on CNC use.

Currently, the government is also looking at CNG conversion for diesel buses and trucks. The plan is to do it side by side with the phasing out of old buses and trucks. It is also planning to look at pricing issues on fuel. For example, there is an incentive in the other sectors to use diesel fuel since it is provided with subsidy.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The introduction of CNG resulted to an improvement in air quality of urban cities, like Dhaka. As of date, around 50,000 baby taxis converted to CNG. Initially, the public found the initial phase out of old rickshaws difficult. However, the benefit of the program was realized with the improvement of air quality in the city. Currently, the increasing price of fuel creates an incentive to convert to CNG.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

The government carefully planned the move towards promotion of alternative fuels.  The country’s Environmental Conservation Rules requires the use of catalytic converter and diesel particulate filter for petrol and diesel driven vehicles.  Also, this policy was effective since ban on old buses plying the city was done side by side. 

In terms of the program’s operation, a national standard that will guide daily program routines (conversion, refueling, etc) needs to be developed.  The various components, from licensing, conversion, monitoring, and enforcement of emission standards, need to be properly assigned to respective agencies.

Human Resources and Skills

A well-integrated organization is required to man the program’s operation.  A licensing office should be prepared to handle the annual increase of applicants for vehicle regulation, inspection, and CNG conversion.  A pool of trained technicians and fleet managers should be developed to handle the day-to-day operation (refueling, ensuring of safety, conversion). 

On the side of monitoring of air quality and emission standards, technicians should be regularly available.  Also, the tasked agency should be prepared for expert who can handle the equipment used for emission testing.

Material and Resources

The program is quite intensive in the use of capital equipment, from licensing to monitoring of air quality.  For the CNG stations, fueling stations should be carefully designed for efficiency and safety.  The size of the fueling station should be appropriate given the daily demand for CNG.  The government should also invest on proper emission testing equipment. 

Institutional Support

The business of CNG refueling and conversion is becoming lucrative given the demand for CNG.  In Bangladesh, a large number of entrepreneurs is applying license to operate fueling and CNG converting stations.  The government recently granted more than 2000 permits to operate for CNG fueling stations alone.  The mechanisms on accreditation and monitoring should be laid down since there are both safety and pricing concerns in this business. 

In terms of emission testing, an office should be properly designated on handling the daily emission testing activities.  A procedure on how to properly conduct testing should also be prepared. 

Simplifying the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Procedures in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Dec 12 2009

The practice is an on-going and continuous process to stream line and simplify the conduct of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The practice is an on-going and continuous process to stream line and simplify the conduct of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures. Sector/subsector: The practice covers environmentally critical projects as well as non-environmentally critical projects located in environmentally critical areas.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The EIA is primarily a planning tool. On the other hand, the laws on water, air, solid wastes, toxic and hazardous wastes management are regulatory tools. Aside from the environmental laws, a number of environmental concerns have been traditionally and continues to be effectively addressed by a number of government departments other than the environmental management organizations. Environmental issues are crosscutting, covering various disciplines. The main purpose of the EIA process is to identify the environmental issues and highlight those issues for consideration and incorporation by the decision makers vested with legal authority and technical skills. Other departments such as the land use planning, water resources management, forestry, fisheries, and geosciences share on the task of supervising and addressing environment concerns. These agencies can utilize various tools in their respective expertise and disciplines to do so (e.g. social sciences, engineering). However, instead of the EIA being done as early as possible in the project cycle, the EIA is evaluated and makes room for the previous approvals and decisions of the other departments. As a result the EIA has become useless and in a number of instances. Worse, it often times serves as mere rubber stamp for environmentally destructive projects by confirming the decisions made by other agencies without proper consideration of the environmental issues. In the later case, the EIA process contributes to environmental degradation rather than acting as aid for mitigation. For example, a project may have serious environmental concern. For example, land use a reclassification should not have been granted by the land-use planning agency. However, it is often the case that reclassification comes prior to the EIA evaluation. In this particular case, the EIA merely concurs with earlier decisions made by allied agencies. The EIA agency is then placed in an indecisive position. At the same time, the EIA process is blamed for delayed implementation of important projects designed to address environmental problems such as the sitting of sanitary landfill, construction of sewage treatment plants. This practice realigned the EIA process in its appropriate function in the project cycle, strengthened its role in the decision making process by dictating and highlighting the environmental concerns that other decision makers have to consider rather than the other way around. At the same time, it improves the monitoring and enforcement of the environmental concerns especially those aspects where the burden and responsibility have been placed in other governmental agencies.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The other agencies take the responsibility of incorporating the findings of the EIA and in the process are made answerable to the public if they disregard the recommendations.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

In the case of the Philippines, the EIA authority is vested on the President of the Republic. The President issued Administrative Order 42 which  clarifies and instructs that the EIA is carried out as early as possible in the project cycle. Similarly, the EIA procedures and guideline were revised to reflect the intent of AO 42. Instead of the EIA requiring prior permits and clearances, the findings of the EIA process highlights and in some instances dictates to the other agencies the important environmental concerns that they have to consider in decision-making.

Human Resources and Skills

There were no additional human resources required. However, a number of seminars and training were carried out to reverse the old practices that made the EIA process irrelevant.

Material and Resources

A number of training materials, guidebooks and information materials were made and distributed to the project proponents.

Institutional Support

The project was carried out with the support of the Asian Development Bank.

V. Further Information: 

References and Publications: AO 42 Revised EIA Guidelines

Simplified and Effective Air Monitoring Programs in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

The practice aims to provide cost-effective air monitoring program, especially in the scenario of budget and resource constraint.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The practice aims to provide cost-effective air monitoring program, especially in the scenario of budget and resource constraint.

Sector/subsector:

Air pollution monitoring

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

Ambient air quality standards have averaging times of ranging, from one hour for carbon monoxide and ozone to one year for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. However, commercial manufacturers and distributors of air pollution monitoring equipment aim to sell expensive real-time monitoring equipment, linked to the Internet where people could see the trends of air quality. While the instantaneous presentations of the results could mesmerize the public and decision-makers unfamiliar with technical issues on air quality monitoring, the prohibitive cost of such system (US$300,000 to 700,000 per monitoring site) makes the usefulness of the monitoring data of little value to actual policy making. Also, the monitoring stations are limited in number and often sparsely located. The operating and maintenance cost of the monitoring stations is very expensive, ranging from $20,000 to 50,000 annually. Real time air quality monitors then often serve as promotional display, often located in the middle of parks and places of thick vegetation, negating its main and actual purpose.

However, with budget constraints, far more cost-effective options are available. In the last 20 years, passive samplers have been developed and used satisfactorily. Compared with real time monitors, passive samplers are cheap, costing from $5 to 10 per sample. Instead of one sample for one urban area, the air quality could be monitored at a hundred sites at a fraction of the annual and operating cost of an open path sampler. One drawback of passive samplers though is the frequent need to take, remove, and change the sampler depending on the averaging time of the pollutant.

Passive samplers were shown to be very effective. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank used the passive sampler in monitoring the sulfur dioxide concentration in its RAINS-ASIA program. The monitoring results were used to calibrate a complex acid rain regional model and development regional strategies. In the past, the cost of passive samplers and analysis was much higher, by as much as a factor of three as the equipment for analyzing the samples were in the early stages of development and very few laboratories in the world have the capability. The samplers were sent to Europe for analysis. Today the equipment for analysis could be purchased at around $50,000.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank used the passive samplers effectively in its acid rain studies in Asia. The monitoring results were used to calibrate the RAINS-ASIA model and develop mitigation measures.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

There is a need for the development of a strong and well-defined air pollution monitoring policy framework in order for the technical personnel to resist the strong pressure from expensive air pollution monitoring equipment salesmen. The monitoring stations locations have to be defined in terms of area, population density and economic activity. It should be realized that one or two sampling stations do not give any meaningful picture of the air pollution trend of the city.

Human Resources and Skills

In the World Bank and Asian Development Bank study, the nearby residents did the collection and replacement of the passive samplers.  They were given one hour training on the placement, removal and storage of the samplers. Laboratory equipment for analysis would be advantageous if there are more than a hundred samples to analyze every month. A skilled chemist is required to run the equipment.

Material and Resources

Supply of passive samplers and analytical equipment is needed. Otherwise the sampler could be mailed to the nearest laboratory with the proper equipment and analyst as done in the World Bank –Asian Development Bank study.

Institutional Support

Support from scientific community and NGO is needed in order for the environmental management agency to withstand the pressure from salesmen to buy expensive monitoring equipment.

V. Further Information: 

References and Publications:

World Bank publications on Acid Rain

Monitoring Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

A number of persistent organic chemicals are used in industries. However, laboratories in developing countries normally do not have the facilities to analyze the pollutants created by these organic chemicals.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

A number of persistent organic chemicals are used in industries. However, laboratories in developing countries normally do not have the facilities to analyze the pollutants created by these organic chemicals.

Sector/subsector:

Monitoring of use of organic chemicals and enforcing compliance on rules governing created pollutants.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The number of persistent organic chemicals used in modern industries is quite numerous and often the concentration in the environment of concern is very low that is unrealistic for laboratories in most developing countries to be equipped with the appropriate laboratory facilities. The usage of those persistent organic chemicals and the generated pollutants could very small. However, those substances can accumulate in the environment and may reach critical levels. Once the chemicals have accumulated, it may take decades before the chemicals are neutralized, especially if the chemicals affect groundwater.

One of such chemical is Trichloroethylene, or TCE. TCE is widely used in industries, ranging from dry cleaners, machine shops, electronic and semi-conductors. It is even used by households as a degreasing and cleaning chemical. TCE is a potential carcinogenic substance and in most countries. Its use has been prohibited since the mid 1990s. TCE is a volatile substance but it is scrubbed from the atmosphere by rain and carried underground, often contaminating ground water resources.

TCE is just an example of an industrial chemical, whose impacts on the environment is persistent and potentially damaging even at parts per billion or parts per trillion range. Most countries have a reporting system or control on the entry of those chemicals on their border. However, once inside their territory the monitoring is patchy, since sophisticated laboratory required for monitoring is most often than not absent.

In this particular case, the presence of TCE in the ground water was voluntarily reported by a multi-national giant after it carried out clean up of its old factory site. The company stopped using TCE in 1992 in line with its parent company environmental policy and 2006 as part of its clean up procedures; it spent hundreds of thousand of dollars to sample and analyze the soil and groundwater. Due to the wide uses of TCE and the number of potential users it was difficult to pinpoint the source. However, the concentration was up to a hundred times higher than the recommended TCE levels on drinking water by the World Health Organization.

Based on this incident, the procedures for importation of some 30 chemicals were revised. Importers of chemicals in the “watch list” were required to submit the list of users and the quantity used prior to authorization to import. The users were required to report the concentration of those chemicals in the groundwater, surface and soil as part of their environmental permit.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The cost of analyzing one sample of a typical chemical in the “watch list” is $50 and measuring the downstream and upstream surface and ground water quality can reach $200 per year. The cost of analysis for soil sample is higher, at $80. The total cost for a user per chemical type in the “watch list” is $280 per year. Considering that there are more than 10,000 users, the annual cost is $2,800,000. Interestingly, these associated costs are much higher than the budget of laboratory agencies of a typical environment agency.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

Implementation of the practice called for revision of the administrative order controlling the importation of the chemicals in the “watch list”. The environmental management agency also encourages the private sector to open laboratory facilities to analyze the various chemicals in the “watch list” to lower the cost. It is estimated that more than 40 percent of the present cost is the special handling and shipping requirements of the samples for analysis in either Singapore, Tokyo or West coast USA.

Human Resources and Skills

The revision was integrated into the existing workload of the staff evaluating and authorizing the importation of the chemicals in the “watch list”

Material and Resources

The monitoring of the users, the quantity used and the importers were encoded in the environmental management database to facilitate compliance monitoring.

Institutional Support

Implementation of the procedure called for strong cooperation between the environmental management and customs, which is responsible for the controlling entry of the chemicals in the watch list. It also called for strong cooperation within the agency of the water quality division and the THW and the controlled chemical division.

V. Further Information: 

References and Publications:

Original DAO for controlled chemical importation
Revised DAO for controlled chemical importation

On-line Application for Certificate of Non-Coverage in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

An on-line application process facilitates the evaluation and issuance of Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) from the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) System. A considerable amount of resources are saved, both by the applicant and the concerned agency.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

An on-line application process facilitates the evaluation and issuance of Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) from the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) System. A considerable amount of resources are saved, both by the applicant and the concerned agency.

Sector/subsector:

Non-environmentally critical projects located in non- environmental critical areas, as defined by Presidential Decree 1586 (1978), are not covered by the environmental impact system and as such do not require the preparation of an environmental impact statement. However, a number of project lenders and businesses request for a certificate of non-coverage to establish with certainty that the project is exempted from the EIA process.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The standard practice was for the project proponent or his representative to secure the forms from the nearest Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) office, fill the forms, and submit it back to the office for evaluation. The EMB office evaluates the submission and informs the project proponent within five working days of the results of the evaluation. Upon receipt of the confirmation, the project proponent pays the applicable fees and collects the CNC.

The process is time consuming especially for applicants who are located far from the EMB regional offices. This is made difficult as well since there are only 13 regional offices serving more than seventy provinces. The project proponent has to go to the regional office three times, first to get the forms, then to submit the forms, and finally to collect the CNC. In fact, the travel time and cost of travel alone could be several times more expensive than the CNC fees. Most often, the project proponent also disturbs the EMB staff from more important workload.

With the improved system, the application form is posted on the Internet. On-line, the project proponent fills it, and submits it electronically. He also submits scanned or fax copies to the concerned EMB office. If he meets all the requirements, he is asked to submit to the EMB office a certified true copy of all the supporting documents, present to the responsible EMB officer the original documents, pay the processing fees, and finally collect the CNC. If the submission is insufficient to support the application, he is informed of the deficiency through electronic mail, rather taking a trip to the EMB regional office.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The practice reduced the cost of securing the CNC, allows more thorough evaluation of the documentation submitted by EMB staff as they are not under pressure by the presence of the project proponent or his representative who has travelled more than a 100km or so. Lastly, the electronic forms make the evaluation process more transparent, predictable, and consistent.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

The Supreme Court of the Philippines clarified the coverage of the EIA system. Non-environmentally critical projects located in non-environmentally critical areas are exempted. As such the EIA guidelines were revised in August 2007 to reflect the Supreme Court Decision and streamline the implementation of the EIA system.

Human Resources and Skills

Personnel in the regional and central office were trained to retrieve and evaluate the submissions. If in doubt, the staff at the regional office could send an email and ask for assistance from the EIA central office personnel. The EIA central office staff may also refer the problem to the Director EMB for direction if clarifications on the submissions are required.

Material and Resources

A key component in the implementation is the availability of internet connection in the EMB regional offices, key municipalities and cities where most of the project proponents have their businesses. As the practice involves transmittal of scanned documents, internet dial up connection is often insufficient. For this reason, project proponents are given the option of sending the documentation through fax.

Institutional Support

The project was developed with financial support from the Asian Development Bank.

V. Further Information: 

References and Publications:

Presidential Decree 1586 (1978)
Supreme Court of the Philippines
EIA Guidelines of August 2007

Contact Persons and Address:

www.emb.gov.ph

Posting of Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

The aim of the practice is to provide transparency, consistency and predictability of the conditions imposed on the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The aim of the practice is to provide transparency, consistency and predictability of the conditions imposed on the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).

Sector/subsector:

The sector covers environmentally critical projects and/or projects located in environmentally critical areas as defined by Presidential Decree No. 1586, 1978.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is primarily a planning tool. In the development and assessment of the EIA, mitigating measures beyond the requirements of existing environmental laws are identified and ideally, the project proponent agrees to implement those measures to reduce the project environmental impacts. As the project impacts are very site- and project-design specific, the conditions imposed on the ECC varies across projects.

The ECC conditions are also affected by the personal experience, background and perceptions of the evaluation committee. It is a common concern among project proponents however, that some projects carry more stringent conditions compared to similar project of larger scale or located in more environmentally critical areas. Some ECC have conditionality beyond the control of the project proponent or may sound inappropriate.

The practice involves the posting of the ECC in the Internet. This creates an awareness for the project proponent, and even for those preparing the EIA, on the main impacts of the project, the mitigating measures to address those impacts, the local environmental conditions affecting the selection of the mitigating measures and the selection of alternatives. An on-line posting also imposes discipline in the evaluation committee from placing conditions that are inappropriate. The evaluation committee is also be guided by precedence set by previous ECC of similar or comparable projects.

The posting of the ECC in the Internet will also allow NGOs to monitor more closely compliance of projects on ECC conditions. It also enables the following: (1) how the ECC conditions fare with past conditions set by ECC of similar projects, (2) analysis on the soundness of the evaluation process, and (3) the reason for non-inclusion. It also eliminates the proliferation of fake ECC, or projects covered by the EIA processes that are being executed without an ECC.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

Initial analysis showed large variations of the ECC conditions and in a number of instances confirmed project proponent’s concern of conditions beyond the capacity of the project proponent to address or just simply silly. As a result the ECC were posted in the intranet to provide internal comparison and upgrade the evaluation process.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

The practice did not require any amendment to the existing EIA guidelines. It only requires an office memorandum for the ECC from all regions to be sent to the IT unit at the central office for posting.

Human Resources and Skills

The practice requires one to two hours per day of the IT personnel to post the ECC fax or sent by email from the regional offices.

Material and Resources

The practice requires a computer, server, fax machine and telephone lines.

Institutional Support

The practice requires strong leadership and support from top management of the organization otherwise the regions are hesitant to submit the ECC they have issued on time.

V. Further Information: 
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