KKK invited to Public Discussions on Coal Power Plants
On invitation of the Kapihan Sa Dayrit's Producers, namely Rey Garcia of News Central, Godofredo M. Manuel of Aguman Capampangan, Mr. Polyne Llanora DWHL-756KhzAM, Ptr. Renee Verzosa of Dayrit's Kitchen and Mr. John "Dr. J" Sayson, KKK's Dr. Ed Alabastro and Medi Fernando and separately KKK adviser Dr. Ely Ouano, participated in the various stakeholders' consultations on issues attendant to coal power plants.
Coal power plants have been a subject of various challenges in respect of climate change effects, health risks/impacts and pollution. KKK provided criteria/guidelines for stakeholders on which they could make informed decisions for policy making, regulations or appropriate actions.
On GHG emissions by Coal Power Plants
While cognizant of Vice President Al Gore's observation that coal power plants are the major CO2 emitters, it was suggested that a country's inventory in relation to the global must first be reckoned with before relating the contribution of the country's emitters such as coal power plants to global impacts. The very low country GHG inventory is reflected in the 2nd NFCC of the Philippines is shown below and which in fact is suggesting that the country is CO2 neutral.
On Health Risks/Impacts
A common question raised on coal power plants is the alleged risks brought about by Mercury and Lead. It was suggested that mercury and lead be analysed or pre determined in the specific coal fuel to be or is being used. The principle of "Matter cannot be Created" advanced by French Chemist Antoine Lavoisier could be invoked, i.e. when heavy metals are absent in coal and synthesis of these cannot take place in a coal power plant system the same cannot be generated in the emissions. The fact that the Philippine Clean Air Act itself allows lead and mercury in the emissions up to maximum limits (For Lead 10 as Pb, for Mercury 5 as elemental Hg, in mg/NcM per Section 19 of RA 8749) is of significance.
Other Health Impacting Pollutants
NOx. Science-based considerations suggest that low temperature operating levels will not significantly generate NOx.
SO2.Modern proven and verifiable technologies employ basic chemical reactions that minimizes SO2 pollution to acceptable limits.
PM's.Modern proven and verifiable technologies employ basic principles in electricity and in absorption to limit PM's to acceptable levels.
CO.Complete combustion can be readily achieved by simple technology solutions thus eliminating or minimizing releases of carbon monoxide.
Project and Site Specific Pollution from Coal Power Plants.
On the basic principle that the protection of human health equates to the quality of the ambient air and not on the quality of discharges from industrial stacks, existing coal power plants can be evaluated through the monitoring of the ambient air while prospective plants can be evaluated through the use of science-based Air Dispersion Modeling.
Illustration of Use of Air Dispersion Modeling for Estimation of Pollution
The map generated from an Air Dispersion Modeling works undertaken by Dr Ed Alabastro shows the distribution of the PM10 plume. Of significance are (a) the ambient values are well within the standards (b) the location of the ground level concentrations indicated in yellow dots are away from population centers, an influence of the site climatological characteristics.
Other issues and potential concerns on Coal Power Plants
Marine life degradation, impacts on land, potential acid rains, traffic disturbance are best addressed on a per project/per site basis. Scientific methodologies are available for the stakeholders to make their informed judgement.
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