CEBU CITY, July 17 – Representatives from the World Bank, Dept. of Transportation and Communications and Woodfields Consultancy Inc. presented Monday the potential environmental impacts of Cebu City’s proposed Bus Rapid Transit system.
Woodfields is the consultancy firm that conducted the environmental impact assessment for the city’s first mass transport system.
Dr. David Green, an environmental specialist from Woodfields, listed 14 environmental impacts in the construction phase of the BRT and six others during the project’s operation phase.
Green said there is a need to establish an environmental management plan, which will outline specific strategies to offset any harm done on the environment.
During the construction, among the environmental impacts are the disturbance of pedestrians and the flow of traffic in the city.
Construction materials will have to be stockpiled inside and around the project site.
The supply of power, water, telecommunications and other utility systems and services may also be interrupted, particularly along the BRT corridor.
The BRT route in the city will be from Bulacao, passing through N. Bacalso Ave., then to Osmena Blvd., Escario St, and straight to Barangay Talamban.
Green also said the BRT will cause pollution due to solid and liquid waste, hazardous waste and excavation spoils.
There will also be noise pollution, which could be an issue for schools and hospitals.
Aside from these, Green said there will be “localized” ponding and flooding within the project site, construction camps and other areas adjacent to the project.
The project may also cause siltation and nearby drainage channels and waterways.
There will be loss of vegetation and trees along the BRT corridor once the project will be implemented.
Roadways in the city will have to be widened to give way to the buses that will be used for the mass transport system.
For the operation phase, Green said the environmental impacts of the BRT project will include noise pollution, air pollution, pollution due to solid and waste water generation, conflict on power and energy sources, and traffic congestion and vehicular mobility.
Green said there is need to make sure that the BRT project will comply with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ noise standards and vehicle emission standards, among others.
There is also a need to formulate a solid waste management plan that will be in line with Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
Green also sees the need to use solar panels to minimize reliance on the city’s local power provider.
Delfin San Pedro, environmental impact team leader, has assured the environmental impacts of the BRT project will only be temporary and will only be experienced during the construction period of the project.
San Pedro said the construction of the BRT system in the city will take one to two years. (PNA) hbc/LAP/EB/re