Malaysia: State to meet owners of industries operating along Sg Johor

NELSON BENJAMIN The Star 15 Jul 16;

JOHOR BARU: All factory and mill owners operating along Sg Johor and Sg Sayong will be called in for a special meeting following the ammonia spill which caused a major water disruption affecting hundreds of thousands of consumers.

Johor Heath and Environment committee chairman Datuk Ayob Rahmat said that the meeting would be held as soon as possible and attended by personnel from the Environment Department and other agencies.

“Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Muhamad Khaled Nordin is concerned about this incident and has directed a meeting to ensure our waterways are free from pollution.

“This is the second time this has happened in the area this year,” he said, adding that previously it was due to an oil spill from an illegal factory which was burning tyres in Kulaijaya in April.

Ayob added that he expects to meet with at least 60 millers, factory operators and industries operating along a 26km stretch of Sg Johor.

He added that all these operators had complied with the regulations before obtaining an operating licence but they did not seem to maintain their equipment properly.

“Everyone needs to play their part. In the latest case, I have been informed that the effluent pond at an oil palm mill was not properly maintained causing the leakage,” he said.

On Tuesday, high levels of ammonia believed to be from a oil palm mill was discovered in Sg Johor prompting the shutting down of three water treatment plants.

It affected users in Skudai, Kulai, Bukit Batu, Tanjung Bin power plant, Iskandar Puteri and the Port of Tanjung Pelepas.

Syarikat Air Johor Holdings Sdn Bhd has mobilised tankers to supply water to public places such as hospitals, dialysis centres, places of worships and community halls.

Ayob also stressed that everyone should play their part in conserving the state’s water resources including the public who should stop throwing rubbish into the state’s waterways.

Johor to identify industries perating along all rivers
The Star 20 Jul 16;

JOHOR BARU: The state government will soon carry out an aerial mapping exercise to identify industry players operating along all rivers following the ammonia pollution that caused a major water disruption in Sungai Johor.

“This is needed to prevent similar incidents of pollution especially in rivers supplying raw water to consumers,” said State Secretary Datuk Ismail Karim.

He said the state has instructed the Johor Water Regulatory Body (Bakaj) to conduct investigations and plan the aerial mapping to identify industries currently operating along all rivers, including Sungai Johor.

This is the second time waste has been emitted from an oil palm mill in the state.

The first incident occurred in Felda Taib Andak, Kulai in 2015 where an illegal factory processing waste and old tyres caused water pollution, said Ismail when met at an open house hosted by Johor Village Heads Association at Kompleks Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat here.

He also said the oil palm mill belonging to a government-linked company in Ulu Remis here has been served a 60-day notice of closure starting from July 15 pending cleaning up works

Ismail added that the notice of closure was issued by the Department of Environment under Section 31 of the Environment Quality Act 1974, adding that investigation papers would be opened under Section 16.

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