Malaysia: Contamination forces Semenyih plant to be closed again

JOASH EE DE SILVA and CLARISSA CHUNG The Star 5 Oct 16;

PETALING JAYA: The Sungai Semenyih Water Treatment Plant has been forced to shut down again due to contamination, leading to water disruption in Selangor for the second time in a fortnight.

The plant, which was brought to a halt two weeks ago causing water cut to over 330,000 premises, was forced to cease operation at 10am yesterday.

Several areas in Petaling, Sepang, Hulu Langat and Kuala Langat districts faced water disruption from 11pm on Monday.

Green Technology and Environment Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said the odour was noticed on Monday night which forced the shutdown.

“The treatment plant will resume operation when there is no more odour pollution in the Semenyih river,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Wong said the culprit responsible for the source of pollution had been traced to a factory located next to a building material company at 22 1/4 Mile, Jalan Sungai Lalang, Semenyih.

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and officers from the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) and state Economic Planning Committee went to the factory yesterday to inspect its operations.

“MPKj closed the premises while waiting for the Department of Environment (DOE) to collect evidence of the contamination,” Wong added.

Wong said the case had been referred to the DOE for further action and investigation under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and if convicted, the culprits could face a maximum fine of RM100,000 and/or five years in jail.

In addition, local authorities could revoke their licences and stop all business operations.

“No appeals will be heard as their irresponsible action affected over 1.8 million residences in the state,” she said.

Azmin said the factory had been found to be operating without a licence.

He added that MPKj had seized all equipment on the premises and the Hulu Langat District and Land Office would seize the land.

“In the long run, the state government will station teams at a few locations to monitor the river and ensure its cleanliness,” Azmin said in a statement yesterday.

“We urge the DOE to take responsibility to ensure all industries around the river basin abide by the law.”


Factory source of recent Sungei Semenyih contamination
The Star 4 Oct 16;

PETALING JAYA: The Selangor state government has identified the culprit responsible for the source of pollution that resulted in the shutting down of the Sungei Semenyih Water Treatment Plant.

Green Technology and Environment Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong, in a statement on Tuesday, identified the firm as being located near Taman Sri Haneco in Semenyih.

Wong said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali with officers from the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) and State Economic Planning Committee (Upen) went to the factory to look at its operations on Tuesday.

"MPKj has closed the premises while waiting for the Department of Environment to collect evidence of the contamination," Wong said in statement.

She said there was no activity at the factory since it was confirmed that it was the source of the contamination at Sungei Semenyih.

The closing of the treatment plant two weeks ago caused water cuts to over 300,000 households.


Company ordered shut for releasing foul emission into Sungai Semenyih
DAWN CHAN New Straits Times 4 Oct 16;

SHAH ALAM: A company operating near Sungai Semenyih, identified as the culprit behind major odour pollution here, has been closed and sealed and had its land confiscated.

Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, through his Twitter account @azminali, said the action was taken against an illegal company following the detection of a foul odour by a river surveillance team at 11pm and 11.40pm yesterday at Kampung Rinching Hilir.

He added that he had instructed Air Selangor, Luas and the Department of Environment to take swift action.

Luas, Kajang Municipal Council and Air Selangor have been at the site have been at the site at Batu 22¼, Semenyih, since last night, when the surveillance team detected the foul odour.

Azmin, who also visited the site this morning, said Luas lodged a police report at 2.45am today on the matter.

“The company conducted its activity without a licence.

MPKj (Kajang Municipal Council) has sealed the premises and seized all of its equipment.

The land office (Hulu Langat land and district office) has been directed to seize the land.

“The land office and MPKj have been directed to act against the owner of the land and the industrial activity there within seven days.

The state government will not compromise with any party, individual or company which sabotages or pollutes the river.

“As a long-term measure, the state government will appoint a river surveillance team and enforcement to be placed along several locations.

“Air Selangor has been directed to deploy all assets to minimise the impact of a water disruption and take steps to lessen the shutdown duration,” he said.


Selangor to shut illegal waterway businesses
The Star 6 Oct 16;

SHAH ALAM: Selangor has directed local authorities in the state to immediately shut down all illegal plants and businesses located along main rivers and tributaries.

State Environment Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said the Department of Environment (DOE) had also been directed to show no mercy to those responsible in pollu­ting Sungai Semenyih over the past few weeks.

She said local authorities, DOE and Selangor Water Management Board (LUAS) had been ordered to work closely to beef up enforcement along the rivers, especially those used for water supply.

“We have to carry out 24-hour vigilance so that the culprits would not dare repeat this irresponsible act,” Wong said

She added that the recent contamination of Sungai Semenyih was clearly a case of how those responsible took the law for granted.

She said the number of enforcement personnel would be increased at the various agencies to provide more bite.

“All the agencies will have to do their own monitoring and ensure that those who have been issued with licences to operate a business do not flout environmental regulations,’’ she said.

Wong said that stern action would be taken against those responsible for the contamination at Sungai Semen­yih which caused water disruptions to more than 330,000 households in the Klang Valley.

The state exco member said the state government viewed the case very seriously and pledged tough action against the culprits.

“Investigation papers have been opened and the probe is ongoing,” said Wong, adding that the DOE and other agencies had obtained samples and other evidence from the site.

She said the contamination of Sungai Semenyih should not have occurred in the first place, adding that preventive measures must be taken by the relevant parties to prevent a recurrence.


Agencies checking on 120 factories operating along Sungai Semenyih
JADE CHAN The Star 7 Oct 16;

SEMENYIH: Enforcement officers from three agencies have started a joint operation to check on some 120 factories operating along Sungai Semenyih.

This follows the closure of an illegal factory that was said to be the cause of the water contamination in the Klang Valley.

It was jointly conducted by the Kajang Municipal Council, Hulu Langat Land Office and Department of Environment (DOE).

“During the operation, we confiscated goods and sealed off the premises of another factory found to be operating illegally.

“The team inspected eight premises, four of which had their licences revoked for flouting trade licensing, waste disposal and town planning bylaws,” said council’s public relations head Kamarul Izlan Sulaiman.

The factory site was located on agriculture land, so non-related activities were considered illegal.

“We issued a notice for the operator to stop all activities and to submit a report on their effluent disposal method within three days,” said Kamarul.

A visit by The Star saw workers from Kualiti Alam Sdn Bhd cleaning up the site while officers from Selangor Water Management Authority assisted in coordinating and enforcement works.

“We started cleaning and disposal work on Tuesday. Because of the large amount of waste, we will need about a week,” said Kualiti Alam Scheduled Waste Action Team consultant Datuk A. Mariasoosay.

Items found at the site included used engine oil, containers of sodium sulphate and a few types of chemicals.

“We have also taken samples of the soil and water. These samples will be tested and the results given to the DOE which will then decide what needs to be done,” he said.

Air Selangor Group said that the scheduled recovery plan of water supply to consumers was progressing well following the closure of the water treatment plant due to pollution.

“The plan is an effective measure to ensure that consumers do not experience water supply interruption for extended period,” said the group’s corporate communications head Amin Lin Abdullah.

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