JOHOR BARU: The owner of a factory that may have caused an oil spill in Sungai Johor could face legal action for negligence.
If the water samples collected from the drains near the factory in Felda Taib Andak, Kulaijaya, and Sungai Johor match, the factory owner could be charged soon, said state Department of Environment director Mokhtar Abdul Majid.
He said the samples were collected on Thursday and had been sent to the Chemical Department to be tested.
“We will compile the investigation papers and submit them to the Public Prosecutor’s office for further action,” he said yesterday.
Mokhtar said the state DOE had sealed the factory and directed it to stop operations pending the outcome of the chemical report.
“Usually it takes about two weeks but in urgent cases like this, we will push for the results,” he said.
The oil spill was believed to be diesel-based and could have come from tyre burning, which produces oil as a by-product.
The spill forced the Semangar and Sungai Johor water treatment plants to be closed, affecting some 500,000 residents in parts of Nusajaya, Kulaijaya, Ulu Tiram and here.
Checks by The Star found that stacks of used tyres were stored in a vacant land next to the factory.
A visit to a stream that supplies water to the treatment plants saw some workers putting up an oil boom with fabric sheets to contain the spill.
Sungai Johor and Semangar water treatment plants resumed operations at 9am and 11.30am respectively yesterday.
Syarikat Air Johor (SAJ) corporate communications chief Jamaluddin Jamal said continuous filtering and treatment had to be done to ensure that it was safe for consumption before the plants were reopened.
Water supply was restored in stages after that.
For more information, contact the SAJ Info Centre hotline at 1800-88-7474 or SMS 019-772 7474 or email email@example.com.