Pahang to review mining regulations to prevent water pollution

KUANTAN: Pahang government has agreed to review regulations related to mining activities in the state to prevent pollution of its water resources.

State secretary Datuk Seri Dr Sallehuddin Ishak said one of several matters agreed during the state government’s meeting was the amendment to the amount of deposit paid to the common rehabilitation trust fund before miners could resume their activities.

“In addition, the terms for mining licences will also be tightened and improved, apart from establishing a more comprehensive mine rehabilitation plan involving government agencies and licence holders, ” he said in a statement.

Sallehuddin said the decision was made following water pollution at Sungai Temau water treatment plant (LRA) in Lipis, about 300km from here, which was discussed during the meeting.

The pollution in May caused the water treatment plant to shut down several times, leading to water supply disruption to 421 account holders at Felda Chegar Perah and Felcra Sungai Temau.

Sallehuddin said a check on Sungai Temau on June 6 uncovered active mining sites as well as former mines near Sungai Temau LRA.

It was also found that water from the sediment pools at the mines had flowed into the river, due to the failure of the operator to maintain the pond properly, he disclosed.

“The turbidity readings was also high, at 4,380 of the nephelometric turbidity units (NTU), recorded on May 16 and the condition worsened during heavy rain, ” he added.

Sallehuddin said the operators’ action of abandoning the mines without implementing a rehabilitation programme had resulted in the sites turning into an environmental hazard.

As such, he said the state government had issued an immediate stop-work order to those holding a lease or mining licence in the Sungai Temau area.

Compound notices would also be issued to those who violated the mining regulations, he assured.

“The directives for immediate maintenance action have been issued to mine operators with sedimentation problems.

“As a short-term solution to the pollution which affected the Sungai Temau LRA, a diversion of the river flow is currently being built that will not pass through the plant, ” he added. — Bernama

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