‘Licensed factories main polluters’

Sungai Gong in Rawang that was polluted. Selangor government says it will not compromise on pollution issues and stern action will be taken against culprits. — Filepic

MOST river pollution cases in Selangor are said to be caused by licensed factories.

Tourism, environment and green technology and Orang Asal affairs committee chairman Hee Loy Sian said many parties were under the impression that pollution incidents were caused by unlicensed factories.

“This is not true. In actual fact, some licensed factories with poor operating procedures polluted the streams and rivers,” he said in response to a question by Rizam Ismail (BN-Sungai Air Tawar).

Hee said measures were in place to strictly monitor the operations of factories and ensure all complied with the Environment Department’s (DOE) standard operating procedures.

“The state government will not compromise on this pollution issue and stern action will be taken against culprits.

“Local authorities have taken legal action against registered factories that caused river pollution,” he said, noting that eight companies had been taken to court between 2017 and now.“Four companies facing legal action are charged with polluting Sungai Semenyih while another four for the Sungai Selangor pollution,” he elaborated.

Hee said the state government, through Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) and Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd, had set up several telemetry stations upstream to monitor water quality.

“Other water treatment methods are being studied to curb contamination.

“We are concerned about quality. We want the people to get clean water from their taps,” he added.

At the sitting, Dr Idris Ahmad (PH-Ijok) questioned if more stern action, besides compounds, would be taken against factories or industries that were repeat offenders.

He asked if the state government would seize their land or premises.

To this, Hee said an ongoing case involved action being taken to seize the land and premises.

Idris also questioned the number of unlicensed factories which had been issued licences.

He asked if the state government planned to increase measures to monitor rivers and water treatment plants.

Hee replied that a list from Luas on factories near rivers had been given to the respective local authorities for them to keep tabs and carry out enforcement measures.

“We are also in the process of moving unlicensed factories away from the waterways and the business owners are cooperating with us on this matter.”

In response to Saari Sungib (PH-Hulu Klang) who asked about action on odour pollution and other types of river pollution, Hee said any form of contamination would be dealt with accordingly.

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