ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor Department of Environment (DOE) has received some 140 complaints on river pollution in the first 10 months of the year.
Johor health and environment committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said the complaints have been investigated and action taken against those responsible under the Environmental Quality Act 1974.
He said that among actions taken include issuance of compounds, warning notices, stop-work orders, as well as legal action against premises that failed to comply with the stipulated regulations.
“Among the types of pollution detected were from domestic and solid waste, waste from construction and sand mining activities, farm pesticide as well as waste from poultry farms, the industrial sector and urbanisation.
“Other pollution factors include waste from the sewage system, fishing activities, oil or chemical spills and leachate from landfills in Johor, ” he said during the State Assembly sitting.
He said this in reply to Ee Chin Li (PH-Tangkak) who asked what action had been taken by DOE to address problems related to rivers, river pollution, drains and drainage.
Vidyananthan added that the Johor DOE regularly monitored the water quality of most of the major rivers in the state.
“The Johor DOE has enhanced its enforcement programme though Ops Gempur, which started in the beginning of the year.
“The operation was to conduct checks on factories that are categorised as problematic throughout the state and it focused on areas like Pasir Gudang.
“The operations were carried out against industries, oil palm mills, rubber mills and factories that process or recycle waste including power plants, government and private sewage treatment plants, clinics, workshops, hospitals, hotels, quarries, and warehouses, ” he said.
He said that there are 399 rivers in Johor but the DOE only monitors and supervises 126 rivers in detail.
“The water quality monitoring conducted by the DOE is to check on the impact of the industries to rivers and the flow to raw water treatment plants. Hence, it is not conducted on all 399 rivers, ” he said.
Based on the water quality index on the 126 rivers that are being monitored, only two rivers are in Class 1, which indicate a good water quality, while 59 in Class 2,47 in Class 3 and 18 in Class 4.