KUALA Langat Municipal Council (MPKL) has given its approval for a defunct battery factory in Jenjarom to reopen, much to the dismay of locals.
Council president Datuk Amirul Azizan Abd Rahim said the factory must comply with the regulations set by the Selangor Environment Department (DOE).
“We will not hesitate to revoke the approval if the factory fails to follow regulations.
“Villagers are to be our eyes and ears to keep the authorities informed of goings-on in the area,” he said.
MPKL Licensing Department director Nordila Yasir said the factory received a temporary approval, renewable every six months, to operate for two years.
“The factory must conduct soil and water studies of surrounding areas, every three months.
“It must not discharge effluent into nearby water bodies,” she said, adding that the facility was permitted to operate from 8am to 8pm daily and that no increase in production capacity was allowed.
Villagers representative Mohd Nazri Afrizal said MPKL had failed to take into account villagers’ concerns.“Many community leaders from the local mosques and parent-teacher associations voiced their discontent over the factory’s reopening.
“The risks for accidents are too great, especially for residents living nearby,” he said during a town hall meeting at MPKL headquarters in Banting yesterday.
The factory made headlines in 2019 after the authorities found it responsible for lead pollution.
The then state environment, green technology and consumer affairs committee chairman Hee Loy Sian had ordered for it to cease operations and relocate.
StarMetro reported early this year that another company had bought over the facility with plans to start operations.
Factory production manager Mohd Shamsul Sharizan Ayop said the facility would not be making lead batteries anymore but would assemble solar batteries instead.
He added that the factory would comply with proper standards and regulations.
Persatuan Tindakan Alam Sekitar Kuala Langat legal adviser Lee Chee Kwang said villagers would consider taking the matter to court for a judicial review if MPKL proceeded with its plan.
He said in the Kuala Langat Local Plan 2030, battery activity was considered heavy industry and the factory was located in a medium industry zone.
Approval from the authorities is akin to a U-turn as the DOE issued a directive in February, instructing the factory to relocate to a heavy industry zone.
Also present at the meeting were Selangor DOE director Nor Aziah Jaafar, Sijangkang assemblyman Datuk Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi and Masjid Jenjarom representatives.