KOTA KINABALU: The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the 300mW coal fired plant in Lahad Datu is under the purview of the federal Department of Environment.
State Environmental Conservation Department director Datuk Eric Juin said Sunday, under the Sabah Environmental Protection Enactment 2002, his office was entrusted to evaluate EIAs for construction projects and plantations among others.
“An EIA for a power plant is under the jurisdiction of the federal DOE,” he said in confirming that the proposed 300MW coal fired power plant in Silam near Lahad Datu was outside his department’s purview.
Legally an EIA was mandatory under Enviromental Quality Order (Enviromental Impact Assessment) (Prescribed Activities) 1987 and approval was required before the project can begin.
Under the terms of reference (TOR) prepared for Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) for the coal plant at Silam some 17kms Lahad Datu, it was stated 50 copies of the TOR had to be submitted to the federal DOE for its evaluation, consideration and approval.
According to the TOR dated December 2005, among the environment concerns were that water quality in the Darvel Bay was likely to be affected during its construction and operational phases.