Lynas gets all-clear but protest groups still unhappy

  • Nation
  • Monday, 12 Nov 2018

KUANTAN: While regulating agencies gave the all-clear to the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP), an opposing group is not letting up.

By the end of the nearly five-hour public hearing yesterday relating to the rare earth refinery’s operations here, all parties had their say.

The Department of Environment (DOE), Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), Malaysian Invest­ment Development Authority and the Department of Occupational Safety and Health found Lynas to be in compliance with regulations.

Pahang DOE director Rosli Zul said throughout Lynas’ development, the firm obeyed all rules.

He revealed that results of pilot stage laboratory trials on Lynas’ CondiSoil product showed it was “positive for the environment”.

However, he said CondiSoil, a soil conditioner derived from the residue of the plant’s processes, was not yet approved by the DOE.

Rosli also said water that passed through the Gebeng industrial area, where the Lynas plant was located, was actually cleaner.

“The volume of treated water released by the plants actually helps improve Sungai Balok’s water.

AELB director-general Hamrah Mohd Ali said licensing conditions required Lynas to recycle its residue, failing which the firm must store it in a permanent disposal facility (PDF).

Speaking to The Star, Hamrah said Lynas did not specify where it would locate the PDF but had submitted plans for potential sites.

He said the licence for Lynas to perform R&D on its residue would expire by the end of the year.

Bentong MP Wong Tack, who presented his perspective as chairman of Himpunan Hijau, asked if experts received funding from Lynas.

The executive review committee also heard from several scientists and from Lynas itself.

Lynas general manager of radiation safety Prof Dr Ismail Bahari said the company would abide by any condition imposed.

“Most importantly, any decision taken must be based on scientific proof. We perform research to avoid baseless accusations,” he said.

Among those in attendance were Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze and Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas chairman Tan Bun Teet.

Review committee chairman Prof Datuk Dr Mazlin Mokhtar said they would prepare a report for the Energy, Science, Technology, Environ­ment and Climate Change Minister based on the data collected by Nov 27.

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