JOHOR BARU: The owner of an illegal tyre recycling factory is expected to be charged today for polluting Sg Kim Kim.
Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin says the suspect, whose factory is in Kulai, will be charged under Section 34B of the Environmental Quality Act 1974.
The suspect faces a maximum jail term of five years and RM500,000 fine.
Saying the culprit should face harsher punishment, Yeo said she had spoken to Attorney General Tommy Thomas about slapping the suspect with additional charges.
“The Department of Environment (DoE) will charge the suspect first,” she said, adding that it had ascertained a number of chemicals from the samples taken.
They include benzene, acrolein, acrylonitrile, chloride, methene, hydrogen, toulene, xylene, ethybenzene and d-limonene.
“The d-limonene is from the recycling of tyres and this led us to the suspect in Kulai,” she told reporters yesterday at the operations room of the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council.The minister said the priority was to contain the pollution and prevent it from spreading.
She said the DoE would also
instal gas detection monitors around Pasir Gudang to check on air quality in the area.
It was important to detect the toxic pollutants at different altitudes and also other unknown chemical compounds, she added.
Asked if the worst was over, Yeo said she was more worried about the unknown chemicals.
On long-term measures to protect the environment, Yeo said the DoE would be carrying out checks on 252 chemical factories in the area after the crisis was over.
Asked about other culprits to be hauled to court, Yeo said there was a possibility, but added that a probe would need to be conducted first.