DoE finds waste dumping site


Hazardous materials: A Hazmat team member checking out the illegally disposed barrels of chemicals in Bukit Mertajam.

BUKIT MERTAJAM: While work is underway to clear Sungai Kim Kim in Johor, another case of illegal chemical waste dumping may have been detected deep inside an oil palm estate in Bukit Teh near here.

Located behind a scrapyard and far from the public eye lies approximately 15 barrels of dark pungent liquid.

The Department of Environment (DoE) visited the site after a report was lodged and the site has now been covered with silver metallic sheets.

A metre deep pit has also been excavated to prevent vehicles from entering the site.

The estate’s landowner, who wished to be known only as Ang, 72, said the barrels were buried deep in the ground and he came to know about it in January.

“My workers told me someone had trespassed into the area and illegally disposed the waste there.

“After I lodged a report on Feb 24, they cordoned off the area and did some cleaning up.

“They dug up the chemicals from the ground and placed them at a corner.

“Now, we’re waiting for the chemicals to be disposed of properly,” he said yesterday.

Ang said he would take legal action against the culprit once investigations had been completed.

While tests are still being conducted in the laboratory to determine the actual content of the chemical, Penang Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said initial report found it not to be toxic.

“However, we’re still taking precautionary measures.

“We have taken samples and sent them to the Chemistry Department.

“In the meantime, the DoE will identify who is responsible for producing the waste. Statements have been recorded from the landowner.

“The waste will be relocated to a licensed facility for temporary storage until investigations are completed,” he said.

Phee said the inspection at the site revealed that there was no river nearby and the situation was under control.


   

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