Firm to obtain approval for EMP first

Bird’s eye view: The PSR area as seen from Teluk Tempoyak in Penang. Szeto said the full-fledged work would only begin after the Penang Offset Masterplan and the EMP are in place to ensure the protection of marine life that may be affected by the PSR.

GEORGE TOWN: SRS Consortium, the Project Delivery Partner for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR), has been told to obtain approval for a detailed Environment Manage­ment Plan (EMP) from the Depart­ment of Environment (DoE) before starting the project.

SRS Consortium project director Szeto Wai Loong said this was one of the 72 conditions imposed by the DoE on his company.

“The EMP is the most important document as it would be a guideline for the entire project, and we have to get the approval within six to nine months,” he said.

Szeto said certain preliminary and mitigation works would begin but the full-fledged work would only begin after the Penang Offset Masterplan and the EMP are in place.

“The masterplan is to safeguard the marine life that could be affected by the PSR.

“It is also to look into the loss of artificial reefs, mangrove replanting, releasing of fish fry, eco-engineering structure and to carry out a study and research on the turtles and coral reefs,” he said.

On the issue of sand mining, Szeto said that dredging would be done 20 nautical miles off Perak shores – areas which are under Federal Government jurisdiction.

“As such, we don’t need the Perak government’s approval,” said Szeto during a press conference called by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow to reveal the 72 conditions imposed by the DoE.

Chow said while other projects have about 50 conditions, the DoE has imposed 72 conditions, and the PDP will have to comply with the requirement.

“The conditions imposed are stringent including a green river programme, maintenance of the dredging, safeguarding of pathways used by fishermen and protection of the marine life.

“In fact, the state has been proactive and will comply with the conditions, including compensation to the fishermen and setting-up of a one-stop centre to handle all issues regarding PSR,” said the Chief Minister.

Some of the other conditions include compliance on sand mining, design concept, pollution prevention, and the control of the water and air quality.

On the meeting between Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the fishermen recently, Chow said he would arrange for a detailed briefing for the Port Dickson MP and others soon.

“Anwar did not object to the project and opposition from the other parties will always be there in every stage of the project implementation,” he said.

The conditional Environmental Impact Assessment Report for the PSR project near Teluk Kumbar, which involves a massive plan to reclaim three islands, measuring 1,800ha, was approved by the DoE on June 25.

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