Report on proposed permanent disposal facility (PDF) for Lynas residue made public

KUANTAN: The environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Lynas' proposed permanent disposal facility (PDF) for its water leach purification (WLP) residue has been published.

The report, which is available on the Department of Environment's website, stated the primary objective of the project is to isolate the WLP in the PDF to ensure there are no risks to human health and the environment.

The proposed project site encompassed an area of 58.25ha in Bukit Ketam, Mukim Kuala Kuantan here, of which 1.29ha would be specifically developed for the PDF cells and 26.11ha for the 4km main access road from Jalan Bukit Kuantan junction to the PDF cells and buffer for drainage and fence on both sides of the road.

The remaining 20.88ha area would be utilised for the construction and operation of the WLP lagoon, leachate treatment plant (LTP), detention pond, administrative building and other ancillary facilities supporting the operation of the PDF.

It should be noted that the hectarage of the proposed project areas were as stated in the EIA report.

Lynas, when contacted, said the conversion was not very accurate and attributed it to a typo. Lynas said its consultant had been asked to rectify the error.

"The entire land parcel is located within the Bukit Kuantan Forest Reserve, which is currently in the process of being alienated from its forest reserve status," said the report.

Lynas had appointed Gading Senggara Sdn Bhd as the contractor to manage the permanent disposal of the WLP residue within the PDF.

The EIA said that potential impacts anticipated during the construction phase would mainly arise from site clearing, construction works and the infrastructure development.

"These impacts include deterioration of river water quality, erosion and sedimentation, reduction in air quality, high noise and vibration generation and reduction in groundwater quality.

"Appropriate mitigation measures have been proposed during the construction phase in order to reduce the severity of impacts arising from the proposed project. This includes the provision of sediment basins, silt trap and implementation of a continuous monitoring programme throughout the construction phase," it said.

The water quality of the receiving water body; Sungai Ara, Sungai Riau and Sungai Kuantan will also be monitored periodically to ensure there are no adverse impacts to these rivers as well as the operations at the Kg. Kobat Water Intake Point and Kobat Barrage during the project's development, it said.

During the operational phase, the report stated that pollutants would mainly be in the form of active surface runoff and leachate from the PDF cells.

"To ensure these pollutants do not contribute significantly to the pollution load of the receiving water bodies, an LTP will be constructed onsite to treat the effluent prior to being discharged into the surrounding natural waterways," said the EIA.

Cumulative radiation dose is expected to be 0.3mSv/year with the protective lining of the PDF cells while health impacts due to air emissions, water leachate and food and airborne disease are considered non-significant, it said.

According to the EIA, lorries will be used to transport the WLP from the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant to the PDF, and subsequently into the PDF cells.

"The PDF will be capped once capacity has been reached. Secure capping liners will be used and topped with earthfill and landscaped," the report said.

The public could give their feedback on the EIA report through a link on the Department of Environment's website until Feb 28.

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