Penang DOE opens IPs on fire at Pulau Burung landfill

NIBONG TEBAL: The Penang Environment Department (DOE) has opened two investigation papers (IP) against the management of the Pulau Burung landfill at Jalan Byram here after a fire broke out at the site on Jan 12.

Its director, Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab said apart from investigating the incident, the department was also monitoring air pollution in the area as the landfill has been burning since then.

Investigation against the management company of the Pulau Burung landfill was conducted under Section 29A and Section 34A of the Environmental Quality Act 1974, which is for open burning and its compliance with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), respectively, she said when met here yesterday.

The Pulau Burung landfill was declared a Level One disaster area based on the National Security Council’s (MKN) directive No. 20 after the fire polluted the air surrounding the area, posing a risk to health.

The 16.19ha landfill was reported to have caught fire at 5pm last Wednesday, and as of yesterday, was yet to be completely extinguished.

According to Sharifah Zakiah, this was not the first time Penang DOE has taken action against PLB Terang Sdn Bhd, which is the company managing the landfill.

“The Penang DOE has issued 14 notices to the company, and apart from that, we have also issued two compound notices against the company for open burning,” she added.

Meanwhile, she said there was a slight increase in air quality readings in the nearby areas outside the landfill.

She said the Penang DOE has sent a team to monitor the situation as well as to detect air pollutants in the form of gas and particulate matter from the landfill.

“The air quality readings have shown some improvement, and we are monitoring. So far, fire-fighting operations using the water bombing method since two days ago have shown positive development,” she added. — Bernama

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