Penang DOE detects pollution at Pulau Burung landfill, to issue notice

NIBONG TEBAL: The Penang Department of Environment (DOE) received a complaint about the release of leachate from phase one of the Pulau Burung landfill on Tuesday (Sept 20), and will issue a notice to the site owner, says its director Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab.

She said the notice will be issued to the owner (local authority) to improve the site safety and pollution control.

She said premises that are under the order of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that have been found to be violating the requirements of the Environmental Quality Act, 1974 can be issued with a stop work order.

"We received a complaint at 6pm yesterday from the residents in the surrounding area, who noticed that there was a flow of black water entering the adjacent mangrove swamp area and then the sea.

"The incident is believed to have occurred a few hours before the complaint was received and we have rushed to the site and carried out an investigation,” she said in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 21) night.

She said the team found pipes have been installed by certain parties for the purpose of channeling waste leachate into the mangrove swamp reserve.

Sharifah Zakiah said the department had inspected the site, took samples and recorded the conversations of several witnesses, adding that the samples had been sent to the Chemistry Department to be analysed.

"Based on preliminary information and statements from witnesses, the release of this leachate may have been done deliberately and planned because the pipe rods were brought in, installed and buried after the incident was reported to the DOE," she added.

The DOE had also lodged a police report at the Nibong Tebal police station for the police to investigate whether there was an element of mischief by certain parties in this incident. - Bernama

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