KUALA LUMPUR: A lorry driver has been fined RM100,000 for causing pollution through the illegal disposal of scheduled waste in Sungai Kim Kim at Pasir Gudang, Johor in 2019.
The Department of Environment said in a statement on Saturday (Dec 2) that N. Maridass was found to have released oil sludge into the river and added that it is a a scheduled waste listed in the First Schedule of the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005.
It added that P Tech Resources Sdn Bhd, which faced eight charges under the Environmental Quality (Clean Air) Regulations 2014, was also fined RM40,000 for each charge making it a total of RM320,000.
According to the statement, the cases against Maridass and P Tech Resources were tried together and a total of 38 witnesses were called to testify.
Johor Bahru Sessions Court Judge Datuk Che Wan Zaidi Che Wan Ibrahim handed down the sentence on Nov 30 after the accused pleaded guilty to the charges.
A pollution incident in 2019 affected the health of more than 2,000 people and caused 111 schools in Pasir Gudang to be ordered to be closed following the dumping of toxic waste in Sungai Kim Kim on March 7 rocked the country as 947 victims received treatment at the Sultan Ismail Hospital - nine of them in the Intensive Care Unit.
Meanwhile, the Department said it was committed to dealing with any environmental pollution issue, and all parties involved are reminded and warned strictly not to perform any illegal disposal of toxic and hazardous waste or cause environmental pollution.
"It is the responsibility of the industry players to ensure that environmental management, including toxic and hazardous waste management (scheduled waste), air and water pollution control is carried out properly to prevent pollution that has the potential to pose a risk to the environment and the well-being of the community," it said.