JOHOR BARU: Three immediate stop work orders were issued by the Department of Environment (DOE) of Johor to three chemical factories in Pasir Gudang today as they are found to have the potentials to cause air pollution.
Confirming this matter, its director Wan Abdul Latiff Wan Jaffar said the three factories were also found to have committed offences under the Environment Quality Act 1974.
“The three factories are involved in the handling of chemicals and toxic matters and the stop operation order was issued immediately today.
“The orders were issued because the factories have the potentials to cause air pollution. The stop work order are until they comply with the law,“ he said when contacted by Bernama, here today.
Earlier, Health, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar in a media conference said: “DOE have taken the action to detect and investigate 38 chemical factories for offences under the Environment Quality Act 1974”.
Other than three stop operation orders, 27 compounds for scheduled waste offences and 10 compounds for industrial effluence offences had also been issued, he said.
“We conducted this operation for two weeks from the first day the incident of pollution (June 20) took place.
“This operation was also carried out comprehensively because we are in the process of eliminating any factory which has the potential to cause pollution,“ he said.
Meanwhile, Mohd Khuzzan said that there were only four victims including three women, aged 13 to 17 years, who received treatment at the Sultan Ismail Hospital since June 25 and they were stable.
“In addition, DOE had conducted periodical air quality monitoring to detect the presence of gas pollution in the Pasir Gudang area and the reading on air quality is good.
“The police will also continue 24-hour road blocks in the locations which have been identified as the main accesses and exists to the Pasir Gudang area,“ he said.
Through the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department’s Hazardous Materials Response Team (HAZMAT), he said that the monitoring of the air quality level using the gas analyser, GASMET in the detection radius of up to 13km had been conducted.
“Indeed, the state government is committed in ensuring the incident of pollution can be tackled as best as possible by ensuring enforcement through the relevant agencies are boosted,“ he added. — Bernama