Integrated agencies to meet on Sunday to discuss solution to river pollution

24 Jul 2019 / 13:57 H.

JOHOR BARU: Continued integrated efforts among the relevant agencies in overcoming the issue of pollution of rivers in the state are among issues to be discussed at the meeting of the State Permanent Committee on Environment scheduled for Sunday.

The Director of Johor Department of Environment (DoE) Wan Abdul Latiff Wan Jaafar said the department took a serious view of the issue on river pollution and hoped the meeting could discuss measures and subsequent action to overcome the problem.

“What is important is integrated action by the various relevant agencies to overcome river pollution,”he told Bernama when contacted today.

The meeting on July 28 would be participated by the DoE and various other agencies and chaired by the Chairman of the Committee on Local Government, Urban Well Being and Environment Tan Chen Choon.

Meanwhile, a special meeting to discuss the dumping site for garbage including the illegal ones, would be held tomorrow, said Wan Abdul Latiff when asked to comment on the level of pollution in at least 16 rivers around the districts of Johor Bahru and Pasir Gudang, which were found to be increasingly critical and action by DoE on the matter.

On the latest status regarding efforts to prosecute the three chemical-based factories in Pasir Gudang, he said DoE was now preparing an investigation paper which was expected to be ready within two weeks before being presented to the Deputy Public Prosecutor for further action.

The factories were expected to be prosecuted under the Environmental Quality Act 1974, he said.

Previously, the three factories concerned were reported to have strong potentials as the source of the presence of the poisonous gas methyl mercaptan in the Pasir Gudang area since June 20.

The three factories were suspected to be the source for the odour after the removal process on 257 chemical companies in Pasir Gudang besides those located within a radius of three kilometres from Sekolah Agama Taman Mawar and Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Pasir Gudang 4.

The odour from the gas is suspected to be able to cause symptoms such as vomiting, nausea and breathing difficulty, like the ones experienced by students and teachers as well as the staff of the schools in Pasir Gudang since June 20. — Bernama

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