KAJANG: The bill for cleaning up the illegal dumpsites at Twin Palms in Sungai Long and Black Water Lake in Bandar Mahkota Cheras could reach tens of millions of ringgit, said Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

He said the Twin Palms site also had a problem of methane gas emission due to the occurrence of burning which also spread far and wide the stench of garbage and decay tolerated by the residents there.

“So to solve the methane gas problem in the long run, the gas must be released and the estimated construction cost to rig up such a system is between RM15 to RM20 million.

“(Meanwhile) for Black Water Lake, there are two options to restore the lake to its pristine state where the estimate is RM42 million and if you want to close the site into an inert landfill, it will amount to RM18 million. These are (just) two proposals as a long term solution,” he said after surveying the two dumpsites here yesterday.

Nik Nazmi inspected the illegal waste disposal areas together with Deputy Minister of Local Government Development Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir; chairman of the standing committee on Tourism, Environment & Green Technology and Selangor Orang Asli Affairs Hee Loy Sian; director-general of the Department of Environment (DOE) Wan Abdul Latiff Wan Jaffar and Member of Parliament for Bangi Syahredzan Johan.

Commenting further, Nik Nazmi said his ministry was examining the options as the cost of restoring the illegal waste disposal sites was very high due to the large-scale damage of the environment.

“We will discuss with the state government to see the best way and in addition, notices have been issued by the Land Office to the land owners because they violated the conditions. All this land is private property and not government land,” he said.

For the period Jan 1 to May 25, 2023, DOE had taken enforcement action by issuing 236 field instructions/warnings, 28 compounds, 58 instruction notices and one court action on the offence of open burning.

In the case of the illegal dumpsite near Twin Palms, the DOE is completing an investigation paper for the offence of open burning in accordance with Section 29A, the prohibition of open burning under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 which provides for a fine of up to RM500,000 or imprisonment of up to five years or both if convicted of the offence.

As for the case of Black Water Lake, it is under the jurisdiction of the Local Authority and further action is being taken by the Kajang Municipal Council.

According to DOE records for the period of Jan 1, 2023 to May 25, 2023 a total of 101 complaints were reported involving open burning at illegal waste disposal sites throughout the country. -Bernama