by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
FOUR suspects of the recent Sungai Selangor pollution have been arrested by authorities.
Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said an unlicensed premise in Taman Velox, Rawang, was found to have made an illegal discharge by draining pigmented waste suspected to be a scheduled waste in the Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) sewerage system through the toilet holes and inspection chambers found in the premises.
“Preliminary findings found that the odour of the material detected was similar to the odour at the IWK Sewage Treatment Plant and water treatment plant (LRA). All samples were taken by the Department of Environment (DoE) and will be analysed by the Department of Chemistry Malaysia,” he said in a statement yesterday.
The premise was seized by the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) and police have arrested four suspects including a tenant of the premise.
The cause of pollution was identified through an integrated operation involving members from the DoE, the National Water Services Commission, Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor), Gombak District Police Headquarters, the Selangor Water Management Board, MPS, and Gombak Land and District Office.
The rapid action and close cooperation between both federal and Selangor state government agencies have successfully resolved the case in less than 24 hours.
At 2.40am yesterday, Air Selangor said all LRAs were operational again in stages after the reading of zero TON was recorded three times inarow.
Tuan Ibrahim said scheduled waste management also needs to be given serious attention to comply with existing laws and guidelines.
“These wastes must be recycled or disposed of on-premises licensed by the DoE only because scheduled wastes that have hazardous characteristics can pose a health risk to humans as well as water, air and soil pollution. The industry or any person is strictly prohibited from disposing of scheduled waste illegally,” he said.
The latest water disruption is the ninth in Selangor to date, affecting over six million people in the Klang Valley.
The minister again reminded that stern action will be taken against any party found to be the cause of river water pollution.
According to the law, a person convicted of an offence under Section 25 (restrictions on inland water pollution) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (EQA 1974), may be fined RM100,000 or jailed for a maximum of five years or both.
Under Section 34A of the EQA 1974, conducting prescribed activities without the approval of the environmental impact assessment report may be fined RM500,000, or face imprisonment for a maximum of five years or both.
Strict action will be taken under Section 34B (prohibition on placement, placement etc of scheduled material) whereby the convicted party will be sentenced to mandatory imprisonment and a maximum fine of RM500,000 under the same act.
Additionally, if convicted under Section 50(1) of the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (Act 655), the offender may be fined not exceeding RM300,000, or imprisoned for a term not more than three years or both as provided under Section 50(2) in the same act.