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Drop it! 61 premises charged over water pollution
Date 04-Nov-2020 | Category | Author Arfa Yunus, Hana Naz Harun and Teh Athira Yusof , News Straits Times
   Sungai Gong in Rawang which was polluted on Oct 20.   PIC BY ASYRAF HAMZAH
Sungai Gong in Rawang which was polluted on Oct 20. PIC BY ASYRAF HAMZAH

THE authorities have charged 61 premises for offences related to water pollution and scheduled waste management from January to Sept 30.

Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the premise owners were fined RM1.49 million each.

He said the Department of Environment (DoE) had conducted 17,445 inspections on various premises between Jan 1 and Sept 30, under the Environmental Quality Act 1974.

"A total of 1,159 cases were filed against 636 premises, which were found violating laws on water pollution.

"Out of these, 751 cases ended with compounds being issued while 380 notices were issued and seven premises had their licences suspended," Tuan Ibrahim said.

He was responding to questions raised by 15 members of parliament from both sides of the political divide on the ministry's plans to address unscheduled water cuts and companies which caused river pollution.

The questions were raised in the Dewan Rakyat here following public outcry over water disruptions in the last two months caused by river pollution.

The Kubang Kerian MP said the ministry also received 7,872 complaints on pollution.

He said from the total, 1,280 were premises regulated under the environment pollution provisions, while 7,398 complaints were about premises that produced scheduled waste, which falls under the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005.

Tuan Ibrahim said the National Water Services Commission had conducted 560 investigations and 17 site investigations between January and Sept 17 on potential pollution cases that had caused water disruptions.

"There were 24 investigation papers opened under Sections 60, 61 and 121 of the Water Services Industry Act 2006," he said, adding that the DoE had taken action based on the Environmental Quality Act 1974 against 7,402 premises.

He said action had also been taken against 636 companies over water pollution between January and Sept 30, and 2,323 companies faced action due to negligent disposal of scheduled waste.

Tuan Ibrahim said the ministry was waiting for approval from the cabinet next month on proposed amendments to
the Water Industry Act 2006 and Environmental Quality Act 1974, which will be tabled next year.

The proposed amendments include increasing fines to RM10 million from RM100,000 for those responsible for water pollution and to increase the prison sentence to 15 years from one year under the Water Industry Act.

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