Johor DoE: Contamination source of Pasir Gudang’s four polluted rivers not industrial

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PASIR GUDANG, Feb 28 — Recent tests by the Department of Environment (DoE) have ruled out industrial activities as a source of contamination of the four polluted rivers in the district here.

Johor DoE director Mohd Famey Yusoff said the department did not detect the release of polluted effluents from nearby factories in the areas involved.

He said that the factories had in fact complied with regulations.

“Despite the tests, Johor DoE will continue in carrying out regular enforcement in all areas so that any source of pollution will not be overlooked.

“The four rivers in Pasir Gudang have been found to be polluted for a while now and we cannot ascertain if it was caused by new contamination sources from nearby industrial activities,” Mohd Famey told reporters today.

He was updating the media on the latest situation regarding the source of pollution that was earlier found in Sungai Tukang Batu, Sungai Perembi, Sungai Buluh and Sungai Kim Kim.

Mohd Famey said the department has its own techniques and methodology of determining the cause of the river’s pollution.

“If it is true that there was a release of contaminated material in the rivers, the department can determine its source,” he said.

However, Mohd Famey said the department found that the activities in the affected industrial areas are under control based on the recent monitoring and enforcement activities that were carried out.

He said Johor DoE did not detect anything out of the ordinary.

“Rest assured that we (Johor DoE) will take firm action on those found to have contaminated the rivers in the state.

“The department will carry out continuous monitoring and enforcement, particularly involving high risk factories that have the potential of causing pollution,” he said.

Mohd Famey explained that the Pasir Gudang DoE branch was specially created to monitor the current situation involving industrial activities in the area.

“Due to the periodic monitoring carried out, the department expects that the pollution source entering the river has been controlled and has reduced.

“We hope that the polluted rivers will take some time to clean itself and will ensure that no new sources of contamination that leads to pollution occurs,” he said, adding that the industry is required to adhere and comply with all environmental quality regulations that are stipulated under the Environmental Quality Act (EQA) 1974.

Yesterday, it was reported that four rivers located in Pasir Gudang’s industrial area were found to be polluted at an alarming level.

Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said the four polluted rivers involved Sungai Tukang Batu, Sungai Perembi, Sungai Buluh and Sungai Kim Kim.

He said based on the water samples collected from the four rivers, it was revealed that the waters were contaminated at level three and four.

At present, DoE classifies six classes of river health, with Class 1 (in natural condition), Class 2A (requires conventional treatment), Class 2B (water can be used for recreation), Class 3 (water requiring intensive treatment), Class 4 (only for irrigation purposes and Class 5 (heavily polluted water).

In 2019, the notorious Sungai Kim Kim toxic fume pollution incident shocked the nation at the time after it affected more than 2,000 people and led to the closing of 111 schools in Pasir Gudang.