Contamination of water from NS into Selangor remains ‘critical’, exco says

Selangor's state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong says water from Sungai Buah, Negri Sembilan flowing into the Sungai Semenyih plant still had measurable levels of smell pollution this morning. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Selangor's state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong says water from Sungai Buah, Negri Sembilan flowing into the Sungai Semenyih plant still had measurable levels of smell pollution this morning. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — The contamination of river water from Sungai Buah, Negri Sembilan to Selangor remains at a “critical” level, Selangor’s state executive councillor for tourism, consumer affairs and environment Elizabeth Wong said today.

Speaking to reporters in Parliament after a special chambers sitting on the issue today, Wong said water from Sungai Buah, Negri Sembilan flowing into the Sungai Semenyih plant still had measurable levels of smell pollution this morning.

“We are still pumping out the water and placing it in a pond to be treated later. But this level of contamination cannot be treated easily,” she said.

She said the contaminated water contained 4-bromodiphenyl ether, a compound used as a flame retardant and which she described as “very poisonous.”

The treatment plant was closed temporarily when polluted water entered the plant, but has resumed operation since Monday after the contaminated water was pumped out.

Wong added that smell pollution at the source of the contamination was over five times worse than the water contaminating Selangor rivers.

She then said that the state has asked the Negri Sembilan Department of Environment to help pump out the polluted water at the source in Nilai, before the flow continues to Selangor.

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali previously claimed the contamination to be “sabotage” by political rivals Barisan Nasional and Umno, after the problem left thousands of households in the state without supply.

The state government has lodged a police report over the matter, but Azmin has also been urged to support his allegation with evidence.

At the special sitting today, Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri said that Department of Environment will not publish data from its Online Environmental Reporting (OER) as this was restricted by law.

This was after Ong Kian Ming (DAP-Serdang) requested that the data be made public in order to help the state and local authorities identify hotspots to prevent toxic and chemical waste pollution in rivers.

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