Environment minister declares Sungai Kim Kim safe, 900 tonnes of contaminant removed

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin gave the affected stretch of Sungai Kim Kim the all-clear today. — Picture by Ben Tan
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin gave the affected stretch of Sungai Kim Kim the all-clear today. — Picture by Ben Tan

PASIR GUDANG, March 19 — The section of Sungai Kim Kim where toxic waste was illegally dumped has been cleaned up and is now safe, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said today.

She said the authorities will, however, continue to monitor the situation at the site for the next 15 days.

“In fact, the entire 1.5km stretch of Sungai Kim Kim that was contaminated before this has been declared safe.

“The cleaning work by the contractors that started on March 13 and ended on March 17 saw a total of 900 tonnes of contaminated substance and 1,500 metric tonnes of contaminated water cleared,” Yeo told a press conference at Sungai Kim Kim’s main pollution site in Taman Pasir Puteh here.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin visits the section of Sungai Kim Kim in Taman Pasir Puteh, Pasir Gudang, March 19, 2019, where the illegal dumping of chemicals took place. — Pictures by Roysten Rueben
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin visits the section of Sungai Kim Kim in Taman Pasir Puteh, Pasir Gudang, March 19, 2019, where the illegal dumping of chemicals took place. — Pictures by Roysten Rueben

Yeo said today was the first time that the affected area in Sungai Kim Kim has been declared safe.

“The air quality around here has shown zero parts per million (of chemical pollutants) and we are constantly monitoring the air quality.

“In order to convince people, especially locals, that the area is clear of pollution, I have visited the area without wearing safety equipment,” said Yeo.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin visits the section of Sungai Kim Kim in Taman Pasir Puteh, Pasir Gudang, March 19, 2019, where the illegal dumping of chemicals took place. — Pictures by Roysten Rueben
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin visits the section of Sungai Kim Kim in Taman Pasir Puteh, Pasir Gudang, March 19, 2019, where the illegal dumping of chemicals took place. — Pictures by Roysten Rueben

Yeo, who is also the Bakri MP, explained that the pollutants are being systematically removed and stored away, and they will all be sent for scheduled disposal by March 21.

She said a complete report on the clean-up operation, new pollution discoveries at two other locations and other issues pertaining to the toxic waste incident will be announced at a press conference tomorrow.

It was reported that more than 4,000 people have been affected and 111 schools closed following the chemical waste incident at the river on March 7.