KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) today claimed that the Balok Mangrove reserve in Pahang, located next to the Lynas rare earth processing plant, has been the dumping site of a million tonnes of contaminated residues classified as scheduled wastes.
In a statement today, its legal adviser Hon Kai Ping said groundwater monitoring has shown serious contamination from toxic heavy metals since 2015, in the area.
“Under the 2005 Scheduled Waste regulation of the Environmental Quality Act (EQA), no more than 20 tonnes of wastes over a period of 180 days can be stored on site. Yet, we have seen Lynas pilling up this type of waste more than 60,000 times over the permitted levels.
“What is happening to the authorities and those that are supposed to enforce the law? Where is the law and order in the case of Lynas and what about the public health concerns?”
“Lynas’ EIA [environmental impact assessment] seems way too late and out of place to address the problems of lack of law enforcement,” said Hon, referring to the report which is available for public viewing until April 6.
He said the serious public and environmental health issues, which could lead to severe economic implications in the future, and it is more than just a state issue, similar to what happened in the toxic pollution in Sungai Kim Kim in Johor.
Hon, who is also Pahang Bar Committee questioned as to where are the Bar Council, human rights activist, and Malaysian Medical Association is, in light of the health concerns imposed by the dumping site.
“The toxic fumes from chemical pollution at Pasir Gudang is an example where there has been obvious laxity in enforcement since reports of the illegal dumping into the rivers have lodged for years,” the statement read.
Hon sais Lynas polluted the environment the last six years but little was done by the government to “entertain Lynas’ EIA”.
“Lynas has not met its own licence conditions and yet our authorities continue to tolerate and even praise Lynas despite the many breaches and violations committed by this foreign company.
“If the government is serious about law enforcement, it should act now to stop Lynas from polluting further,” he said.