Pollution at Sg Kopok in Ulu Tiram: DOE receives eight complaints

Part of the Sungai Kim Kim river in Pasir Gudang that is undergoing a clean-up. Oil booms have been fitted to stop the oily substance from floating further down river. — Picture courtesy of the Johor Fire and Rescue Department
Part of the Sungai Kim Kim river in Pasir Gudang that is undergoing a clean-up. Oil booms have been fitted to stop the oily substance from floating further down river. — Picture courtesy of the Johor Fire and Rescue Department

ISKANDAR PUTERI, July 7 — The Johor Department of Environment (DOE) has received eight complaints on pollution at Sungai Kopok, Ulu Tiram since 2018.

State Local Government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee chairman, Tan Chen Choon said  the complaints were on changing colour of the river water, its foul smell and dark colour, and incidents of dead fishes in the river.

He said investigations were carried out following the complaints and it was found that the pollution was caused by the discharge of industrial effluents with high organic load, especially from palm oil-based operations such as oleochemicals, and soap-based, biodiesel and food-based manufacturing.

“Although the plants are equipped with effluent treatment facilities, there are a few that have been negligent in controlling discharge of effluents from their premises, resulting in cases of effluents being discharged without being treated first,” he said at the Johor state assembly sitting, here, today.

Tan said at this stage, investigations were on-going on all suspected sources of the effluent discharge and enforcement action would be taken against violations of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and its Regulations.

These would include issuing a stoppage order on the plant operations, or a directive, imposing compounds or taking court action, he said to a question from assemblyman S. Gopalakrishnan (PH-Tiram) who called for appropriate action against polluting of the river. — Bernama