SEBERANG PERAI, May 4 — An oil recycling company had its licence suspended and was slapped with a RM642,000 fine by the Department of Environment (DoE) after it was found to have channelled oil residue into public drains.
Penang DoE director Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab said the factory was also ordered to clean the affected drains and remove the oil residue immediately.
She said DoE received public complaints about a strange odour and the DoE had conducted investigations between April 30 and May 1 to investigate the source of the pollution.
A layer of oil was found in the drainage system at the Bukit Minyak Industrial Area and this was traced to one of the scheduled waste recovery and recycling factories that processed used oil, she added.
“The factory failed to store the scheduled waste properly and had left it in an open space that led to its oil residue being released into the drainage system,” she said in a statement today.
She said the factory failed to fulfil the conditions of its licence as specified under Section 16 of the Environmental Quality Act 1974, therefore it was suspended.
“We have issued an order to the factory to stop operations immediately and they have been ordered to clean up the pollutants in the drains,” she said.
She said the factory was issued 321 fines amounting to RM642,000 for failing to comply with the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Waste) Regulations 2005.
The factory’s licence was suspended under the Environmental Quality (Licensing) Regulations 1977.
“DoE Penang views this seriously as all parties including waste generator, transporter and scheduled waste receiver must comply with the provisions of the law with regards to scheduled waste management,” she said.
She said there is no compromise if any factory was found to have flouted the laws and had polluted the environment which can affect the safety of the nearby residents and factories as there are risks when it comes to the storage of dangerous materials.
“The storage of schedule waste such as oil residue and solvents in an open area will not only lead to pollution but has the potential to cause fires under our hot weather and spread to other premises,” she said.
She called on all factories in the industrial area to report any wrongdoings by or non-compliance of their neighbours to prevent untoward incidents and pollution.
“We will continue to monitor and conduct our patrols even during the festive season to ensure there are no deliberate pollution incidents by irresponsible parties,” she said.
She said any premises found to have continued flouting the environmental quality regulations will be fined, taken to court, have their licence suspended or ordered to stop operations.
She said the public is also welcomed to call in their complaints and submit photos and videos of incidences of pollution to the DoE for investigation.