ROMPIN, July 9 — The Department of Environment (DOE) has ordered an oil palm mill in Ulu Keratong to stop its operation immediately for allegedly polluting Sungai Pukin, here.
Rompin District Officer Ahmad Nasim Mohd Sidek said the incident stemmed from a collapsed bank of one of the mill’s treatment ponds on Tuesday, causing the effluent to flow into the river stream.
Ahmad Nasim said the mill had carried out repair work on the same day.
“We received complaints from residents that the river started to smell before the DOE and Pengurusan Air Pahang Berhad (PAIP) conducted an inspection and found that it originated from the mill.
“The pollution was reported to have affected about 20 kilometres (km) along the river, however, the situation improved when the water quality nearly five km from the river stream returned to normal,” he told reporters after he inspected the scene here today.
He said the incident had caused a disrupted water supply to 11,000 PAIP consumers.
“I was informed that PAIP and the factory have delivered clean water supply to the affected consumers and we expect the water supply to be restored soon,” he said.
Ahmad Nasim said river pollution is a serious matter, adding the maximum fine would be imposed on those involved.
“We will hold discussions with other factories in the area so that the incident will not happen again,” he added. — Bernama