Pulau Burung landfill operator failed to adhere to 2012 concession agreement, says Penang CM

An aerial view of thick smoke billowing as the fire on the Pulau Burung landfill in Penang continues, January 17, 2022. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
An aerial view of thick smoke billowing as the fire on the Pulau Burung landfill in Penang continues, January 17, 2022. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Jan 20 — The operator of the Pulau Burung landfill in Nibong Tebal has failed to adhere to several conditions in the concession agreement made in 2012, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He said the state executive council meeting yesterday had received a report from the Local Government Division which found weaknesses in terms of the site operation by the operator.

“However, we have not made any decision and have asked the division and the Seberang Perai City Council to look into the matter and present a detailed report on proposed measures and actions on the management of the landfill,” he told a press conference here today.

He said Syarikat PLB Terang Sdn Bhd, was awarded the 23-year concession contract to manage the Pulau Burung landfill in 2012.

Residents in the nearby areas have been instructed to evacuate to relief centres while 10 schools have been ordered to close until tomorrow, after the landfill caught fire at about 5pm on January 12.

Chow also did not rule out the possibility of terminating the concession agreement with the company if proved to be the best decision.

Meanwhile, Penang Department of Environment director, Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab, said the Air Pollutant Index (API) at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) Ladang Byram recorded an unhealthy level of 112 following the fire.

She said the department would continue monitoring the situation in other locations until the firefighting operation was completed and stable air quality readings were obtained.

The locations include SJKT Ladang Changkat; Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Keledang Jaya; Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Seri Nibong; SK Methodist; Dewan MPKK Changkat; Surau Al Mustaqim, Bandar Cassia and SK Saujana Indah relief centre. — Bernama

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