A Malaysian DOE investigation team seized items from factories in Kulai and Pasir Gudang that will be used as evidence following the pollution of Sg Kim Kim.
Malaysian Officials Claim to Find Tyre Pyrolysis Waste in Contaminated Waterway
The toxic substances found contaminating Sg Kim Kim in Johor’s Pasir Gudang area are linked to chemicals used to recycle tyres, said Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin.“The Department of Environment (DOE) has sent samples to the Chemistry Department to get a more detailed analysis. The result shows they contain organic solvents that are products of tyre pyrolysis.
Yeo said the government has mobilised its resources from other states to inspect the 254 chemical factories in Pasir Gudang. “The most important thing is to clean the river of contaminants and ensure there is no further contamination.”
To manage the contamination, Yeo said several committees have been formed.
The minister said national oil company Petronas has also sent 21 experts and equipment, including an air dispersion modeller to check movement of gases.
Earlier, Ahmad Maslan (Pontian-BN) asked the minister to explain the steps taken to address the toxic waste contamination in Pasir Gudang. Ahmad said the government should amend the Environment Quality Act 1974 to provide for sterner punishments against those who flout the law. “The government should consider a relief fund for those affected by the contamination. And if there’s no compensation, they should be able to sue the companies,” he said.
Following the illegal waste dumping of toxic wastes into Sg Kim Kim, some 200 people, many of them students, have been hospitalised or treated for inhaling toxic fumes. All of the area’s 111 schools have been closed until further notice.
According to the DOE, the contamination was caused by black oil thrown into Sg Kim Kim. Among the substances include methane, hydrogen chloride, acrylonitrile, acrolein, benzene, toulene, xylene and limonene.
Source: Daily Insight