ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Johor Department of Environment (DOE) received 140 complaints on river pollution from January to October this year, said state Health and Environment Committee chairman R. Vidyanathan.
He said all the complaints were investigated and action taken against those who violated the Environmental Quality Act 1974, including the issuance of compounds, warning notices, stop-work orders as well as legal action against premises that failed to comply with the stipulated regulations.
“Among the types of pollution detected were domestic/solid waste, and activities related to the construction site, river sand mining/dredging, farm pesticide/fertilisation, poultry farm, industrial/workshop and urbanisation.
“Others like sewage (sewage plant/housing/industry), fishing activities (fish poisoning), oil/chemical spills and leachate from landfills are also major factors of river pollution in Johor,” he said at the State Legislative Assembly here today.
He said this in reply to a question by Ee Chin Li (PH-Tangkak) on the action taken by DOE to address problems related to rivers, river pollutions, drains and drainage.
Vidyananthan, who is also the Kahang assemblyman, said the Johor DOE also regularly monitors water quality of most of the major rivers in the state, which are the source of raw water for treatment plants.
“Beginning this year, the Johor DOE has enhanced its enforcement programme via Ops Gempur to conduct checks on factories that are categorised as problematic throughout the state and on focused areas like Pasir Gudang.
“The operations are carried out against industrial factories, oil palm mills, rubber mills and factories that process/recycle waste, including power plants, government and private sewage treatment plants, clinics, workshops, hospitals, hotels, quarries, and warehouses,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Vidyananthan said that although Johor has a total of 399 rivers, not all were monitored and supervised in detail by the Johor DOE.
He said the department only monitored water quality in 23 river basins comprising 126 rivers. — Bernama