The Malaysian Department of Environment (DOE) reported on December 2, 2023, that fines amounting to 420,000 ringgit were imposed for the illegal dumping of chemical waste in 2019. P Tech Resources, a waste tyre processing company, along with the driver who illegally dumped approximately 900 tons of oily sludge into a river, were fined 320,000 ringgit and 100,000 ringgit respectively.
Oily sludge (SW311) is specified as a scheduled waste in Schedule 1 under the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Waste) Regulations 2005, and must be properly disposed of. The driver who carried oily sludge and disposed of it in a river was fined 100,000 ringgit. The said vehicle used for disposal was also not registered as a vehicle for transporting waste, in accordance with the Environmental Quality Act 1974. The driver pleaded guilty to the charges in court.
The waste tyre processing company was charged with eight violations of the Environmental Quality (Clean Air) Regulations 2014, which the company also pleaded guilty to. Fines of 40,000 ringgit (approximately 120,000 yen) per violation were imposed.
- Failed to notify the Director General of the Department of Environment in writing in advance of construction at a facility that may be a source of emission
- Constructed a facility that produced emissions without prior written notification to the Director General
- Failed to install a competent person to be stationed when the air pollution control system was in operation
- Air pollution control systems were not functioning properly
- Failed to install equipment for performance monitoring of the operation of air pollution control system
- Failed to conduct performance monitoring of the operation of each component of the air pollution control system as directed by the Director General
- Failed to maintain records of manufacturing process, as well as maintenance and performance of the air pollution control system
- Failed to conduct routine monitoring of liquid fuels
The Incident — Before and After
On March 7, 2019, it was reported that a total of 2,775 people were hospitalized in Johor Baru City with dizziness and vomiting, many of them students. 111 schools near the river were also ordered to close, sending shockwaves across the country. Although the driver and the waste tyre processing company were fined in the trial, 42 victims had filed a lawsuit after the incident against all parties involved including the Johor state government its chief minister, claiming that the response at the time of incident was inadequate. The trial was postponed due to the covid-19 outbreak, but according to local media reports on December 16, 2023, preparations are underway for a 30 million ringgit of compensation in an out-of-court settlement.
A media release by DOE can be downloaded from link below: