A special task force, comprising councillors and several agencies, will be formed to monitor the illegal dumpsite in Machang Bubok, Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) president Rozali Mohamud said today.
Rozali was speaking at a press conference after a meeting between MPSP, the Penang Environment Department and the police on further action to be taken against the perpetrators of illegal dumpsites.
"Previously, all the found dumpsites were small-scale, but the latest one in Machang Bubok is the biggest dumpsite found.
"All we will do right now is follow the laws, with monitoring to be carried out from time to time," he said.
Rozali was referring to three plots of land containing barrels of chemical waste, shredded plastic, furniture and construction waste discovered by authorities last week.
The 6ha site, formerly an unlicensed sand quarry located in Bukit Teh, is situated just 100m from an oil palm estate previously exposed as a chemical waste dumpsite.
The three landowners of the site have been slapped with a notice to clear the waste by MPSP, which requires them to stop all illegal activities and rehabilitate the land within the stipulated 20-day period.
Machang Bubok assemblyperson Lee Khai Loon, however, called for stricter enforcement and monitoring of the area.
Lee said a visit to the site yesterday showed that the situation was still "very serious and worrying."
"We ask the enforcement units in DOE, MPSP and police take swift action against irresponsible persons involved in the act," he said when contacted today.
"We also propose that a 24-hour security post be set up at the site to check on all lorries entering the area to avoid more illegal dumping on the grounds.
"DOE was asked to take specimens and samples to check if its contents are toxic and dangerous to the public. We need proactive actions on the matter."
The PKR lawmaker also urged the Penang government to ensure that the landowners rehabilitate the land so as to not jeopardise public health and safety.