Judge visits factory and disposal sites in Sg Kim Kim pollution trial



Sessions Court judge Wan Mohd Norisham Wan Yaakob, who is presiding the case of the disposal of toxic waste into Sungai Kim Kim, visited the site of the tyre processing factory in the Tanjung Langsat Industrial Area in Pasir Gudang today, in connection to the incident last March.

Wan Mohd Norisham arrived at the factory at about 10am with several interested parties in the case, including Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhammad Syafiq Mohd Ghazali, DPP for the Putrajaya Department of Environment Nor Azura Jumuddin, and the first prosecution witness, Senior Control Officer for the DOE, Mohd Nazir Mansor, who is also the head of the Muar DOE branch.

Also present were defence counsel G Subramaniam Nair, who represented factory directors Wang Jing Chao and Yap Loke Liang, counsel S Ratakrishna, who represented the factory’s lorry driver N.Maridass and counsel Joshua Tay, who represented another company director Sim Wei Der.

The second prosecution witness, senior principal assistant director of the assessment and development section of the hazardous materials division in the DOE in Putrajaya, Azlan Ahmad, was also present.

Mohd Nazir gave the group a 45-minute briefing on the equipment used in the factory to process the recycled tyres.

They later headed to three other locations in the Pasir Gudang area where Maridass parked his vehicle at Sungai Kim Kim, which is the site for the disposal of scheduled waste of oil sludge.

The trial continues tomorrow in the Johor Bahru Sessions Court after the hearing began yesterday.

Maridass, 35, was charged with disposing the oil sludge into Sungai Kim Kim using a lorry and a palm oil semi-trailer, without the permission of the Director-General of Environmental Quality.

Wang, 34, Yap, 36, and Sim, 50, were charged with collaborating with Maridass in disposing the scheduled waste into the river using the vehicles involved.

The four were charged with committing the offence between 12.01am and 1 am on March 7 at the Sungai Kim Kim bridge-widening project site.

Maridass was charged under Section 34B (1)(a) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974, punishable under Section 34(B)(4) of the same Act, which carries a maximum jail term of five years and fine of RM500,000.

Wang, Yap and Sim were charged under Section 34B (1)(a) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974, punishable under Section 34(B)(3) of the same Act and read together with Section 42 of the same Act, which also carries a maximum jail term of five years and a fine of RM500,000.

The three directors were also slapped with 15 charges each, under Rule 3(1) of the Environment Quality Regulations (Scheduled Wastes) 2005 and Environmental Quality Regulations (Clean Air) 2014.

They were accused of failing to conduct air quality monitoring and failing to notify the authorities about the production of scheduled wastes.

- Bernama