The owner of a Malaysian unsanctioned tire recycling plant at Pasir Gudang has been charged under Section 34B of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 in mid-March for polluting the Sungai Kim Kim area and being responsible for chemical poisoning among people who inhaled the hazardous fumes.

As a result of his actions and the plant’s operation, around 500 people, including students, had to receive medical treatment after waste dumping that took place early March. The poisoning made some of the victims faint and struggle from breathing problems.

The owner of the facility will face 5 years of imprisonment and will have to pay MYR 500,000 fine. According to the Malaysian media, two more suspects were detained in connection to the incident. The verdict comes after the Department of Environment (DoE) confirmed that the suspect’s plant was releasing a range of chemicals that had been posing danger to the human health.

One of the chemicals is the d-limonene which is released during scrap tire incineration. By bringing charges against the owner of tire recycling facility, the authorities reinforced their priority – to prevent contamination from spreading.

Currently, the officials are seeking to set gas detection monitors around the facility – the move is aimed at checking air quality and detecting any other dangerous pollutants which haven’t been found before when the researchers studied the samples before the charges have been brought against the violator. At the same time, the officials are expected to take long-term steps to protect the environment and will conduct checks of over 250 chemical plants that may bring potential threat to the area.

Article by The Star.