Oil palm mills fined for polluting waterways

KUCHING: Mukah Sessions Court on Wednesday imposed the maximum fine on three oil palm mill companies for not complying with their licences by discharging factory effluents into watercourses.

Judge Marutin Pagan imposed a fine of RM25,000 in default three months imprisonment each after the owner(s) pleaded guilty to the charge framed against them under Section 16(1) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and punishable under Section 16(2) of the same act.

The section provides for a fine not exceeding RM25,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.

One of the companies found guilty of discharging factory effluent committed the offence at about 10.20am on Nov 8 last year at its premises located at Lot 8,Mukah Land District.

The other company committed a similar offence at about 9.55am on Nov 24 last year at its premises located at the Oya-Dalat Land District.

Meanwhile, another company admitted to have committed the offence at about 11.15am on April 22 last year at its premises located at Lot 8, Mukah Land District.

All the liquid wastes discharged into the watercourse were found to contain substances in concentration exceeding the stipulated limits under Regulation 12(4), Environmental Quality (Prescribed Premises) (Crude Palm Oil) Regulations, 1977.

Department of Environment officers Gwendolyne Christopher and Imelda Lander Gregor Jimos prosecuted.

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