SEPA seeks RM100b damages over quarry operations

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) president Wong Tack filed a judicial review application at the High Court here, seeking RM100 billion in damages in relation to quarry operations being carried out at Kukusan Forest Reserve in Tawau.

Wong is seeking the said damages against State Department Forestry director, Sabah Lands and Surveys Department director, Federal Environment Department director and Hap Seng Building Materials Sdn Bhd whom he named as first, second, third and fourth respondents respectively and also an order of the court that the damages to be utilised for the purpose of restoring and repairing the environmental damage to the forest reserve.

The applicant, who filed the judicial review application through his counsel Marcel Jude Joseph, claimed that soil erosion and sedimentation, slope stability, hydrology, noise pollution, ground vibration and fly rocks, air pollution, waste generation, social and human environment, traffic and transportation were the main negative impact caused by the activities of the said company at the Kukusan Forest Reserve in Tanjung Batu Laut.

Wong is also seeking an order of mandamus directed against the first respondent to comply with Section 5 of the Forest Enactment 1968 and to maintain and preserve the Kukusan Forest Reserve as Forest Reserve as well as to evict the company from the forest reserve.

Additionally, the applicant is seeking an order of mandamus directed against the first respondent to comply with Section 7 of the Forest Enactment 1968, to evict the company from the forest reserve and further to prosecute the company for violation and offences under the Forestry Enactment 1968.

Apart from that, Wong is seeking an order of mandamus directed against the second respondent to comply with Section 26 and 28 of the Sabah Land Ordinance Cap 30, and to evict and remove the company from the forest reserve, an order of mandamus directed against the second respondent to comply with Section 160 of the Sabah Land Ordinance Cap 30 and to prosecute the company as well as an order of mandamus directed against the third respondent to enforce the Rejected Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) reported dated March 23, 2007, in respect of Proposed Quarry Operation on Trig Kukusan (within Bukit Kukusan Quarry) Tawau.

Further the applicant is seeking an order of mandamus directed against the third respondent to enforce the Rejected EIA report dated April 15, 2009 in respect of Proposed Pit Quarry Development at Operation Bukit Kukusan Quarry, an order of certiorari directed against the third respondent to quash the EIA report dated May 24, 2011 in respect of Proposed Quarry Operation and Proposed Pit Quarry development at Operation Bukit Kukusan Quarry, a declaration that the EIA reported dated May 24, 2011 to be declared null and void, a mandatory injunction against the company to cease all and further activity on or in the Kukusan Forest Reserve, statutory interest and costs.

In his affidavit in support, Wong claimed that Kukusan Forest Reserve is protected under Section 7 of the Forest Enactment Act 1968 and in 1984, it was classified as Class 1 protected reserve, yet quarry operations still continued by the company.

He said in May 2003, Kukusan Forest Reserve was re-classified from protected forest Class 1 to commercial forest Class 2.

In August 2010 the company had entered into a Supplementary Agreement under Section 15 of the Forest Enactment Act, 1968, for the Whole of Life Plan and extension of area for the Bukit Kukusan Quarry which provides the company the right to occupy the forest reserve for another 15 years to produce quarry products.

He said that under the Whole-of-Life Plan, the company’s quarry activities and associated structures such as access roads, administrative buildings would be limited to about 41 hectares whereby the remaining 25 hectares were to be administered and managed as residual forest.

He pointed out among others that activities such as site clearing, overburden removal and waste disposal, rock crushing and stockpiling as well as drilling and blasting were expected to generate soil erosion, associated sediment pollution and siltation on hill slopes.

Wong said that noise generated from the quarry’s operation was expected to contribute significantly to the existing noise level experienced by the nearby settlements while the projected vibration at locality posed an immediate nuisance.

These nuisances, he stressed, would affect the structural integrity of buildings.

He also said the operation of the quarry has a number of social impacts on the workers and human population within the immediate vicinity of the Project site especially so during the handling of explosives.

Accidents may occur resulting from accidental detonation of the explosives, he said.

The applicant also said he had gone on record to oppose the activities of the company and had communicated and made numerous pleas to all the defendants.

However, he said, despite such protest and requests all the respondents had not taken any concrete steps to act on the concern of the applicant.

What do you think of this story?
  • Angry (0%)
  • Sad (0%)
  • Nothing (0%)
  • Interesting (0%)
  • Great (0%)

 

Affiliates

 

Supplement Downloads

Member of