Saturday, 19 October 2019

House Calls on Government to Investigate Waste Dumping

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  • TEMPO.CO, Mojokerto - House of Representatives’ Commission VII overseeing energy, mineral resources, research and technology, and environmental affairs investigated the allegation of hazardous and toxic materials (B3) dumping conducted by waste treatment facility operated by PT Putra Restu Ibu Abadi (PRIA) at Lakardowo Village in Mojokerto, East Java.

    “We urge that the land should be drilled, and the sample should be taken to prove the waste dumping allegation,” Commission VII member Mat Nasir said on Monday, November 28, 2016. 

    According to Nasir, the Commission VII team and the Directorate General of Law Enforcement of the Environment and Forestry Ministry have been in communications with residents of Lakadorwo Village and PT PRIA last week. 

    Nasir explained that the investigation into the allegation was important as the waste dumping conducted since 2010 have polluted water in the village.

    Heru Siswoyo, a resident who worked at PT PRIA, admitted that he knew the B3 dumping process very well.

    “I’m the one who secured heavy equipment used to dump B3 waste,” he said.

    Heru had worked as a freelancer at PT PRIA for over 3 years from 2010 to 2014. He quit the job since he viewed that the company’s activities caused harms to his village. He revealed that the waste dumping was conducted at night.

    Sarpan with other residents formed a community to protest the company’s B3 waste treatment process. Since early 2016, the community had help from the Ecological Observation and Wetland Conservation (Ecoton) and the Surabaya Legal Aid Institute (LBH).

    Ecoton executive director Prigi Arisandi called on the Environment and Forestry Ministry to investigate the case.

    “We have made the request but it seems that the Ministry and related institutions have been avoiding us,” he revealed.

    According to Prigi, the team from the Directorate General of Pollution and Environmental Damage of the Ministry had investigated the allegation and taken water samples from wells at PT PRIA and in the village. However, the team did not take soil samples.

    “Based on testimonials provided by residents, we believe that there has been B3 waste dumping that polluted the groundwater,” he added.

    PT PRIA director Tulus Widodo dismissed the allegation of waste dumping at the facility.

    “There is no such thing as waste dumping,” he said.

    Tulus admitted that there was ground leveling, but it was conducted using soil from Sidorejo village. Tulus explained that residents were welcome to supervise the company to watch for violations.

    “Once a week, we invite representatives of the residents to watch our activities,” he added.