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Lynas refutes Semambu assemblyman's claim on waste storage issue

Last update: 18/04/2019
Datuk Mashal Ahmad
KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 (Bernama) -- Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Lynas) has denied the assertation made by Semambu assemblyman Lee Chean Chung claiming that the rare earth plant had broken a law by storing huge amount of scheduled wastes or Neutralisation Underflow Residue (NUF).

The company's managing director and vice-president Datuk Mashal Ahmad in a statement today asserted that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s review committee had found that the company was abiding by the storage regulations and that its residue storage facilities were operated in a proper manner.

“The state assemblyman’s comments are incorrect and they are not new. The management of residues was a key subject of the PH government’s Review Committee, which found Lynas is compliant with relevant regulations and our residue storage facilities are operated in a proper manner,” he said in a statement today.

Mashal added that the findings were consistent with several independent and scientific reviews, including by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“More specifically, Regulation 9 (6) of the Storage of Scheduled Wastes, Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005 states that a waste generator may apply to the Director General (of the Department of Environment) in writing to store more than 20 MT of Schedules Wastes,” he said.

As a scheduled waste under Malaysian regulations, Mashal said it is regulated by Department of Environment, which periodically consented to the NUF storage on site while allowing Lynas to pursue research and development (R&D) on the NUF reuse.

“Lynas R&D has demonstrated that NUF has several commercial uses, including in the construction industry and agriculture,” he said.

Yesterday, Lee was reported to have claimed that the rare earth processing plant, Lynas, was deemed to have broken the law by storing a huge amount of scheduled wastes for a long period of time.

Lee claimed that as of December 2018, Lynas had collected 1.13 million tonnes NUF wastes in the six years it had been operating in Gebeng, Kuantan, with the wastes kept at the side of the plant.


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