Pollution

Haze goes from bad to worse in Penang

Posted on June 18, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Star-

GEORGE TOWN – The haze in Penang has worsened, leaving the state at the brink of the “Unhealthy” Air Pollutant Index (API) level.

At 7am yesterday, the API reading recorded in Seberang Prai was 88 but it inched to 90 by 11am before hitting 98 at 5pm just three points short of the “Unhealthy” category which begins at 101.

The situation was only slightly better in Prai where the API went from 82 (7am) to 83 (11am) and 88 at 5pm.

On Penang island, the API at Universiti Sains Malaysia started off at 73 at 7am and rose to 80 by 5pm.

According to the Department of Environment, most of the recorded pollution in the air at all three locations was made of particulate matter, also known as PM10.

The NOAA-18 satellite, which hovers over Borneo Island, recorded a total of 163 hotspots in Sumatra, widely seen as a cause of the worsening haze, as of 4.15pm yesterday.

A check with the Meteorological Department showed that visibility in the state had also worsened during the day.

In Bayan Lepas, visibility was at 6km from 8am to 1pm, then fell to 5km (1pm) and worsened to 4km (2pm to 5pm).

On the mainland, visibility was recorded at 6km (8am to 4pm) before dropping to 5km around 5pm.

According to the department’s official, no rain is forecast for the whole week.

Meanwhile, Penang Water Supply Corporation corporate affairs manager K. Jeyabalan said the state would not suffer a shortage as the two main dams had enough water to last up to three months.

He said the Mengkuang and Air Itam dams were full due to the constant rainfall last month but Penangites should still conserve water because the country was currently facing a hot spell.

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Malaysia dismisses appeal against Lynas rare earths plant

Posted on June 15, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

Reuters
Friday, Jun 15, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian government dismissed on Friday a citizens’ appeal against a controversial rare earths processing plant owned by Australia’s Lynas Corp, removing a major obstacle to production.

But the science ministry, which was considering the appeal, added new two conditions Lynas must fulfill before a suspension of its temporary operating licence will be lifted.

The 2.5 billion ringgit (S$1 billion) plant in Gebeng, near the east coast city of Kuantan, has been plagued by delays since construction started two years ago.

Its operation is seen as a crucial step towards easing China’s grip on the global supply of rare earths, and for Lynas to profit from the high prices of the materials which go into making smart bombs, smart phones, and much in between.

Malaysia’s licensing body, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board, gave the plant a two-year temporary operating licence on Jan. 30, but that was suspended after local residents challenged the approval, citing safety and environmental concerns. They argued that the plant could contaminate its surroundings with radioactive waste.

Malaysia’s Minister for Science Technology and Innovation, Maximus Ongkili, said in a letter to the citizens’ lawyers he had to consider whether their arguments were supported by the scientific evidence.

He did not uphold the appeal, but instead imposed further conditions on Lynas. Under the new condition, the firm must submit plans to immobilise radioactive elements in the waste it will produce, and to submit plans for an emergency response on dust control.

“We expected this result, we’ll ask for a judicial review,” said Tan Bun Teet, who leads a group resisting the Lynas plant.

The ministry’s decision removes the biggest of two hurdles remaining before the Lynas plant can start production. A parliamentary select committee looking into the plant’s safety is expected to release its report next week.

The Lynas plant, the biggest in the world outside China, has been standing ready to fire up since early May. Demand is so strong that there are buyers for all the rare earths it can process in its first ten years of operation.

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Malaysia sets 2 new rules for rare earth plant

Posted on June 15, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-AP-

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s government has imposed two new conditions on a rare earth refinery set up by Australian miner Lynas to assuage public fears of radioactive pollution.

Tan Bun Teet, who heads the “Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas” coalition, said Friday the group received a letter from the science ministry rejecting its appeal to revoke a license granted to Lynas earlier this year. The letter cited a lack of scientific and technical justification.

Rare earths are 17 minerals used in the manufacture of hybrid cars, weapons, flat-screen TVs, mobile phones, mercury-vapor lights, and camera lenses. China has about a third of the world’s rare earth reserves but supplies about 90 percent of what is consumed. It has placed restrictions on exports, sparking causing among manufacturers from Japan to the U.S.

The Malaysian government held a public hearing to review its decision amid protests by residents and civil groups over alleged health and environmental risks posed by potential leaks of radioactive waste. Controversy over the project poses a headache to the government with general elections expected this year.

Tan said the ministry instead told Lynas to submit a plan to immobilize radioactive elements in its waste, and an emergency response plan on dust control.

“The two conditions are flimsy and general in nature. They are not specific enough and will in no way safeguard or appease the fears of residents living in the area,” he told The Associated Press. The group plans to challenge the government decision in court, he said.

The science ministry said in a statement Friday it rejected the coalition’s appeal because there was “no strong justification nor scientific or technical basis” for it.

The ministry said the refinery would only be allowed to operate once Lynas complies with all the requirements, including the two extra conditions.

Lynas officials couldn’t be immediately reached for comments.

The Lynas plant in northern Pahang state will be the first rare earth refinery outside of China in years, and is expected to meet nearly a third of world demand for rare earths, excluding China.

Lynas has said its plant, which has state-of-the-art pollution control, was ready to go but the government review has blocked the company from bringing in raw material. The plant will refine ore from Australia.

Officials said the first phase of the plant cost 1.5 billion ringgit ($472 million), while construction of the second phase costing another 1 billion ringgit ($315 million) has started and is expected to double production capacity once completed by next year.

Lynas said output for the first phase has been sold out for the next decade and that the delay was causing losses to its suppliers and customers.

Malaysia’s last rare earth refinery – operated by Japan’s Mitsubishi group in northern Perak state – was closed in 1992 following protests and claims that it caused birth defects and leukemia among residents. It is one of Asia’s largest radioactive waste cleanup sites.

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PAS, PKR say panel a ‘waste of time’ if powerless over Lynas

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Malaysian Insider-

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — PAS and PKR threatened to boycott the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on the controversial Lynas Corp rare earths refinery if it is not given the power to decide the fate of the RM2.3 billion project.

Their Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partner DAP had earlier said it would abstain from the PSC, calling it a “sham” by the Najib administration to legitimise the Australian miner’s plant.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak had irked the project’s detractors when he said on Saturday the panel’s purpose was not to decide on the fate of the plant in Gebeng, Kuantan but was part of Putrajaya’s engagement process to ensure the public understood the issues at hand.

PAS central committee members Khalid Samad and Dzulkefly Ahmad (picture) told Parliament their party would not join the PSC unless the decision on the plant, that has raised fears of radiation pollution, is tied to the committee’s findings.

“Otherwise it is pulling wool over the public’s eyes and white-washing an already finished project,” Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly told The Malaysian Insider.

PKR vice president Fuziah Salleh said that while she would not yet give up on the panel “as it is a chance for the people of Kuantan to air their views,” Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers’ staunch defence of the project in Parliament today pointed to the likelihood the PSC “would be a waste of time.”

“What is the point if it is not to find out if the plant is safe? The panel must be given the mandate to decide on the fate of the plant,” she told reporters, saying that she would abide by the decision of her party.

The Kuantan MP has led opposition against the project that has raised fears of radiation pollution in her constituency.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said this morning the tenure of the PSC can be extended beyond its current three-month span to “complete and table a report containing recommendations to the Dewan Rakyat to be agreed on.”

The Cabinet agreed last week for form a bipartisan PSC to look into the Lynas controversy with nine members, four BN lawmakers, three PR MPs, one independent and Umno minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin as chairman.

Thousands of anti-Lynas protestors attended an opposition-backed rally by Himpunan Hijau last month in the largest protest yet against the rare earths plant that is expected to fire up later this year.

Critics of the refinery want Putrajaya to direct the nation’s nuclear regulator to reverse its decision to approve Lynas’ temporary operating licence (TOL), which will let the Australian miner embark on a two-year trial run.

They allege that Lynas has not given enough assurances on how it will handle the low-level radioactive waste that will be produced at the refinery.

The government has been under pressure from groups to shut down the rare earths project over safety fears, but Putrajaya has stood its ground on the project that was first earmarked for Terengganu.

Lynas maintains that waste from the Gebeng plant — which will be the largest rare earths refinery in the world upon completion — will not be hazardous and can be recycled for commercial applications.

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Lynas licence ‘illegal’ without EIA, says lawyer in AELB suit

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Malaysian Insider-
By Yow Hong Chieh
March 20, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — The High Court here heard today that there is no need to appeal against the nuclear regulator’s approval of Lynas’ provisional licence as the decision was fundamentally illegal.

Lawyer K. Shanmuga, representing 10 Pahang residents who have challenged the Atomic Energy Licensing Board’s (AELB) decision, said this was because an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study had not been prepared prior to the approval.

The need for a detailed EIA before such an approval was given to the Australian miner’s rare earths plant is clearly stated in the Environmental Quality Act 1974, a fact confirmed by the Department of Environment (DoE) on June 20, 2011, he said.

“There’s no dispute Lynas does not have a detailed EIA so we are saying the entire approval is illegal and therefore you don’t need to appeal.

“You can come for judicial appeal and the court must quash the approval,” he told reporters after making his submission to judge Datuk Rohana Yusuf in chambers.

The Pahang residents filed a suit against the AELB and two others on February 17 alleging that the radiation watchdog had issued Lynas Corp a temporary operating licence (TOL) for its RM2.5 billion plant in return for a slice of the firm’s revenue.

All 10 residents live within 3km to 18km of the controversial plant in Gebeng, near Kuantan, which has stoked fears of radiation pollution.

The suit seeks a court order to cancel the AELB’s approval of the TOL on January 30.

Also named were the DoE’s director-general of environmental quality and Lynas’ local subsidiary Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers had earlier raised a preliminary objection on the grounds that the residents should first exhaust other avenues of recourse, including appealing to the science, innovation and technology minister.

The ministry, led by Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili, overseas AELB’s operations.

The judge fixed the next open court hearing for April 4.

She also directed AELB to file an affidavit explaining what Lynas will be allowed to do under the TOL as information on the provisional licence could only be gleaned from press statements and the media at this point.

Earlier this month, Lynas said it will fire up its refinery by the second quarter of the year.

The Sydney-based miner is looking to break China’s 90 per cent chokehold on the supply of rare earth metals needed to manufacture high-tech products such as smartphones, energy-efficient light bulbs and hybrid cars.

Lynas expects to generate some RM8 billion annually from its operations here.

The government last week announced it would form a nine-man Parliamentary Select Committee to look into the Lynas issue, which would hear “scientific views based on fact” from all parties.

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Lynas panel gets Parliament nod amid opposition furore

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

The Malaysian Insider–

Parliament voted to approve the panel’s formation after a short but heated debate. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Dewan Rakyat today approved the formation of a select committee on the Lynas issue, which the opposition has described as “yet another public relations exercise” by Putrajaya.

The motion, tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, received more ayes than nays after a short but heated debate over the true objectives and scope of the panel.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs questioned the point of the select committee given that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had already said the government will not be bound by the panel’s decision.

Opposition lawmakers, led by Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, charged that the panel was a “gimmick” meant to fool the public into thinking their views counted despite the government having already decided on the matter.

Najib had said last week that the select committee would not decide the fate of Lynas Corp’s rare earth plant in Kuantan, which has stoked fears of radiation pollution.

Nazri said discussing the Lynas issue in Parliament would not be sub judice.

Nazri answered, however, that the prime minister had only stated that Putrajaya may not choose to abide by the panel’s decision to allay any suspicion that the select committee would not be neutral and independent.

“We have to show that the parliamentary select committee has the right to make its decision…,” he explained.

“It comes back to the issue of neutrality. That’s why the prime minister said we won’t be bound. If he had said yes, then there would be no need for the PSC and we would just decide if we should carry on (with the project) or not.”

The de facto law minister stressed that there was no mention of “whitewashing” issues raised by critics in the motion he had tabled and urged opposition MPs to refer to the text.

“Where does it say in the proposal I’ve tabled? Does it say the PSC is intended to refute the twisted facts that have been presented?” he said.

 

Nazri also denied discussion of the Lynas issue in Parliament was sub judice, after Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff noted that the House had disallowed debate on the government’s many suits against former Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli for the same reason.

Ten Pahang residents living close to the plant are challenging the Atomic Energy Licensing Board’s (AELB) decision to give Lynas approval for a temporary operation licence (TOL).

“If any party feels what we’re doing is sub judice because the TOL case is ongoing… they can make an application to the courts,” Nazri said.

He then urged PR to vote in favour of the select committee since opposition MPs had many questions about Lynas that could only be answered by the panel.

Shortly after, the debate descended into chaos despite the best efforts of Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee to keep order, with several opposition lawmakers trying to speak at once while MPs from Barisan Nasional (BN) taunted them to “leave if you don’t like it”.

Ronald then called for the vote, following which about 10 opposition MPs left the hall to speak to the press waiting in the Parliament lobby. They returned shortly after.

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Lynas haunted by ghosts of Fukushima and Bukit Merah, says CEO

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Malaysian Insider-

By Clara Chooi
March 20, 2012

The LAMP was fundamentally different from the ARE refinery and the Fukushima nuclear plant, said Curtis. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Lynas Corporation has insisted that “misinformation” and lingering fears from past radiation disasters were the main catalysts of the opposition against its RM2.5 billion rare earth refinery in Gebeng, Kuantan.But chief executive Nick Curtis lamented to a group of Chinese and alternative media representatives last night that it was unfair to punish the company for incidents that “have nothing to do with us”.

He pointed out that the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) is not a nuclear power station as is the case with the Fukushima Daaichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, which suffered a severe nuclear meltdown following last year’s tsunami and released harmful levels of radioactive materials.

He stressed that LAMP’s practices and materials are also vastly different from those of Mitsubishi Chemical’s Asian Rare Earth (ARE) plant in Bukit Merah, Ipoh, which was shut down two decades ago and has been linked to eight cases of leukaemia due to radioactive exposure, seven of which were fatal.

He said during the gruelling two-hour dinner discussion that if Kuantan residents were to keep an open mind towards the facts of the issue, they would be able to see that the plant poses no health or environmental risk.

His assistant, Wee Tiat Eng, Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd senior manager (engineering services), even performed a live demonstration by reading the radiation levels of the criticised the rare earth’s “water leach purification” (WLP) residue, which is said to be dangerous, and comparing it with a banana.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, who attended the function with several other ministers, also stepped in to say that a person undergoing an X-ray exposes himself to 500 times the radiation found in the rare earth residue.

But Curtis’ assurances appeared to reach a doubtful audience and the embattled CEO was forced to repeatedly field questions over whether the Australian mining firm saw Malaysia as a dumping ground for its radioactive waste; whether Lynas would accept a decision to shut down its plant; and what its “plan B” was in the event of a Fukushima-like disaster.

“You bring up Japan, again. One slight frustration that we have here is this — this (LAMP) is not a nuclear power station.

“The risk you are talking about is part of the risk of tsunami, or an event that causes the distribution of this (radioactive) material.

“And that is part of what we engineer against,” Curtis said, again making his case for the safety of LAMP.

“The engineering of the site is done very specifically with 100-year flood events and various other engineering standards to ensure that if there were catastrophic events, it would be safe,” he assured attendees.

“Secondly, our material is not the same as Japan’s (Fukushima plant). Nothing like it, we have nothing to do with it.

“People have ignored the facts. The word radioactivity has been misused in this context [because] of Fukushima. The emotions were high. But Fukushima has nothing to do with us.”

When pointed to the lingering fears of Malaysians over the disaster in the ARE plant, Curtis nodded in acknowledgement but repeated that the incident was not tied to Lynas.

He highlighted that, at the time, Malaysian laws were more lax than today, adding that the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) had not even existed at the time.

“I accept that there are lingering fears. We underestimated the penetration within the Malaysian community of a story that happened well over 20 years ago. And I regret and I’m sorry for that and I do understand the pain,” he said.

“But again, I have to turn to the facts: Rare earths are not a bad product, they are a good product.

“They enable our lives to go forward; they are a product that enables cleaner society, healthier society. They are good products. They can be done cleanly and safely.

“I was not at Bukit Merah. Bukit Merah should not have happened. So you cannot compare us with Bukit Merah. The nature of material was fundamentally different,” he said.

Lynas Corp is expected to fire up operations of its refinery in Gebeng by year-end but widespread opposition from local residents could delay the mining firm’s plans.

Earlier today, Parliament approved the formation of a select committee that has been tasked to look into the various aspects of the plant.

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Australia did not reject Lynas waste, says CEO

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Malaysian Insider-

By Clara Chooi
March 20, 2012

Curtis said Australia did not expressly prohibit the return of Lynas’s rare earth residue to the country. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Lynas Corp has denied reports that the Western Australian government had refused to accept the radioactive waste residues from the miner’s RM2.5 billion rare earth plant in Malaysia.The Australian mining firm, currently under tremendous pressure to prove its refinery would pose no danger to Malaysians, told local media personnel at a dinner last night that the Australian government was merely reacting according to common conditions that any country would have with regards to such materials.

But, Lynas Corp chief executive Nick Curtis stressed, this did not mean authorities had rejected the proposal outright.

“No. That is not true (that the Australian government rejected the waste) … No country in the world allows you to take out the material, then send it back.

“What they say is, ‘we’ll have a look at what you want to do but you do not have automatic permission to do that (send the waste back)’,” he told a special dinner event with the heads of Chinese and alternative media organisations at the Seri Pacific Hotel last night.

The dinner, organised by the International Trade and Industry Ministry, is believed to be part of Putrajaya’s attempt to explain the Lynas issue to critics of the plant, who have resolutely insist that its residues would pose harmful levels of radiation to local folk.

Earlier today, the Dewan Rakyat approved the formation of a three-month parliamentary select committee (PSC), tasked to engage with all stakeholders in the controversial multibillion ringgit project that is expected to fire up its operations by year-end.

But despite Curtis’ claim that the Australian government had not rejected Lynas’s waste material, the CEO could not offer a guarantee that the company would return the residues back to its home country.

“We are not sure whether we want to send it back yet… we will investigate all alternatives (on waste disposal) including that (returning it to Australia) but it is not necessarily the best alternative either for the material or for us,” he said.

Grilled for over two hours during the dinner by media personalities who appeared unconvinced by Curtis’ repeated assurances regarding Lynas, the CEO could only offer his company’s pledge to adhere to the conditions attached to the two-year temporary operating licence (TOL) from Malaysia’s energy regulator, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB).

Among the most significant condition that Curtis highlighted was Lynas’s signed undertaking that it would submit a detailed plan for a permanent disposal facility (PDF) for waste, within 10 months of receiving the TOL.

“We have said, ‘Okay, fine, we are happy to comply’. No problem to determine a plant (for disposal)… it is not an expensive plan. It will take time but it is manageable,” he said.

“We have obligations to our licence with the AELB to study the issue and come up with a definitive plan for the disposal facility.”

But Curtis said that setting up the waste facility at such an early stage was an “unusual” practice as, in most cases, the rehabilitation of a site would only be carried out at the tail end of the refinery’s lifespan.

“Today, we are asked to deal with the possible rehabilitation of the site, which will still be active in 40 to 50 years.

“But that’s okay; if that’s what’s required, we will do that, but it is unusual in industrial terms,” he said.

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Lynas to send residue abroad if no suitable disposal site found in Malaysia

Posted on March 7, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-the Star-

KUANTAN: Lynas Corp has submitted a letter of undertaking to send its rare earth processing residue elsewhere if no suitable waste disposal site could be found in Malaysia.

“Even though the Government is satisfied there will be no radioactive residue produced during the plant’s operation, we have ordered Lynas to guarantee and plan the provision of a permanent waste disposal facility far from human population as recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“Failing that, Lynas has already expressed willingness to take the residue out of Malaysia,” said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed in a joint statement with Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob here yesterday.

He said the Government would also set up an independent monitoring panel to audit the plant’s construction as an additional measure.

A technical team that recently visited the project site would propose the working scope, terms of reference and expertise needed for the panel and the Government would appoint the panel members.

On radiation monitoring, Mustapa said the plant had yet to start operations and the Government had not appointed independent experts to analyse the radiation level.

He added that Western Australia Resources Minister Norman Moore had confirmed on Feb 29 that the radiation level from rare earth material was very low.

Meanwhile, Lynas Corp chief executive officer Nicholas Curtis has invited Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to meet him over the rare earth plant.

However, Lim said he intended to turn down the meeting, timed for his trip to Australia from March 23 to March 26, unless the anti-Lynas groups advise him otherwise.

“Curtis should come and meet the people of Kuantan instead,” he said.

“I’m surprised that they contacted me. I don’t know if (Curtis) got confused between Penang and Pahang, but he probably knows I oppose Lynas,” said Lim, adding that he was in no hurry to reply to Lynas’ e-mail.

Lynas Corp was recently given a temporary licence to operate the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Gebeng, a half hour’s drive from Kuantan, to process rare earth mined in Australia.

 

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Basel Convention prohibits Lynas from transporting waste abroad

Posted on March 7, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Sun Daily-

PETALING JAYA (March 7, 2012): Opponents of the rare-earth processing plant in Gebeng, Kuantan yesterday criticised International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed for endorsing Lynas Corporation’s plan to send abroad the residue produced at its proposed plant.

They pointed out that Lynas is prohibited by regulations under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Basel Convention from transporting its waste to another country.

The Basel Convention, of which both Malaysia and Australia are signatories, set out guidelines for transboundary movements of hazardous waste and its disposal.

Mustapa had on Tuesday said Lynas has agreed to send abroad the residue if it failed to identify a suitable location to build a permanent disposal facility in Malaysia.

“Although the government is satisfied that the Lynas operation will not generate residue which is radioactive, it has asked Lynas for an assurance and to provide a disposal facility far from human settlements,” he said.

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, however, yesterday pointed out that Lynas in its Radioactive Waste Management Plan had revealed that one of its three waste streams would contain radioactive materials exceeding the permissible level of 1Bq/g as set by the International Atomic Energy Agency, while the other two would be below the permissible level.

“We were assured by the Minister of Science and Innovation in Parliament that Malaysia follows international standards and the cut-off point for waste to be classified as radioactive is 1Bq/g. Clearly, the waste is classified as radioactive and has to be regulated by AELB,” she said in a statement.

Fuziah said the Environmental Quality Act 1974 prohibits Lynas from “diluting” any waste produced at the plant, or recycling it for commercial applications.

Lynas had reportedly assured that some of the and waste could be safely recycled into gypsum boards and fertilisers, downplaying the necessity for a permanent disposal facility to be set up.

Meanwhile, Himpunan Hijau 2.0 chairman Wong Tack urged Lynas to “come clean” over which country has expressed readiness to accept waste produced at the Gebeng plant.

“If indeed there is a willing country, we still question them on how long will the waste be kept on site before it is transported out?” he said, when contacted.

The Australian government had in April last year declared it will not accept any waste from Lynas, despite the rare earth being mined in Mount Weld.

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