No room for error in environs report, says Musa

Posted on July 30, 2010. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Star-KOTA KINABALU: All preparatory work for a proposed 300MW coal-fired plant on Sabah’s east coast must be above board, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said.

He said studies like the detailed environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the project must be accurate.

“Such studies should not leave any room for questioning. It must contain correct information,” he said after launching a palm oil industry exhibition here yesterday.

Musa was responding to reports quoting WWF Malaysia and the Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) officials as saying that the detailed EIA for the coal-fired plant was fraught with errors.

The environmental groups said the errors became apparent at a panel review of the document on Monday.

Among the mistakes was the inclusion of non-existent animals species in Borneo such as the Dusky Langur, a type of monkey that was said to have been spotted at the project site in Kampung Sinakut, some 300km from the state capital.

In addition, the communities living in the area including the Orang Sungei and Tidung were wrongly described as of Indonesian origin.

WWF Malaysia policy analyst Lanesh Thanda said the consultants that drew up the detailed EIA also erred as they had compared the coastline at the project site which comprised mud flats to coral reefs in places like Pulau Tioman, Klang and the Straits ofMalacca.

The panel review was held at the Department of Environment (DOE) office here and among those present were state government representatives headed by Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry permanent secretary Datuk Susanna Liaw.

Lanesh who was also at the meeting, said a new study should be commissioned.

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