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 Indonesia approves tougher law against polluters

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BerichtOnderwerp: Indonesia approves tougher law against polluters   Indonesia approves tougher law against polluters Icon_minitimewo 9 sep 2009 - 15:09

Indonesia approves tougher law against polluters
08 Sep 2009 10:46:54 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Sunanda Creagh

JAKARTA, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Indonesia's parliament passed a new environment bill on Tuesday giving the Environment Ministry the power to revoke polluters' business licences, which environmentalists said could lead to more effective enforcement.

Indonesia's rapid economic growth has been accompanied by widespread pollution of its waterways, soil and air, as well as the destruction of its forests and wildlife, prompting criticism from green groups and the World Bank.

The new law, a draft of which was seen by Reuters, will require companies whose operations impact the environment to obtain an environmental licence and undergo an environmental assessment process before starting operations.

If the terms of the environmental assessment process are breached, the Environment Ministry can revoke their permit to operate and issue fines.

Anyone who deliberately pollutes the environment could face up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to 10 billion rupiah ($1 million).

"This will affect basically all industries or companies whose activities create an impact on the environment, including manufacturing, construction, mining, pulp factories and others," said Nur Hidayati, Greenpeace's country representative for Indonesia.

"Before, for example, if a company pollutes, the Environment Ministry could only give a recommendation and there was no enforcement in terms of the minister stopping the operation because their operation licence was held by another department," she said.

"Now it's integrated, so if a company violates the environment, then their operation can be stopped."

The new law also stipulates sanctions for local and central government officials who issue permits without following the proper procedures. ($1 = 9,995 rupiah) (Editing by Sara Webb and Sugita Katyal)

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BerichtOnderwerp: Re: Indonesia approves tougher law against polluters   Indonesia approves tougher law against polluters Icon_minitimezo 13 sep 2009 - 13:24

Andra Wisnu , The Jakarta Post , JAKARTA | Fri, 09/11/2009 2:15 PM | City

The city administration needs Rp 11 trillion (US$1.11 billion), or roughly half of its 2009 budget, to build a proper sanitation system for its residents, an official says. But the expense is justified as less than 1 percent, or about 560 hectares or of the total area of Jakarta, is equipped with an efficient sewage system, said Firdaus Ali, a member of the city’s water regulatory board. “The rest of the people in Jakarta simply dump their domestic waste into the city’s river. Jakarta is literally a megalopolis standing on a pile of doo-doo,” Firdaus said in a discussion on pollution. He said the only area of Jakarta that had a proper sewage system was the city’s so-called golden triangle, the area within city thoroughfares Jl. Jend. Sudirman, Jl. MH Thamrin, Jl. HR Rasuna Said and Jl. Gatot Subroto. “That section of the city alone produces 200 tons of wastewater per day. Imagine the rest of the city dumping wastewater into the river because we don’t have a proper sewage system,” he added. He added that only 27.2 percent of residents had access to clean water, which came mostly from the Jatiluhur dam in Purwakarta, West Java. “In other words, if anything happened to the Jatiluhur dam, the city would be left with nearly no access to clean water. This city would be a wasteland,” he said. The Rp 11 trillion, he said, would be used to install piping from all homes, connecting them to newly created Wastewater Treatment Facilities (IPAL). The treated water would then be channelled into the city’s rivers.

His comments came amid the city’s drafting of its spatial master plan (RTRW) for 2010–2030. The city administration has only been able to set up three sewage treatment plants, located in Setiabudi in South Jakarta, Pulo Gebang in East Jakarta, and Duri Kosambi in West Jakarta. Other than the aforementioned areas, the rest of the city disposes of wastewater using self-maintained septic tanks, or by directly dumping domestic waste into rivers. Meanwhile, Jakarta’s dense population forces residents to build wells too close to their septic tanks. Some 165,000 residents suffered from diarrhea last year, according to data from the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas). Moreover, World Bank data shows poor sanitation has cost the country’s economy $6.3 billion per year since 2006, or the equivalent of 2.3 percent of the country’s GDP. “With all the pollution in this city, we are very likely to miss the UN-sanctioned MDG [Millennium Development Goals] target,” said Umar-Fahmi Achmadi, a professor of community health at the University of Indonesia, who was also present at the discussion. The MDG target is to halve the number of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015. Firdaus said it was not too late for the administration to completely revamp the sanitation system, something it had nearly done in 2002.

In 2002, the city came close to implementing a massive makeover of its sewerage system worth $5.3 billion when it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with an Australian company. However, the deal fell through after the company, Global Grid, and the administration, failed to agree on the actual starting date of the planned 25-year project, and on Global Grid taking over all of the assets of PT PAL, the city-owned sewage treatment operator.
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