Environment Ministry Probes Hazardous Waste Finding in Tarakan

October 12, 2015

Environment Ministry Probes Hazardous Waste Finding in Tarakan

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is mapping the land contaminated by crude oil in Tarakan, North Kalimantan. The oil appears in a number of settlements in the area.

“Mapping of the contaminated land is expected to finish by November 2015, the result will then being forwarded to the local government for follow up action,” said Director General of Trash, Waste and Hazardous Substance Management of Environment Ministry, Tuti Hendrawati Mintarsih in Tarakan on Saturday, October 10.

The mapping will also determine whether the oil that appears is discharged by an oil company or is it coming from the ground. The Ministry has asked Tarakan city administration to vacate the contaminated lands since they are not feasible for human settlement.

“We have to be careful in mapping it because such phenomenon is rare and it’s only been found in Tarakan,” Tuti added.

An initial identification and investigation done by the Environment Ministry in early 2014 found contamination of crude oil locally known as lantung on lands in a number of locations in Kampung I Skip and Pamusiman administrative villages. These areas are within operational area of oil companies PT Pertani EP Asset 5 and PT Medco E&P Indonesia Block Tarakan, and is inhabited by local people.

Qurie Permatasari, the Ministry’s Head of Contamination Recovery and Hazardous Waste Emergency, said the contamination poses risks of fire, building collapse and health problems.


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