Environmental Issues

The LAMP is located 2km from residential area of 30,000 people and some 25km from Kuantan potentially putting 700,000 people directly at risk from many toxic leaks and emissions. One cannot imagine the government of Australia allowing a toxic plant to be in a distance of 2km from a highly populated residential area without that communities consent. Local communities in Kuantan have been particularly angered by the lack of consent in regard to the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant, first discovering of Malaysian governments approval for the plant from a New York Times article in April 2011.

The LAMP is located close to fishing communities and coastal resorts. Local community is deeply worried that the toxic and hazardous waste will, over time, contaminate a large area beyond the vicinity of the plant. There are serious concerns that the fishing grounds could be contaminated, affecting their food safety and their health, potentially ending the local fishery industry and the tourism trade.

The Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (PEIA)[1] for the LAMP states that it will use 720 tons of concentrated Hydrochloride Acid (sulphuric acid) per day and will dump a huge amount of solid waste, 23,000 tons per year enough to fill 126 swimming pools. Every year, at least 106 tonnes of radioactive thorium and a small quantity of uranium will be dumped amongst this waste along with an unknown cocktail of other hazardous substances.

Leatherback Turtle

Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

To keep the solid waste, Lynas will have to build a ground retention pond of 7 acres (2.8 hectare) with a depth of 8 metres per year essentially turning a massive area of coastal wetland into a toxic waste dump. The refinery will also discharge waste water at 500 tonnes an hour into the Balok River, a river of significant mangrove species that is within a few kilometres from the river mouth which joins the South China Sea. It is unclear what level of toxicity and what kind of pollutants will be in the waste water. Contamination of seafood is a real risk with so much waste water being drained into a natural river. This part of the sea has been a long established habitat of the critically endangered leatherback turtles.

Lynas will produce 99,000 cubic metres of gas per hour to be released into the atmosphere yet there has not been any detail provided on what kind of gas or particulates will be released into the atmosphere. Any air pollution will inevitably be carried inland from the wind brought in from the South China Sea everyday. In the monsoon rainy season, the gale force winds can travel a long distance inland potentially spreading the hazards over a large area – thorium dust are very fine and light particles known to be easily carried by wind and water.

[1] ‘Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment Lamp & Quantitative Risk Assessment – Proposed Lynas Advanced Material Plant – Gebeng, Kuantan’, January 2008

 

Stop Lynas! Campaign

What is the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP)?

Health and Safety Concerns for Workers and Local Communities

Environmental Issues

Economic Benefit or Liability for the Malaysian People

Who are Opposing the LAMP in Malaysia?

Who is Lynas Corporation?

What Are Rare Earths?

How Can I Get Involved with the Stop Lynas! Campaign?

 


Comments

  1. Nick Tsurikov says:

    HAHAHAHAHA…
    The distance of the Lynas radioactive waste producing plant is contrary to the conditions set by the government of Australia which must have a minimum distance of 35 kilometres from the nearest residential area
    HAHAHAHAHA…
    This argument was proven to be a fabrication so many times that it is not funny any more actually… If you are aware of any law, regulation, or guideline in Australia – please quote the direct reference. As no one in mining industry (and I think in our Mines Department as well) is aware of it’s existence. The fact that the mine site is located about 35 kilometers from Laverton does not mean that there is any law about it – it is simply where it is…

  2. admin says:

    Nick,

    Thank you for taking the time to visit the Stop Lynas! website. We are a little confused as to your ‘HAHAHAHAHA‚Ķ’ you haven’t read the page properly as their is no reference to what you have quoted in the text.

    Kind Regards
    The Stop Lynas! campaign, Australia

  3. Nick Tsurikov says:

    thanks for the reply,
    the reference is to my laughter of the use of the fabrication that appears over and over again. Well… The fact that the argument of ’35 km required distance’ is repeated continuously does not make it true.
    And, thank you very much for amending the page, so it does not contain this quite bizarre statement any more.
    If it is repeated – please quote the direct reference from any Australian Law that requires 35 km minimum distance between the rare earth mine and the nearest population.
    In addition – saying that there will be many toxic leaks and emission does not make it true either. Please provide exact data of what will be in the emissions, how toxic the substances will be, and how they can possibly reach the general population.
    As it has been proven that whatever will be in the discharge water will be as radioactive as the limits for drinking(!) water set up by Australian Government and World Health Organisation, and the radiation levels beyond the boundaries of the site will not even be measurable. At least there is a lot of data in the support of the above. Saying that it is “all wrong” does not make it not true – not until you will come up with equally scientific-based modelling and assessment (instead of simply repeating the same argument about toxicity – without even specifying what exactly you’re talking about and how it can possibly go anywhere…)
    kind regards
    Nick

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