SUNGAI PETANI, Three factory premises involved in the fire in Bukit Selambau near here last night are believed to be operating illegally.
Kedah Department of Environment (DOE) director, Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab, said two of the premises had never received any operational approval from the DOE, while the third had obtained Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval in 2020 but did not submit a license application to operate.
"For now, DOE officers have not been allowed to enter the fire site to take samples as the fire has not been fully extinguished, and the situation is not yet safe.
"However, Kedah DOE has initiated an investigation, and a statement from the landowner has been taken. Preliminary information obtained from the landowner indicates that the involved lots have been leased to three different premises," she said in a statement today.
Sharifah Zakiah said the two of the premises were suspected of conducting scrap metal separation and the separated metal was believed to be sent to the third premises for melting activities.
According to her, the activities of all three premises involved are subject to Activity 14(b)(ii), the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Activities) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Order 2015, Environmental Quality Act 1974.
Meanwhile, she said 24-hour air quality monitoring is being carried out by Kedah DOE starting today using Grimm and Cerex equipment to monitor air quality at the incident site and to detect the presence of harmful pollutants.
"The investigation at the fire site will continue using drones, and sampling will be carried out after obtaining permission from the Fire and Rescue Department to enter the burnt spaces," she said.
Three warehouses containing scrap copper and wires at a factory in Bukit Selambau near here were destroyed in a fire last night.
The fire caused explosions and sparks before the Fire and Rescue Department managed to control it at 10.02 pm. No casualties were reported.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency