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RECOMMENDATIONS: Lynas select committee’s report passed by Parliament
KUALA LUMPUR: THE Parliamentary Select Committee on the Lynas Advanced Materials Project (LAMP) has recommended that a health baseline study be started immediately and the findings be made public.
The study, to be led by the Health Ministry, should cover important aspects such as the number of leukaemia, cancer, congenital malformation, asthma and upper respiratory tract infection cases.
The committee said the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) study should be carried out simultaneously with the next Radiological Impact Assessment (RIA).
For continuous monitoring purposes, a series of cohort studies on disease cases
related to around Kuantan should be carried out and funding should be prepared for the study.
The report was tabled in Parliament yesterday by the committee’s chairman and Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
After a heated debate, the report was passed.
The health aspect aside, the PSC recommendations also focus on other aspects, including investments and socio-economy, environmental perspective, residue management, communication channels and the dissemination of information.
INVESTMENTS AND SOCIO-ECONOMY
THE recommendations include that all research and development (R&D) activities relating to rare earth be carried out in Malaysia;
INVOLVEMENT of local entrepreneurs entering the high-technology downstream industry using rare earth products;
ENCOURAGING R&D activities in local institutions of higher learning relating to rare earth technology and residue management;
SHOULD there be any local industry which uses products from the LAMP project’s raw materials, steps be taken to introduce export taxes to ensure that the raw materials for local industries are sufficient.
MONITORING by the Department of Environment (DOE) be enhanced under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (Act 127) and its subsidiary regulations like the Environmental Quality (Clean Air) Regulation 1978, Environmental Quality (Industrial Effluent) Regulation 2009, Environmental Quality (Sewage) Regulations 2009 and Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005;
THE baseline data and environmental monitoring by DOE and Lynas be published on their websites once every three months; and,
AN environmental audit be carried out by a third party to review the compliance status of LAMP towards the Environmental Quality Act 1974 at the operational level once every six months.
LYNAS submit the results on its research on recycling, waste minimisation, usage and commercialisation of the residue produced by LAMP within 10 months after temporary operating licence is issued;
THE recycling of residue must be monitored by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB);
LYNAS must submit the detailed environmental impact assessment if the permanent disposal facility's construction continues for DOE approvalbefore any related licence applications is submitted to AELB;
IF the recyling study and its location cannot be identified or approved, Lynas must transport the residue produced by the LAMP outside of Malaysia;
AELB impose appropriate conditions for LAMP to take further steps to ensure overall residue storage facility (RSF) security so that dust does not freely circulate in the air or cause leakages into the soil; and,
LAMP spread awareness to the public on effective control measures that have been carried out to ensure that the RSF operates safely.
COMMUNICATION CHANNELS AND DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION
AS a form of transparency, LAMP must provide access to the stakeholders to information on monitoring/supervision online and to display readings on the quality of air and water in front of the premises;
ACTIVITIES involving the public be enhanced,as follows:
DEVELOP and prepare information for the public on radiation safety that is easy to understand, the steps in the licensing process and decision-making process;
INFORM and engage stakeholders on the need to supervise LAMP and programmes for review, inspection and enforcement;
PREPARE on a routine basis information related to safety of LAMP;
LYNAS, as a responsible party for LAMP's safety, is urged to increase communication with stakeholders to demonstrate how the company ensures radiological and environmental safety; and,
THE International Trade and Industry Ministry and Malaysian Investment Development Authority consider imposing public engagement conditions on the company for projects involving radioactive materials, subject to RIA requirements from AELB, from an early stage.