ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Govt plans to impose stricter control on industrial waste
Indonesia:The government will draw up a stricter environmental regulation to ensure that the country’s industries manage their waste according to internationally accepted standards.
The Environment Ministry and the Industry Ministry said in Jakarta on Monday that a draft of the regulation, which was being finalized, would replace the existing regulation that was no longer considered adequate enough to protect the environment.
“We are still finalizing the draft and we expect the new regulation to be issued in March. The regulation will not prevent the industry from growing but it will help it develop sustainable business in the country,” a statement said.
The would-be regulation, set to replace government regulation (PP) No. 18/1999, refers to PP No. 85/1999 on waste management and comprises several detailed points and stricter rules for industry players.
It categorizes hazardous and toxic waste (B3) into three types: physically hazardous, dangerous to human health and environmentally damaging waste.
The physically hazardous category consists of explosive and flammable waste while the dangerous to human health category comprises waste containing poisons that could affect the human body or cause gene mutation. The environmentally damaging category consists of waste that could threaten marine life and/ or cause destruction to the ozone layer.
“With the categorization, the new regulation will be much clearer,” Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya said, adding that the current regulation on waste management did not detail types of B3.
Industry Minister MS Hidayat said that his ministry had agreed with the regulation draft made by the environment minister and that he suggested only minor changes.
“One thing that we proposed to be changed was the length of the draft. A government regulation should be concise and clear, but the draft itself contains 257 articles,” he said.
“We expect that the new regulation draft will be a middle-way that will serve the interests of both the government and industry players,” Hidayat said.
As many as 20 business associations with the all industry association communication forum have previously said that they were overwhelmed with the current waste regulation, which made it possible for the government to include any waste as B3.
“The definition and the B3 list are still very general in the current regulation. What we are afraid of is all our by-products being categorized as B3,” said the forum deputy chairman, Tony Wenas.
The draft regulation also requires companies to provide a bank deposit as a guarantee that would be used to reduce pollution if there was a problem in waste management efforts.
Under the would-be new regulation, companies are obliged to submit documents stating their abilities to provide the fund before requiring permits to collect and/or manage waste categorized as B3.
Tony said that industry players could not comment on the draft regulation yet as they needed to see the details first.
“We can’t disclose details of the draft yet. It will be regulated in the form of a ministerial regulation,” Hidayat said.
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