Thursday, 5 April 2012

Action Against Lynas Plant Premature

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has set April 12 to decide on a preliminary objection by the Attorney-General’s Chambers against the application for leave by local residents over the Lynas plant in Pahang.

Yesterday, High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Rohana Yusuf set the date after hearing lengthy submissions by parties.

Senior Federal Counsel Suzana Atan and SFC Noor Hisham Ismail acted for the A-G’s Chambers and Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) while Datuk Dominic Puthucheary represented Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Lead counsel Tommy Thomas and lawyer K. Shanmuga appeared for 10 local residents.

SFC Suzana submitted yesterday that local residents should have appealed to the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili and that a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) has been set up to look into the Lynas plant

SFC Noor Hisham argued that AELB director-general Raja Datuk Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan has affirmed in an affidavit that the Lynas plant still cannot be operated.

Dominic submitted that nothing had been done by AELB to allow Lynas Malaysia to operate the plant, adding that the application is premature.

Tommy argued that the local residents still could bring the matter to the court for its consideration.

The residents filed the application on Feb 17 to challenge the AELB’s decision to grant Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd a temporary operation license (TOL) and named AELB, the director-general of Environment Quality and Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd as respondents.

The applicants are asking for leave to quash AELB’s Jan 30 decision to grant the TOL.

In Kuantan, Lynas Corp president Eric Noyrez said the issue of a permanent disposal facility site for its rare earth refinery would be irrelevant as all the residue produced would be recycled.

He said the three residue streams would be turned into economically viable products such as hardcore base for roads, plaster boards and fertilisers.

“We have no intention to dump the waste as we see money in it and have developed the technology to turn it into saleable items,” said Noyrez during a media briefing at the plant in Gebeng here on Tuesday.

- Taken from The Star dated 5th April 2012

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