APRIL remains in breach of toxic waste handling rules

(foresthints.news) - A company belonging to Singapore-based pulp and paper giant APRIL has been proven to still be violating environmental regulations in the managing of hazardous and toxic waste found within the water used for the operations of its upstream pulp and paper mill in Sumatra’s Riau province.

In fact, the APRIL company’s handling of waste materials falls far below the legal standards with which it is supposed to comply.

These serious violations were first exposed by a ground inspection conducted by the Indonesian Ministry of the Environment and Forestry in March this year.

These environmental violations led Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya to impose an administrative sanction on the APRIL company, PT RAPP (Jun 6), whereby it was compelled by the government to meet legal standards in processing its hazardous and toxic waste.

These photos show the managing of hazardous and toxic waste found in the water content of the APRIL company’s operations, which completely fails to comply with Indonesia’s laws and regulations in this regard.

Continuing lack of compliance

This surprising development was brought to light by Rosa Vivien, the Ministry’s Director of Supervision and Administrative Sanctions, who divulged that as of early August this year, the APRIL company’s operations still failed to fulfil the legal standards established for the treatment of hazardous and toxic waste in its water content.  

“The administrative sanction imposed on PT RAPP (APRIL's company) has not been lifted because the results of our supervision from the end of last week (Aug 5) indicate that the company is still not yet in compliance,” Vivien explained to foresthints.news (Aug 7) at the ministry building.

The photos below depict the supervision carried out by the ministry’s law enforcement team, which exposed a lack of legal compliance from the APRIL company in managing the hazardous and toxic waste found in its water content.

Vivien added that while she was at the supervision site, the APRIL company asked some important questions about solutions to waste management problems that do not meet legal standards in their operations.

“The solution is to undertake full legal compliance. There is no other solution,” Vivien asserted.

She added that the APRIL company’s poor handling of hazardous and toxic waste is just one example of bad corporate practices that cannot be tolerated.

Vivien declared that if the APRIL company continues to fall short in terms of legal compliance in managing the hazardous and toxic waste in its water, it will lose its permit.

“This is not negotiable. If the APRIL company doesn’t comply, it will have its permit revoked. That’s it,” Vivien warned.

The APRIL company’s continuing lack of compliance in its hazardous and toxic waste management discredits APRIL’s claim that it consistently complies with Indonesia’s laws and regulation - something it has often conveyed to foresthints.news. On the contrary, the disclosure of these legal facts has completely disproved this claim.

The law enforcement action taken by the ministry shows that the current government does not discriminate when it comes to perpetrators, cracking down hard even on forestry and palm oil giants.

This attitude offers great hope that improvements in environmental and forestry governance in Indonesia can be accelerated substantively.