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Friday, January 22, 2010

Putting the cart before the horse

Sepa cries foul over coal plant EIA report

Fri, Jan 22, 2010

National

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Environmental Protection Association (Sepa) has warned the state government not to ram through its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on controversial coal-fired power plant on the east coast of the state.

“Something is not right about the state government announcing that it would be releasing the the report by March,” said Sepa president Wong Tack.

“They have not released the TOR (Terms of Reference) for the report and yet here they are announcing that the (EIA) report will come out in March.

“We don’t know the scope of the study for the EIA. What are they studying? Or has it been predetermined. The statements coming out surely sound like it. This is not right ,” said a tired and upset looking Wong this week.

The tireless environmentalist has been campaigning for transparency in the government’s bid to build what he believes would be an environment-changing coal-fired power plant for admittedly power-starved consumers on the east coast of the state.

Chief Minister Musa Aman announced two weeks ago that the eagerly awaited EIA report would come out some time in March.

The government has identified Felda Sahabat, Tungku near, Lahad Datu as the location for the 300-megawatt plant pending the EIA.

Environmentalists such as the Green Surf group have opposed the use of coal, which is considered dirty energy, and have repeatedly asked the government to drop the plan for a coal-fired plant.

The area, they say, is pristine and unpolluted and it would be an ecological disaster for the state if such a power plant was built there.

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