Government excludes mining firms from environmental auditPublished by MAC on 2003-07-31
Government excludes mining firms from environmental audit
Moch. N. Kurniawan, The Jakarta Post
July 31 2003
Jakarta - The government has excluded mining companies from the 2002 environmental audit (PROPER) due to the lack of precise indicators to measure the amount of damage they have caused to the environment, says an official.
"We can assess mining firms based on pollution criteria, but we do not have clear indicators yet to appraise their environmental destruction, and that is why the government has decided not to include mining companies on the list of firms to be audited in 2002," Deputy State Minister for the Environment Isa Karmisa Ardiputra, who is in charge of the Management of Environmental Impact from Institutional Sources, told reporters on Wednesday.
The government reintroduced PROPER last year to inform the public about polluting companies, after the environmental audit was stopped in 1997 because of the economic crisis.
The 2002 PROPER's results will be announced within the next two weeks, said Isa.
PROPER is an audit of companies' environmental performance based on air and water pollution, waste management and environmental damages.
A total of 85 companies had been listed to take part in the 2002 PROPER, 12 of which were mining firms. The remaining companies are in the forestry and manufacturing sectors.
The 12 mining firms that have been phased out from the 2002 PROPER are: PT Freeport Indonesia in Papua, PT Kaltim Prima Coal and PT Kelian Equatorial Mining in East Kalimantan, PT Adaro and PT Arutmin in South Kalimantan, PT INCO in South Sulawesi, PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara in West Nusa Tenggara, PT Antam Pomala Kolaka in Southeast Sulawesi, PT Timah and Kobatin in Bangka Belitung, PT Antam in West Java and PT Bukit Asam in South Sumatra.
Isa said the government must establish clear criteria on environmental destruction caused by mining firms.
"For example, we should determine a measurement based on change in landscape, floods and forest destruction because of mining operations," he said.
KPC spokesman Drajat Panjawi and Newmont Nusa Tenggara spokesman Heru Harjono said that their firms had not been informed by the Office of the State Minister for the Environment about the exclusion of mining firms from the 2002 PROPER list.
Drajat added that principally, KPC was ready to undergo the 2002 PROPER.
"We still support the program, as it will verify whether we care about our environment or not," he said.
Isa said the 2002 PROPER showed that between 60 percent to 70 percent of the participants were polluters, but he declined to identify them.
For example, he said, many firms in the forestry and agriculture industry had failed to comply with hazardous waste management regulations and standards.
"They may possess the facilities to collect, store and manage the hazardous waste for further use, but do not have any license from the government to do so," he said.