The New Regulation on Mercury

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    The government has conceived the new regulation on the use of hazardous substance; mercury (Hg). The regulation encompasses mercury monitoring, improving, trading system, employment for the local miners, and medical assistance for the victim of mercury poisoning. The new regulation refers to Minamata Convention 2013 in Japan.

    President Joko Widodo said the prohibition of the uses of mercury is necessary, primarily for local and small-sized mining. The President received a report that the use of mercury spread out over 850 locations. It can lead to the harmful effect for 250,000 mining and local people nearby.

    “This pollution would lead to a severe environmental damage such as air and water pollution and soil damage. It must be prevented as soon as possible, even less Indonesia participated in signing Minamata Convention,” said the President in his office, President Palace, Jakarta, Thursday (3/9).

    The measures are taken to cover the local and small-sized mining rearrangement both available in and the outside forest. According to the President, the use of mercury in the local mining activity needs to be banned. The same statement already told in Maluku at the speech by the Police General Tito Karnavian three weeks ago.

    Socialisation is Needed

    Furthermore, the President said it needs to monitor the distribution of mercury, the trade system, and import. He also hoped the training about the danger of mercury uses for the miners.

    “People must know more about the danger of mercury poisoning. The illegal gold mine closure is not enough the new employment is needed for the miners. Lastly, I want the Ministry of Forestry provides mercury-contaminated victims with the medical assistance.

    After the meeting, the Minister of Environment and Forestry (LHK) Siti Nurbaya Bakar said the new regulation on mercury is a must. The Presidential Regulation Number 74 of 2001 on Hazardous and Poisonous Material Supervision stipulated so. Plus, Indonesia should keep its commitment following Minamata Convention ratification in 2013.

    “The use of mercury should strictly monitor, the local miners should be trained,” Siti said. The new regulation expected take effect the next two months.

    According to the Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Forestry, there is small-sized gold mine on 800 sites; spread out in 167 districts and 31 provinces. Meanwhile, there are 1,062 sites of gold mine and sand and gravel in the forest area.

    The adjustment of regulation on the use of mercury is in line with the environmental protection and management principle. Therefore, the socialisation of the new rules is necessary. (Ags)

     

    Source : Kompas

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