MPs to Crack Down on Brewers’ Waste Disposal

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Brewers who fail to dispose of their waste water properly could be closed down, MPs have been told. Deputy home affairs minister U Aung Soe told a hluttaw meeting on water pollution most of the currently operating breweries and distilleries could have their licences revoked unless they take urgent measures to clean up their act.

At the November 29 parliamentary session, MPs were told that of the 79 breweries, wineries and distilleries in the country, only three were compliant with laws on waste disposal and necessary cleaning equipment. Of the nine producers in Yangon, only two were compliant. Parliament was told that those who are fully compliant include two High Class and Grand Royal distilleries, and one Dagon Beer brewery.

U Aung Kyaw Kyaw Oo (NLD; Hlaing), proposed that alcohol producers should be required to install cleansing equipment to eliminate water pollution and to ensure that disposal does not negatively impact the environment, a move supported by 11 other MPs.

Deputy home affairs minister U Aung Soe told MPs that delinquent brewers and distillers could lose their licence.

“We will scrutinise the records of these factories, and if we find they are flouting the law, we will take action,” he said.

He added that most of Yangon’s producing factories are located in Shwe Pyi Thar industrial zone, where residents have been impacted by improper disposal.

According to a study from the NGO Advancing Life And Regenerating Motherland (ALARM) conducted last year, water samples in Shwe Pyi Thar township were found to contain toxic levels of arsenic, lead and calcium far above international maximum levels. The study in part blamed industrial run-off.

“I don’t want investors to lose the large amount of funding they are putting up,” said Dr May Win Myint (NLD; Mayangone). “But their polluted water is creating difficulties for local communities. From the profits they make, they can install the necessary equipment to dispose of polluted water in accordance with our laws. They can do it and they must do it.”

Alcohol producers should be given a year to demonstrate compliance, said MP Aung Kyaw Kyaw Oo.

“If after a year they have failed to take the necessary action, parliament will act,” he said.

MPs agreed that the Ministry of Home Affairs should place the factories under scrutiny, and that local MPs would also keep an eye on them.

 

Source: Myanmar  Times
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