The Waste Is Safe
First Marshal Novyan Samyoga, TNI Air Force Chief of Information:
THE Raci Indonesian Air Force (AURI) Base in Pasuruan, East Java, is suspected to have been dumping hazardous and toxic (B3) waste on an empty plot behind the base. Landfilling activities have taken place since 2017, creating mounds of industrial waste produced in the province. Besides being subjected to the waste’s strong smell, local residents have been injured after falling into hot fly ash from coal combustion.
Hazardous waste disposal at the military base has, in fact, been reported to the TNI Air Force Headquarters in Jakarta. First Marshal Novyan Samyoga, TNI Air Force chief of information, agreed to provide us with clarification. “Already licensed and TNI Air Force has a freehold title for the land,” he wrote last week in a WhatsApp message.
Has the TNI Air Force Headquarters received reports on suspected illegal B3 waste disposal at the Raci AURI Base in Pasuruan?
The AURI land in Raci belongs to the Indonesian Air Force. There is already a freehold title. So, in fact, it’s the local residents who have violated regulations. They are occupying state-owned land, which belongs to the defense ministry and the Indonesian Air Force.
In regard to the B3 waste disposal, is there supervision over waste business practices initiated by the Raci Air Force Base Primary Cooperative?
Waste disposal in Raci already has a permit from the Technical Implementation Unit of the East Java Integrated Licensing Services. The license is for containing B3 waste on the provincial scale.
“It’s only B3 waste in name. Laboratory testing shows that all of the elements are still safe. We have lab evidence. Besides, it’s on land owned by the Indonesian Air Force. And there is a license. No need to make it complicated.”
We found that Raci AURI has violated the license. According to the license, waste can only be contained on a land area of 140.07 square meters. But fact is, they have been dumping B3 waste on a land area of 15 hectares. Is the Indonesian Air Force HQ aware of this?
We have already requested laboratory testing on the waste delivered by waste transport companies. We have also performed lab testing. According to the results, all chemicals contained in the waste fall under dangerous levels, [meaning they] are safe.
Locals living around the Raci AURI Base have fallen into waste produced in coal combustion.
It’s only B3 waste in name. Laboratory testing shows that all of the elements are still safe. We have lab evidence. Besides, it’s on land owned by the Indonesian Air Force. And there is a license. No need to make it complicated.
We received information that the Raci AURI Base has been receiving cash from waste transport companies as payment for waste containment. Has this been reported?
For affairs of a broader scope, transportation and other issues that are technical in nature, of course the Surabaya Air Force Base is the one that makes arrangements and has detailed knowledge. It’s true that they must still report to the Indonesian Air Force HQ.
Besides the Raci AURI Base, other military bases in East Java have also been containing B3 waste, among others, the Surabaya National Air Defense Center for Education and Training. Do they also have an official license?
One by one for now (the Raci AURI Base). Point is, the Indonesian Air Force plays by the book. We have a freehold title.