(Edited from Jul 15, 2016 News/updates)
Jakarta, July 18, 2016 A number of civil society organizations and individuals concerned about waste management and environmental health, members of the National Coalition against Mass Burning, this morning submitting a request for judicial review of the Presidential Decree No. 18 Year 2016 regarding the Acceleration of the development of Electricity from Waste Facilities in Jakarta, Tangerang City, Bandung City, Semarang, Surakarta, Surabaya and Makassar City (hereinafter referred to as "the Presidential Decree No. 18/2016").
Petition for judicial review was submitted to the Supreme Court (Mahkamah Agung) by 15 individual petitioners who come from cities that were targeted by the Presidential Decree 18/2016 and 5 non-governmental organizations, namely the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia ( WALHI), BaliFokus, KRuHA (People’s Coalition for the Rights of Water), Gita Pertiwi Foundation and YPBB (Yayasan Pengembangan Biosains dan Bioteknologi).
There are five reasons why the request for a judicial review filed (1) The "Acceleration" in the Presidential Decree 18/2016 is in contrary to the legal framework for the prevention of the Act No. 32 of 2009 on the Protection and Environmental Management; (2) The thermal technology recommended by the Presidential Decree 18/2016 is contradicting with the waste management system and the purpose of Law No. 18 of 2008 regarding Solid Waste Management; (3) The release of the Presidential Decree 18/2016 pose a serious threat that can not be restored to the environment and human health that contrary to the Health Law, the Law on Ratification of Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic and Protection Act and Environmental Management; (4) The relevant section of "Acceleration" within the Presidential Decree 18/2016 is an abuse of authority of the President and the Regional Head that potentially devastating the financial status of the state and the respective city authorities; and (5) the promulgation of Presidential Decree 18/2016 conducted without considering the principle of the establishment of legislation that is sound and just, especially the "workable" and "usability and effectivity" are in contrary to Article 5 d and e of Law Establishment of Legislation.
Nur Hidayati, WALHI National Executive Director, states that "The submission of this request for Judicial Review filed by the coalition of civil society aims to remind the President, as the mandate holder of the constitution, that the policy issued should prioritize people's safety aspects and the precautionary principle, not vice versa. The Presidential Decree No. 18/2016 ignore the safety aspect of the people and created a very high risk program."
"In a broader scale, the judicial review is our signal to the President that the civil society oversee the acceleration of all infrastructure projects," said Margaretha Quina, Head of the Pollution Control Division of ICEL. "The acceleration shall not exclude the impact of the project to public health and the environment. The government must ensure the acceleration of projects do not conflict with other regulations that have been issued in advance. "
Retna Dwi Astuti, one of the individual applicants who reside in Gedebage, Bandung, objecting to the issuance of Presidential Decree 18/2016 because it would threaten their health and worsen the environmental quality of the neighborhood. Retna Astuti, a mother of two, lives 300 meters from the proposed location of Bandung’s waste incineration plant. Since 2006, knowing that the development of the waste to energy plant has been designated near her home in 2006, the applicant is increasingly critical, especially related to potential pollution of air and water pollution that could potentially have an impact on her health and her family.
In addition to the environmental permits leeway, the Presidential Decree 18/2016 also risk promoting technologies that is not necessarily appropriate for Indonesia’s trash. "Thermal technology that was recommended by the Presidential Decree has not been verified and validated for Indonesia’s context. Instead of getting electricity as the expected output, the seven cities will likely to get a toxic bonus - a very hazardous and toxic waste (B3)," said Yuyun Ismawati of BaliFokus. "Waste processing using thermal treatment technology produces combustion residues such as fly ash, ash and slag that has the toxics characteristics. The amount is significant enough, up to 25% of the amount of waste burned. The implementation of the Presidential Decree 18/2016 in 7 cities with thermal technology is expected to generate new B3 waste as much as 1750 tonnes per day. Pollution of air, water and soil will escalate and threaten the right of people to live in a healthy environment. Toddlers and children, especially, will have an increased risk to growing and living in a polluted urban environment," added Yuyun.
Meanwhile, Asrul Hoesein, an individual applicant, Jakarta resident, filed an objection with concern about the declining environmental health. His efforts to educate the public to manage waste with an environmentally friendly approach to be in vain.
From Surakarta, Titik Eka Sasanti of the Gita Pertiwi Foundation states that, "In the period of waste crisis, thermal technology solutions is not ecological, uneconomical and inhuman," said Titik. "Education needs to be done at all levels of society and all sectors, including the government and policy makers, in order to reduce the issue of solid waste, separation, maximizing recycling, improving waste retribution and developing technology that are genuine zero waste as a smarter choice to address the waste crisis."
"Government needs to focus on accelerating the implementation of the waste management system more in line with the Waste Management Act No. 18 year 2008 which introduced a "new paradigm" of waste management in a comprehensive manner. Waste Management Act governing the management of garbage from upstream, before a product is made. Design considerations and the potential end product of garbage and approaches that relies not only on the final approach,” said David Sutasurya, of the Foundation for the Development of Bioscience and Biotechnology (YPBB). "The government should immediately prepare for the Policy and the National Solid Waste Management Strategy that was long overdue, more than five years," added David.
For further details, contact:
Margaretha Quina (Quina), ICEL (Indonesian Center for Environmental Law), HP 081287991747, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dwi Sawung, Pengkampanye Perkotaan dan Manajemen Bencana Eksekutif Nasional WALHI, HP 08156104606, email: email@example.com
Fictor Ferdinand (Piki), YPBB, Bandung, HP 081-331-806-993, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Titik Eka Sasanti (Titik), Gita Pertiwi, Surakarta, HP 081329989384, email: email@example.com
Mochamad Adi Septino (Tio), BaliFokus, HP 081313653636, email: firstname.lastname@example.org