Jakarta – The government removed the ash resulting from burning coal in power plants from the category of hazardous and toxic waste. The industry sector is not yet ready to exploit it.
ONE of the worst legacies of President Joko Widodo’s administration will be Annex XIV of Government Regulation No. 22/2021 on environmental protection. This regulation deriving from the Job Creation Law removes the ash resulting from the burning of coal from the B3 category of hazardous and toxic waste.
The Jokowi administration is gambling with the future of forthcoming generations. A 2017 investigation by the United Nations Environmental program in Indramayu, Suralaya and Cirebon, West Java, found that the waste left over from the burning of coal at electricity power stations contained at least 16 types of chemical. These chemicals harm the organs of the people who inhale them from the brain to the joints in their toes.
Earthjustice, an environmental organization from the United States, even issued a warning that there is no safe level for lead contained in coal ash. Lead damages the nervous system, heart and cardiovascular organs, particularly in children. In the long term, ash inhaled by children can even cause a reduction in intelligence.