Prof Etty Riani Emphasizes the Importance of Environmental Awareness and River Pollution

Cases of river pollution often occur in various rivers in Indonesia. Based on this incident, Prof. Etty Riani, Professor from the Department of Water Resources Management of IPB University conveyed the importance of public awareness and the government's firmness in preventing river pollution.
The IPB University lecturer said that among the polluting agents in the river are household domestic waste and industrial waste. According to her, the industry is required to have an appropriate WWTP (Wastewater Treatment Plant), but waste treatment is not a cheap thing.
"In the case of the Cileungsi River, if there is foam, it is necessary to investigate whether it contains surfactants derived from detergents or from other materials," she said. According to her, the processing of surfactant or detergent waste in Indonesia is not yet common. Meanwhile, what is usually done is the processing of easily biodegradable domestic waste that comes from household activities such as food scraps and so on. "Technology should be a solution, but keep in mind that it costs quite a bit, so the industry will look for alternatives," she explained.
Prof. Ety said, detergent waste itself consists of two forms, namely LAS (Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate) and ABS (Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate). ABS is a surfactant that is not environmentally friendly and difficult to decompose. Even though it has been banned, Prof. Etty doubts whether ABS has really disappeared from circulation and is not used in industrial products.
"This ABS waste, if consumed in small amounts and accumulated for a long time, can also potentially cause cancer," she explained.
Therefore, public awareness is the main thing. "Don't rely on the government, because it is realized that the number and supervision from the agency or related parties are very limited so they will not be able to monitor and handle pollution cases if there is no awareness from the public," she said.
On the other hand, unbalanced economic and environmental conditions are a dilemma in environmental issues. "We adhere to the paradigm of sustainable development. Economically it must be profitable but socially it must not cause problems. Development must not damage the environment, there must be attention from industry for the community and the environment, for example by making a good WWTP and according to its designation," she said.
Regarding the implementation of environmental impact analysis (AMDAL), Prof. Etty explained that the government must be present in sustainable development. "If it is environmentally feasible, then the environmental permit of an industry will be issued, otherwise the development must be canceled. But unfortunately, there are still entrepreneurs who do not understand the obligations related to the environment, entrepreneurs consider it only an administrative obligation," she explained.
She emphasized that the government must be firm and should not loosen things that are not appropriate, but for some reason, the permit was finally issued. "If it's not feasible, then don't play. The rules must be enforced, there is a need for inspections to monitor potential sources of pollutants. In addition, public awareness must be raised, otherwise, no matter how strong the government, I don't think it will succeed," she said. (IR/ra)


Published Date : 16-Aug-2022

Resource Person : Prof Etty Riani

Keyword : Professor of IPB, pollution of water resources