FOIA lawsuit suggests Indonesian nickel miners lack environmental licenses

FOIA lawsuit suggests Indonesian nickel miners lack environmental licenses

EAST LUWU, Indonesia — Environmental journalists investigating the impact of nickel mining on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi have won a freedom-of-information ruling against local authorities, whose inability to release licensing information may point to an absence of licenses. The case centers on two nickel miners, PT Citra Lampia Mandiri (CLM) and PT Panca Digital Solution (PDS), operating in the vicinity of the Larona Malili River in East Luwu district, in the province of South Sulawesi. In December last year, the provincial information commission ordered the East Luwu environmental agency to publish the licensing documents of the two companies, which are accused of polluting the river with sediment. In a response, filed Jan. 10, the environmental agency said it was unable to comply because some of the licenses were still being processed at the environment ministry in Jakarta, while others would have to be requested directly from the ministry instead of the agency. The fact that the district environmental agency doesn’t have these papers — namely an environmental impact analysis, a waste dumping license, and a so-called borrow-to-use forest permit (IPPKH) — suggests the companies are operating without them, said Ady Anugerah Pratama, one of the lawyers who filed the freedom-of-information request. “Based on the environmental agency’s response, we can be sure to say that the companies don’t actually have the licenses, such as for hazardous and toxic waste management,” Ady said, noting that these papers are required under Indonesian law. The mining site of nickel company PT Citra Lampia…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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