According to Law No. 32 of 2009 on Protection and Management of the Environment as amended by Law No. 11 of 2020 regarding Job Creation (“Environmental Law”), Environmental Pollution is defined as the incoming or inclusion of creature, substances energies and/ or other components into the environment by human activities so as to exceed the stipulated environmental quality standard.1 One of the forms of Environmental Pollution that is usually occurred is through hazardous toxic material waste.

Hazardous, toxic, material (“B3”) is substances, energies and/or other components which may pollute and/or destroy directly or indirectly the environment and/or endanger the environment; health as well as continuation of life of human and other creatures because of their characteristics, concentration and/or quantity.2 Meanwhile, B3 Waste is a remnant of business and/or activity that contains B3 (“B3 Waste”).3

In relation to the definition of environmental pollution above, to prove the occurrence of environmental pollution by B3 Waste, it is necessary to prove the inclusion of B3 element towards the environment, which in proving the presence of B3 element in a waste is carried out through a characteristic test.

This article discusses one of the evidentiary process to prove the pollution of environment, specifically by B3 Waste through characteristic test. The important matters that shall be discussed through this article is (I) the general provision of characteristic test and (II) the procedure of performing characteristic test.

(I) General provisions of characteristic test

Based on Supreme Court Decree No. 36 year 2013 on Implementation Guideline of handling environmental dispute (“KMA 36/2013”), one of the special evidences utilized in handling environmental dispute is scientific evidence, which in the form of: (i) laboratories result and/or (ii) result of calculation of compensation due to pollution and/or damage from experts.4

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Under Government Regulation No. 22 of 2021 on the Implementation of Environmental Protection and Management (“GR 22/2021“), the characteristic test is basically used to identify waste if there is a type of waste outside the provisions of laws and regulations.5 Therefore, if a disputed waste is found and suspected to be B3 waste, in order to determine the status of the waste, a characteristic test will be carried out.

Furthermore GR 22/2021, explains the characteristics of B3 waste as waste which: (a) is easily explosive; (b) flammable; (c) reactive; (d) infectious; (e) corrosive: and/or, (f) toxic.6

(II) Procedure of performing characteristic test

According to Ministry of Environment and Forestry No. 6 of 2021 on Procedures and Requirement to Manage Hazardous and Toxic Material Waste (“Ministry of Environment Regulation 6/2021”), to determine the status of a waste is a B3 Waste or non-B3 waste, is carried out through a characteristic test, which in this case consists of (i) collecting the samples, and (ii) performing the characteristic test of B3 Waste, which will be described as follows:7

  1. Collecting the samples
    In collecting the test samples, there are 2 indicators that are determined based on the type of waste to be tested (i) for liquid waste will refer to the Indonesian National Standard Number: SNI 6989.59:2008, Water and Wastewater – Section 59: Wastewater Sampling Methods, for taking samples for liquid hazardous waste tests and (ii) Indonesian National Standard Number: SNI 8520:2018, Procedure for taking samples for tests for solid hazardous waste, for taking samples for tests for solid hazardous waste.8
  2. Performing the characteristic test of B3 Waste
    In performing the characteristic test for the B3 waste includes: (1) explosive characteristic test, (2) flammable characteristic test, (3) reactive characteristic test, (4) infectious characteristic test, (5) corrosive characteristic test, (6) toxic characteristic test, (7) toxic characteristic test through the LD50 Toxicology Test, and (8) toxic characteristic test through sub-chronic toxicology test.9 With respect to the characteristic tests that have been described, it must be carried out sequentially, and if at one of the stages the characteristic test meets the elements of B3 waste, the next test sequence does not need to be carried out.10
  3. Characteristic test is performed by the Laboratory
    In carrying out the characteristic test for hazardous waste as described in point (2) above, there is a special provision stating that the characteristic test must be carried out by an accredited laboratory.
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The regulations referred in this article prove that to determine whether a material is considered as B3, a characteristic test should be performed. In performing the test, it should comply with the prevailing procedure. That would mean that not everyone can do the test and not every result will be considered as a valid result.

Irsandi Rahmat Wijaya


  1. Article 1 Number 14 of Law 32/2009
  2. Article 1 Number 21 of Law 32/2009
  3. Article 1 Number 22 of Law 32/2009
  4. Chapter IV letter d No. 2 of attachment of KMA 36/2013, Page. 23
  5. Article 278 paragraph 1 GR 22/2021
  6. Article 278 GR 22/2021
  7. Article 5 of Ministry of Environment Regulation 6/2021
  8. Article 6 of Ministry of Environment Regulation 6/2021
  9. Article 7 paragraph 1 of Ministry of Environment Regulation 6/2021
  10. Article 7 paragraph 3 of Ministry of Environment Regulation 6/2021