New environmental law to be formulated if current law needs many changes


A NEW environmental law will be formulated if the Environmental Quality Act 1974, which is being reviewed, requires substantial amendments to provide greater enforcement power to the Department of Environment (DoE), said Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin.

She said the ministry is currently studying the amendments to the existing law (Environmental Quality Act), including making engagements with stakeholders.

“We will make many engagements, not only with the industry players, but also academicians, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and others to get their views on how we can improve this act.

“If the existing law requires too many amendments, we will formulate a new law. What is important is that the (new or amended) law can control pollution more systematically and ensure reasonable penalty against offenders,” she told a media conference at the Pasir Gudang DoE office in Johor Baru yesterday.

Earlier, Yeo, accompanied by the ministry’s deputy secretary general (environment and climate change) Dr K Nagulendran, Johor Local Government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee chairman Tan Chen Choon, DoE DG Norlin Jaafar and Johor DoE director Mohd Famey Yusoff visited the photoionisation detector (PID) station at the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council Stadium in Johor.

Pasir Gudang is the first industrial city in the country to be equipped with a monitoring system that is capable of detecting air quality and hazardous airborne pollutants to provide early warning in the event of any contamination.

The system involves the installation of 25 PID stations and six units of Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy around Pasir Gudang and two units of GCFID, gas chromatography — mass spectrometry and gas chromatography — flame ionisation detector. — Bernama