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Open Burning To Blame For Bad Air Quality, Says Environment Minister

Open Burning To Blame For Bad Air Quality, Says Environment Minister

Here we go again.

Anne Dorall

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Minister of Environment and Water (Kasa) Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man noted that the bad air quality seen this week is due to open fires, especially during our current hot and dry weather conditions.

READ MORE: Is It Haze Season Already? Areas Across Malaysia Show “Unhealthy” API Level

Seven mobile continuous air quality monitoring (MCAQM) stations recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) readings as of 4pm on 2nd March, namely Johan Setia Klang (188), Banting (167), Petaling Jaya (133), Klang (107), Shah Alam (104), Cheras, Kuala Lumpur (111) and Rompin, Pahang (133).

Some of the open fires are not intentional. Certain areas in the Kuala Langat Selatan Forest Reserve has seen forest and peat fires involving an area of 34 hectares since 24 February. The burning, plus the hot and dry weather, resulted in the haze enveloping the Klang Valley.

Additionally, agricultural areas have also seen fires contributing to the bad air quality. Five agricultural locations in Johan Setia, Klang also saw open fires since early last month. The Department of Environment (DoE) has also detected bush fires in Rompin in a 10-hectare area yesterday.

In response to the uptick of burning fires, the DoE has immediately taken strict action against landowners, landfill operators, and perpetrators who cause open burning that affects air quality.

They have prepared six investigation papers, issued one compound, and served four notices to the perpetrators.


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