Committed to challenge

Sharifah (centre, baju kurung) speaking to reporters showing their certificates of appreciation during the Eco Night for Eco Knights programme.

COMPOUNDS totalling RM2.2mil by Penang Department of Environment (DOE) were issued this year for various violations under Environmental Quality Act 1974, said its director Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab.

“This year, we investigated and took action on 1,053 complaints from the public.

“The department has issued 322 directive notices under Sections 31 and 37 of the Act.

“A total of 10 investigation papers were submitted to court, a licence was suspended and a stop-work order issued,” she said.

Sharifah was speaking during the Eco Night For Eco Knights programme at Eastern & Oriental Hotel in George Town.

Sharifah said that despite lacking in manpower, the department remained committed to facing challenges through various initiatives and partnerships.

“Penang, despite being a small state, has a high number of industrial premises.

“This has posed a challenge to Penang DOE due to limited enforcement personnel.

“We found most violations were due to sheer lack of understanding of the legal requirements and poor waste and pollution management at premises.

“We are planning to hold a few training sessions and seminars next year for industries and property developers, especially those subject to environmental impact assessments,” said Sharifah.

DOE will school industry players in seven concepts of Environmental Mainstreaming Tools (EMT) that cover policy, budgeting, monitoring, facilities, competence, reporting, communication and transparency.

“Every industry is required to play their role in preventing environmental pollution,” she said.

“They must practise the concepts of EMT in daily operations.”

Earlier at the programme, certificates of appreciation were presented to stakeholders and media personnel.

Sharifah said that 11 strategic partner-companies had joined hands with DOE to hold environmental awareness events this year and thanked the media for its support.

“The mass media plays a crucial role in disseminating information on environmental conservation through delivery of trustworthy content.

“This has led to better understanding of sustainable development and better environmental management,” she said.

Also present were Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Penang chairman Datuk Lee Teong Li and former DOE director-general Datuk Halimah Hassan.

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