State governments to get more power in tackling environmental issues

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 04 Aug 2019

PETALING JAYA: All state governments are required to establish their own environmental committees, as part of an effort to take more proactive preventive measures towards monitoring environmental issues in the states.

This was decided at a meeting involving federal and state ministers responsible for the environment, chaired by the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry.

Its minister, Yeo Bee Yin, also authorised state environment excos and ministers to lead operations to monitor river pollution, illegal factory operations, as well as handle other environmental issues in their states.

"This is to enable stronger enforcement of existing laws to take action against anyone found polluting the environment, " the ministry said in a statement on Sunday (Aug 4).

The ministry has also prepared a paper on the standard operating procedure when conducting such operations.

The federal and state governments also proposed an increase in fines imposed on illegal recycling plant operators by amending the Environmental Quality Act 1974.

Other matters discussed in the meeting, include setting up a Joint Committee on Environment, with the Thai Government to address cross-border environment issues in collaboration with the Foreign as well as the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministries.

Delegates also weighed in on action plans to combat open burning and the haze problem, in which state governments agreed to monitor dumping sites to ensure waste management methods are not damaging the environment.

They also showed their support towards meeting the goals in Malaysia's Roadmap 2018-2030 towards zero-single use plastics.

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