Kelantan DoE: Stop open burning to keep haze down

05 Aug 2019 / 19:44 H.

KOTA BARU: The Department of Environment (DoE) in Kelantan, concerned about the haze situation in the state, has advised the public not to carry out open burning.

Its director, Hamzah Mohamad, also called on vehicle owners, especially those on diesel engines, were told to maintain their vehicles as that would keep in check excessive smoke emissions.

He said although the current haze was because of transboundary impacts, residents were reminded to be more conscious of the air around them by avoiding actions that could worsen the air quality.

Hazah added that the department itself had launched an exercise to prevent open burning in several locations throughout the state.

“Given the current situation, we would like to advise the public not to carry out open burning as it is an offence under Section 29A of the Environmental Quality Act 1974,“ he said.

He added that those who carried out open burning, if convicted, could be fined RM500,000 or could face a jail term not exceeding five years or both.

The current Air Pollution Index (API) readings are 82 for Kota Baru and 72 for Tanah Merah, which are in the moderate category.

API readings of 0 to 50 have been categorised as good, 51 to 100 (moderate), 101 to 200 (unhealthy), 201 to 300 (very unhealthy) and over 301 (dangerous).

Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general Jailan Simon in a recent statement had said that the haze in the country was expected to persist following the existence of 31 hotspots in the region.

Several states on the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia and Sarawak are currently facing haze conditions following forest fires over six regions in Indonesia over the past four days. — Bernama

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