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Peatland News

Title: Haze may return next month
Date: 31-Mar-2012
Category: Malaysia
Source/Author: The New Straits Times
Description: THE haze is expected to appear early next month with the onset of a dry and humid period lasting until September.

DRY SEASON MEASURES: Open burning offenders to be issued summonses


A Meteorological Department Satellite division employee monitoring the various hot spots in the country and Indonesia yesterday.

THE haze is expected to appear early next month with the onset of a dry and humid period lasting until  September.

This was conveyed to the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry by the Meteorological Department.

Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas said the department had also identified peatland that was likely to catch fire.

"A few peat soil areas, especially in Selangor, Pahang, Miri in Sarawak, Negri Sembilan and Johor are combustible if the water level drops."

Uggah said at a meeting with the national haze committee and the Department of Environment on March 22, preparations were mapped out for monitoring open burning, reducing pollution from vehicles and building tube wells for fire-fighting or for raising the water levels in certain areas.

More watch towers would also be built to keep an eye on open burning activities.

"The ministry has requested DOE to keep a watchful eye and not to hesitate in issuing summonses to offenders under the Environmental Quality Act 1974."

He was speaking after launching a water quality research laboratory at the National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (Nahrim) headquarters in Seri Kembangan, near here yesterday.

He said the Asean ministerial steering committee on transboundary haze would meet in Brunei on May 8 to discuss an effective system to combat the haze situation.

Earlier at the launch, Uggah said rivers in Kuala Lumpur were categorised between stage three and four, which meant they needed intensive treatment and could only be used for irrigation purposes.

"My ministry is going all-out in fixing our rivers, which includes the River of Life project.

"We hope to restore the condition of the rivers to stage two, which requires conventional treatment only." Stage one means the rivers are in its natural condition and stage five denotes that they are in dire state.

At the function, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn assistant vice-chancellor Prof Dr Jailani Mohd Yunus signed a memorandum of understanding with Nahrim on the provision of expertise to the government in water management.

The MoU will provide a framework to develop expertise in civil and environmental engineering and carry out joint programmes in specific areas concerning water quality.

Read more: Haze may return next month - General - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/haze-may-return-next-month-1.68235#ixzz1rFY29GIo

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