KLANG: A new standard operating procedure (SOP) will be drafted soon to holistically address open burning activities, particularly in areas with peat soil like Johan Setia here, according to Energy, Green Technology, Science and Climate Change Minister Yeoh Bee Yin.
She said the SOP, which is expected to be drafted within a month, would focus on an action plan to prevent open burning and determine the type of action the relevant agencies must take should there be a fire.
"We need to have one SOP that can be applied throughout the country if the situation is similar (involving open burning activities).
"The SOP is required as a mitigation measure to reduce the risk of open burning activities, especially in peat soil areas," she told a media conference here today.
She said this after attending a town hall session with residents of Johan Setia and its surrounding areas regarding the haze and open burning.
Also present were Department of Environment (DOE) director-general Datuk Dr Ahmad Kamarul Najuib Che Ibrahim and Sungai Kandis assemblyman Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni.
Yeoh said open burning activities have been a major problem for Klang residents for 10 years, especially those living in the Johan Setia vicinity which has peat soil and is identified as Revolusi Hijau, an agricultural area.
She said it was also difficult to identify landowners in Johan Setia involved in open burning and would work with the authorities such as the Selangor state government to identify them so that stringent action could be taken.
She said environmental laws, especially those related to open burning, would be amended to ensure more preventive and enforcement measures are used to prevent such incidents.
In another development, Yeoh said stern action would be taken against illegal plastic recycling factory operators in the country who processed solid waste imported from Western countries.
She said the problem was still ongoing despite the government putting a stop to the import of plastic waste from developed countries for recycling, almost a month ago.
"I hope the residents become the 'eyes and ears' by reporting to their respective assemblymen or councillors should they find illegal plastic recycling factories in their area," she said. — Bernama