Posted by adminMarch 31, 2006News

Jail term proposed for industrial polluters

Environmental Quality Act (EQA) 1974: Jail term proposed for industrial polluters

KUALA LUMPUR: A draft to amend the Environmental Quality Act, 1974 to provide for a mandatory jail sentence against industrial polluters will be tabled in Parliament by May. The draft will also call for the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to be given the authority to remand suspected industrial polluters.

“The major changes have been agreed upon in December last year. These will first be presented to the Cabinet while the other issues will be worked out throughout the year,” said Deputy Minister Datuk S. Sothinathan. “We have about 1,000 enforcement officers and their job is difficult as they are not allowed to remand suspects.”

The amendments to the Act were meant to deal with errant industrial waste recycling agents who dumped waste into or close to rivers, he added. “With harsher sentences, we hope to send a clear message to industrial polluters that what they are doing is unacceptable.” Sothinathan also said river pollution had eased off. “The number of heavily polluted rivers fell to 12 from 19 last year,” he said at a seminar on industrial waste management organised by Fomca.

resource from The Star


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