Selangor Journal
Department of Environment (DOE) personnel collecting toxic samples at the site of the illegal landfill in Kampung Semarang, Dengkil, on July 5, 2022. — Picture by BERNAMA

Environment Dept needs 3,000 additional enforcement personnel

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 30 — The Department of Environment (DOE) requires an additional 3,000 enforcement personnel compared to the existing 1,100 personnel, taking into account the workload and the number of pollution incidents in the country, said its director-general Datuk Wan Abdul Latiff Wan Jaffar.

During an interactive session with the press today, he said this is due to the broader scope of DOE’s responsibilities, including the control of air and water pollution, management of toxic waste, and the quality of river and marine water, which requires a larger number of monitoring and enforcement officers.

DOE has submitted a request to the Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Ministry for the additional enforcement personnel to ensure monitoring and enforcement tasks are carried out more effectively.

Abdul Latiff said the increase in personnel can also assist the DOE in continuing to monitor nearly 60,000 factories and workshops which can potentially cause air and water pollution, considering that industry players’ awareness level is not yet deemed satisfactory.

He added that 29 out of 672 rivers, or four percent of rivers in Malaysia, are polluted, with the main causes of pollution in these rivers including livestock farms, industries, sewage treatment plants, as well as fishermen and squatters settlements.

The DOE is also in the process of increasing the number of automatic stations for monitoring river water quality compared to the current 30 stations.

“We are currently studying this further, and we are also in the process of further discussions with state governments and possibly water treatment plant operators for them to join us in installing automatic stations,” Abdul Latiff said.

The stations aim to monitor river water quality and provide early warnings in case of river water pollution incidents.

— Bernama

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