Malaysia: Upgraded air and water monitoring stations will detect fine particles, oil spills

The Star 16 Jun 16;

PUTRAJAYA: More monitoring stations that can measure very fine particles and marine and water quality will be built throughout the country starting next year.

The new and upgraded air pollutant index (API) stations will be able to measure fine particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and that can only be seen with an electron microscope.

The new water monitoring stations can detect real-time oil spills.

Natural Resources and Environ-ment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said these were made possible under a RM855mil concession agreement for an environmental quality monitoring programme signed between the ministry and Pakar Scieno TW Sdn Bhd.

He said the measurement of API would be improved following calls by the public, adding that the new calculation would be similar to the one used by Singapore, where the measurement of fine particles (PM2.5) has been included since 2014.

“The environmental quality monitoring programme will provide authorities with real-time information on the quality of air and water in the sea and rivers.

“It acts as an early-warning system that allows quick and proactive action be taken should there be haze, oil spills, industrial disasters and illegal dumping of toxic wastes,” he said.

Information collected via the programme would also be used to formulate future policies and in decision making where the environment and people’s well-being were concerned, said Dr Wan Junaidi when witnessing the signing of the agreement.

Under the agreement, there will be 82 stations set up to monitor air quality nationwide, 1,387 stations specifically to check water quality in rivers and another 405 stations to monitor marine water.

The concession will also see an environmental data centre for forecasting, geospatial mapping and live video streaming being set up to allow the Department of Environ-ment and ministry to take mitigating measures in the event of water or air pollution.

Dr Wan Junaidi said the programme would start next year as the concessionaire needed time to install new stations, take over existing ones and recalibrate the machines to meet the ministry’s requirements.


Environmental quality monitoring programme to be implemented early next year
BERNAMA New Straits Times 15 Jun 16;

PUTRAJAYA: The Environmental Quality Monitoring Programme (EQMP) aimed at improving the existing environmental quality monitoring system will be implemented early next year.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said EQMP, which would be implemented through a concession agreement with Scieno TW Sdn Bhd encompasses data collection for the purpose of air, river and marine monitoring as well as setting up an Environmental Data Centre (EDC).

“EDC is located at the Department of Environment headquarters and will serve as a platform to analyse air, river and marine data obtained from environmental quality stations nationwide before being channeled to end users on a real time basis,” he told a press conference here today.

Wan Junaidi said EQMP would be implemented by Scieno TW for a period of 14 and a half years involving a cost of RM855 million.

He said the concession agreement was also signed as part of measures to improve the existing programme with regard to the country’s development and current needs.

“The data transmission period of the programme will only take 10 minutes compared to 45 minutes previously,” he said.

He said besides providing information on the current status of the country’s air, river and marine quality, the programme could also be used as an early-warning system.

“EQMP will also help in developing policies and assist in making decisions for the welfare of the people and the country through the provision of enforcement activities, inputs and planning of development projects,” he said. --BERNAMA

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