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Todays Lesson

Environmental Law

Lesson learning outcome


At the end of this lesson students should be able to:

Describe the current environmental issues in Malaysia


Discuss the salient features of the Malaysian
Environmental Quality Act (EQA), 1974.
Discuss the need for and procedures of the
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
Highlight issues relating to environmental problems in
construction.

History of Environmental Management in


Malaysia
1957-1975: Malaysia is one of the most bio-diverse

regions on earth, with extensive tropical forests.


Agriculture and infrastructure development cause
massive deforestation in the 1960s. Discharge from
industrial and mining operations pollutes water
resources. The government passes the Environment
Quality Act (EQA) in 1974 and establishes the
Department of Environment to enforce it.
1976-1990: As Malaysia rapidly industrializes, urban
smog during the dry season becomes a climate trait.
Water toxicity and river silting are side effects of rapid
and intense industrialization. Malaysia's population
doubles between 1960 to 1990, straining sewage and
waste management infrastructure.

History of Environmental Management in


Malaysia
1991-1997: Malaysia plays a prominent role at the 1992

Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Malaysian Prime Minister


leads calls for sustainable development. In 1997 Malaysia
declares a state of emergency as forest fires on Sarawak
blanket dense smog over the region; Prime Minister
appears in public wearing a smog mask. Environmental
concerns force suspension of the Bakun hydroelectric dam
project in Sarawak.
1998-2003: Malaysia commits to reaching International
Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) sustainable forest
management goals. In June 1999 the government
declares air pollution figures a national secret. Work
begins anew on the Bakun Dam in 2000. Logging is barred
in Malaysia except in the tropical rainforest areas in Sabah
and Sarawak. The 2001-05 plan makes cleaning up air
pollution a national priority.

Environment Complaints Received, 19942004

Types of Pollution Complaints,2004

The National Environment Policy


Strategies to propel the countrys growth

trends towards sustainable development


(2002).
This policy aims at continued:
Economic, social, and cultural progress of
Malaysia
Enhancement of the quality of life of its people

The Objectives of The Policy


A clean, safe, healthy and productive

environment.
Conservation of the country's unique and
diverse cultural and natural heritage with
effective participation by all sectors of society.
Lifestyles and patterns of consumption and
production consistent with sustainable
development.

Current Environmental issues in Malaysia


Air pollution/haze from industrial/vehicular

emissions/forest fire.
Water pollution
Solid waste
Deforestration

Air Pollution
The major cause of this problem:

concentration of ambient ozone levels and


particulate matters from motor vehicles,
sulphurdioxide from industrial activities
open burning
The haze in 2004,2005 and 2006 from transboundary sources became regular occurrences in
parts of the west cost of Peninsular Malaysia and
Sarawak.

Air Pollutant Index (API)


The API is an indicator of air quality and was developed based on scientific

assessment to indicate in an easily understood manner, the presence of


pollutants and its impact on health.
API Scale

Air Quality

0 50

Good

51 100

Moderate

101 200

Unhealthy

201 300

Very unhealthy

301 and above

Hazardous

HAZE IN MALAYSIA

HAZE IN MALAYSIA

Water Pollution
Second most important environmental

complaints
Efforts to reduce and control the discharge of
waste water focused on upgrading existing
and building new sewerage treatment plants.

Water Pollution
Sources of water pollution on building sites

include: diesel and oil; paint, solvents, cleaners


and other harmful chemicals; and construction
debris and dirt.
When land is cleared it causes soil erosion that
leads to silt-bearing run-off and sediment
pollution.
Silt and soil that runs into natural waterways
turns them turbid, which restricts sunlight
filtration and destroys aquatic life.

Water Pollution
Surface water run-off also carries other pollutants

from the site, such as diesel and oil, toxic


chemicals, and building materials like cement.
When these substances get into waterways they
poison water life and any animal that drinks from
them.
Pollutants on construction sites can also soak
into the groundwater, a source of human drinking
water. Once contaminated, groundwater is much
more difficult to treat than surface water.

RIVER POLLUTION
The rivers have become a tourist attraction and this

has prompted the construction of hotels and resorts


around the area.
As a result, many of the forests surrounding the river
areas have been chopped down.
The surrounding soil have no roots to hold on to and
soon erode when the rains come.
The soil runs into the rivers and soon the rivers
become murky and shut out all the sunlight from
reaching the aquatic life in the rivers and streams.
This causes them to die.

RIVER POLLUTION

RIVER POLLUTION

RIVER POLLUTION

Solid Waste
Improper disposal
Efforts by government to reduce the amount

of solid waste is:


promote reuse, reduction and recyling(3Rs)
through National Campaign on Recycling.

RECYCLE DUSTBIN

Noise Pollution
Construction sites produce a lot of noise,

mainly from vehicles, heavy equipment and


machinery, but also from people shouting and
radios turned up too loud
Excessive noise is not only annoying and
distracting, but can lead to hearing loss, high
blood pressure, sleep disturbance and
extreme stress.

SCHEDULE OF PERMISSIBLE SOUND LEVELS


MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE SOUND LEVEL (LAeq) BY RECEIVING
LAND USE FOR PLANNING
AND NEW DEVELOPMENT

THE PLANNING GUIDELINES FOR


ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE LIMITS AND CONTROL

MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE SOUND LEVEL (LAeq) OF NEW


DEVELOPMENT
(ROADS, RAILS, INDUSTRIAL) IN AREAS OF EXISTING
HIGH ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE CLIMATE

L90 is the measured ninety percentile sound level for the respective time period of
the existing areas of interest in the absence of the proposed new development.

Deforestration
The depletion of Malaysian forests has been caused by:

logging
tin mining,
agricultural conversions
construction of dams
irrigation schemes and
traditional shifting cultivation.

To protect our forest, the Malaysian Criteria, Indicators,

Activities and Standards of Performance for Forest


Management Certification (MC&I) system was launched in
2001

Measures to Prevent Pollution


Good construction site practice can help to

control and prevent pollution.


The first step is to prepare environmental risk
assessments for all construction activities and
materials likely to cause pollution.

Specific measures that can be


taken to mitigate these risks:
To prevent erosion and run-off, minimise land

disturbance and leave maximum vegetation


cover.
Control dust through fine water sprays used to
dampen down the site.
Screen the whole site to stop dust spreading,
or alternatively, place fine mesh screening
close to the dust source.
Cover skips and trucks loaded with
construction materials and continually damp
down with low levels of water

Specific measures that can be taken


to mitigate these risks:
Cover piles of building materials like cement,

sand and other powders, regularly inspect for


spillages, and locate them where they will not
be washed into waterways or drainage areas.
Use non-toxic paints, solvents and other
hazardous materials wherever possible
Segregate, tightly cover and monitor toxic
substances to prevent spills and possible site
contamination.
Cover up and protect all drains on site .

Specific measures that can be taken


to mitigate these risks:
Collect any wastewater generated from site activities

in settlement tanks, screen, discharge the clean


water, and dispose of remaining sludge according to
environmental regulations.
Use low sulphur diesel oil in all vehicle and equipment
engines, and incorporate the latest specifications of
particulate filters and catalytic converters.
No burning of materials on site.
Reduce noise pollution through careful handling of
materials; modern, quiet power tools, equipment and
generators; low impact technologies; and wall
structures as sound shields. .

Number of Court Cases


Increased through the years.
On average, > 200 per annum court cases

has been reported since 1994-2004.


Total fines increased to about RM 2 million in
2004.

Number of Court Cases,1994-2004

Number of Court Cases and Fines


Collected,2004

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (EQA), 1974


The earliest example of a management was the

Waters Enactment in 1920.


The legislation did not encourage an integrated
approach to environmental policy.
Passed by Parliament in 1974, the EQA has been
described as the most comprehensive piece of
legislation concerning environmental management in
Malaysia.

an agency to control pollution was established. (DOE)

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (EQA),


1974
EQA is an enabling piece of legislation for preventing,

abating and controlling pollution, and enhancing the


environment, or for other related purposes.
Pollution, as declared in EQA, includes the direct or

indirect alteration of any quality of the environment or


any part of it by means of a positive act or act of
omission.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (EQA),


1974
Pollution is controlled through the mechanism of licences

issued by the Department of Environment. The mode of control


is by prescribing, by means of a ministerial regulation, that
licences are mandatory for:

The use and occupation of prescribed premises;


Discharging or emitting wastes exceeding acceptable
conditions into the atmosphere, as well as noise
pollution, polluting or causing the pollution of any soil
or surface of any land;
Emitting, discharging or depositing any wastes or oil, in
excess of acceptable conditions, into inland waters or
Malaysian waters.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (EQA),


1974
The provision of "acceptable conditions" is

controversial because the polluter is not liable for


prosecution if the discharge are within those
acceptable conditions, even if the effluents are
sufficient to severely damage the environment
Most people adversely affected by pollution do not
want to seek legal remedy through common law
because of the prolonged nature of such hearings
and the costs incurred.

The EQA contains specific provisions with respect to


various aspects of the environment include:
air pollution (section 22)
noise pollution (section 23)
pollution on land (section 24)
pollution of inland waters (section 25)
pollution caused by oil or mixtures containing

oil in Malaysian waters (section 27), and


discharge of wastes into Malaysian waters
(section 29).

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (EQA),


1974

One of the three strategies embodied in EQA,

1974, is for the regulation of pollution.


The other two strategies are for preventing
and abating any form of pollution.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (EQA),


1974
Currently, 35 list of regulations and orders are

enforced by the Department of Environment


under EQA.
The enforcement agencies are:
the Department of Environment,
Health Department,
Pesticide Board and
local authorities

LIST OF REGULATIONS AND ORDERS ENFORCED


UNDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT, 1974 BY
THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT

LIST OF REGULATIONS AND ORDERS ENFORCED


UNDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT, 1974 BY
THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT

LIST OF REGULATIONS AND ORDERS ENFORCED


UNDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT, 1974 BY
THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT

LIST OF REGULATIONS AND ORDERS ENFORCED


UNDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT, 1974 BY
THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT

LIST OF REGULATIONS AND ORDERS ENFORCED


UNDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT, 1974 BY
THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT

Environmental Impact Assessment


(EIA)
In Malaysia, EIA is required under section

34A of the Environmental Quality Act, 1974


(Amendment 1985).
In exercising the powers conferred by section
34A of the Act, the Minister of Environment,
after consultation with the Environmental
Quality Council, makes an order cited as the
Environmental Quality (Prescribed Activities)
(Environmental Impact Assessment) Order,
1987, which came into force on 1 April 1988.

The objectives of EIA


To examine and select the best from the

project options available;


To identify, predict and assess significant
residual environmental impacts;
To recommend and incorporate into the
project plan, appropriate abatement and
mitigating measures; and
To identify the environmental costs and
benefits of the project to the community.

Environmental Impact Assessment


(EIA)
Steps to be taken in completing and EIA
(a) Describe the proposed subject as well as the
options;
(b) Describe the existing environment;
(c) Select the impact indicators to be used;
(d) Predict the nature and extent of the environmental
effects;
(e) Identify the relevant human concerns;
(f) Assess the significance of the impacts;
(g) Incorporate appropriate mitigating and abatement
measures into the project plan;
(h) Identify the environmental costs and benefits of the
project to the community;
(i) Report on the assessment.

LIST OF PRESCRIBED ACTIVITIES


[EXTRACT FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
(PRESCRIBED ACTIVITIES)
(ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) ORDER 1987]

1. Agriculture
2. Airport
3. Drainage And Irrigation
4. Land Reclamation
5. Fisheries
6. Forestry
7. Housing
8. Industry
9. Infrastructure
10. Ports

LIST OF PRESCRIBED ACTIVITIES


[EXTRACT FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
(PRESCRIBED ACTIVITIES)
(ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) ORDER 1987]

11. Mining
12. Petroleum
13. Power Generation And Transmission
14. Quarries
15. Railways
16. Transportation
17. Resort And Recreational Development
18. Waste Treatment And Disposal
19. Water Supply

LIST OF PRESCRIBED ACTIVITIES WHICH


REQUIRE DETAILED EIA PROCEDURES

1. Iron and steel industry.


2. Pulp and paper mills.
3. Cement plant.
4. Construction of coal fired power plant.
5. Construction of dams and hydroelectric power
schemes.
6. Land reclamation.
7. Incineration plant (scheduled waste & solid waste).
8. Sanitary landfill.
9. Project involving land clearing where 50% of the
area or more having slopes exceeding 25 degrees
(except quarry).

LIST OF PRESCRIBED ACTIVITIES WHICH


REQUIRE DETAILED EIA PROCEDURES
10. Logging involving an area exceeding 500

hectares.
11. Development of tourist or recreational facilities on
islands in surrounding waters which are gazetted as
national marine parks.
12. Construction of recovery plant (off-site) for leadacid battery wastes.
13. Scheduled wastes recovery or treatment facility
generating significant amount of wastewater which is
located upstream of public water supply intake .

S I T E S U I TAB I LI TY E VALU AT I O N
FO R N O N - PR E S C R I B E D AC T I VI T I E S
In considering the suitability, the site is evaluated in

terms of its compatibility with respect to the gazetted


structure/local plans, surrounding landuse, provision
of set-backs or buffer zones, the capacity of the area
to receive additional pollution load, and waste
disposal requirements.
For potentially hazardous* type of industries, the
project proponent may be required to submit a RISK
ASSESSMENT to the Department of Environment as
part of the site consideration.

LI C E N C E TO O C C U PY PR E S C R I B E D
PR E M I S E S AN D PR E S C R I B E D
C O N V E YAN C E S

A licence is required to occupy and operate

prescribed premises, namely as below:


(a) crude palm oil mills,
(b) raw natural rubber processing mills, and
(c) treatment and disposal facilities of
scheduled wastes

LI C E N C E TO O C C U PY PR E S C R I B E D
PR E M I S E S AN D PR E S C R I B E D
C O N V E YAN C E S
Starting from 15 August 2005, licence is required to use

prescribed conveyances as stipulated in the


Environmental Quality (Prescribed Conveyance)
(Scheduled Wastes) Order 2005. Conveyance which is
categorized as prescribed conveyance namely:
Any vehicle or ship of any description which is
(a) propelled by a mechanism contained within itself;
(b) constructed or adapted to be used on land or water;
and
(c) used for the movement, transfer, placement or
deposit of scheduled wastes.

APPLI C AT I O N PR O C E D U R E F O R
E N V I R O N M E N TAL R E Q U I R E M E N T S
I N M ALAY S I A

Department of Environment (DOE)


Head Office
Director General
Department of Environment
Level 1-4, Podium 2 & 3
Lot 4G3, Precinct 4
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62547 PUTRAJAYA
Tel: 03-88712000
Fax: 03-88889987
Web site: www.doe.gov.my