Malaysia will get better Air and Water quality Monitoring Systems
Malaysia's new new Environmental Quality Monitoring Programme will keep a closer eye on air quality around the country. Photo Credit: Pixabay
Malaysia’s government will be keeping a closer eye on the environment thanks to its new Environmental Quality Monitoring Programme (EQMP). Starting early next year, the system will gather data on air, river and sea conditions in real time and store all that information in its Environmental Data Centre. The system will cost RM855 and be operated by a private contractor.
“[The data centre] 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,” said Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, minister of Natural Resources and Environment. “The data transmission period of the programme will only take 10 minutes compared to 45 minutes previously.”
In addition to providing more accurate and up-to-date information on air and water quality across Malaysia, the system can also serve in early warning about impending threats to the environment. “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,” the minister said.
As part of the plan, new and upgraded monitoring stations will be set up throughout the country to measure very fine particles in the air. The new air-quality monitoring stations will have advanced air pollutant index (API) measuring tools that can detect tiny particles of just 2.5 micrometers in diameter. The system will be similar to the one used in Singapore to better monitor harmful pollutants in the air.
In all, 82 stations will be operated around Malaysia to monitor air quality; 1,387 stations to monitor water quality in rivers; and 405 stations to monitor water quality in the sea. The new marine water monitoring stations will be able to detect oil spills in real time, thereby enabling faster responses to them. “The environmental quality monitoring programme will provide authorities with real-time information on the quality of air and water in the sea and rivers,” Wan Junaidi said. “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.”