JOHOR BAHRU (July 2): The government will not approve any more application for the construction of new chemical plants in Pasir Gudang to ensure a more sustainable development in the area, said Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climatic Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin.
She said the matter had been discussed with the state government.
There are currently 2,005 factories in Pasir Gudang, with 250 of them chemical plants, he told reporters after a townhall session with industry players at Menara Aqabah of the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council here yesterday.
Yeo said yesterday’s townhall session was held to obtain feedback from industry players on immediate measures to be taken to address pollution problem in Pasir Gudang.
Following discussions, the industry players agreed to adopt the affected schools and provide them with gas detectors, she added.
“We will also ensure the Department of Environment to make it mandatory for factories to provide gas detectors,’ she added.
Yeo said the ministry would table to the cabinet a paper on the installation of an automated pollutant monitoring system in Pasir Gudang this Friday to obtain the allocation for the purpose.
The industry players, she said, were also requested to provide the necessary data on their release of water into the air and river to facilitate the ministry to carry out loading capacity analysis on industrial areas in Pasir Gudang.
“The loading capacity analysis will take four to six weeks. After that, we may impose stricter conditions for industries in Pasir Gudang,” she added.
Yeo said three factories in Pasir Gudang had ceased operations since Thursday, following an incident where students and others in the area were reported to experience breathing difficulties.
She said four students from four schools were referred to hospital today after they complained of breathing difficulties and dizziness, but none of then were warded.
The schools included Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tanjung Puteri, Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Kota Puteri and SK Seri Alam. — Bernama