Kota Kinabalu, 26 Oct (Daily Express): Local authorities have a pertinent role in ensuring development projects are being controlled at its initial stage where it complies with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) said Deputy Chief Minister cum Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew.

“I strongly urge all of you to liaise regularly with Environment Protection Department (EPD) or Department of Environment (DOE) for technical advice to ensure development activities in this State are being implemented in a proper manner according to the existing legislation.”

She said this at the “Awareness on the Implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) In Sabah Seminar” at Hilton KK, here, Wednesday.

Christina also emphasised the importance of the environmental consultant’s role especially in mega development projects. She added that some projects will have a team comprising prime consultants, architects, electrical engineers and specialists, among others, but not environment consultants.

“It is time that I think we should look into the requirement of having an environmental consultant to be part of the team planning because from the beginning, if the environment consultant too is included, that solves a lot of problems.

“They would be able to advise the prime consultants of the architecture team on what needs to be done, and what is to be complied with before the project should proceed.

“I propose we look into that one and we’ll be bringing this up to the Housing and Local Government Minister (Datuk Jaujan Sambakong) and discuss with him about this,” she said.

In another development, when asked whether an EIA report has been made regarding the State Government’s project in setting up a silica factory, Christina said the report is still under way.

“He (Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal) announced it (silica factory project) and I’m very sure that their consultant will be working on it (the EIA report). I believe the government, before they launch any projects, will submit their proposals to the department for assessment first,” she said.

When asked on whether an EIA report has been made regarding the proposed Papar Dam project, Christina said that it has yet to be received. Christina added that any project will strictly be assessed based on orders and rules as the environmental department has its procedures in place.

“We take it seriously because only when all terms are complied with that the project will take off from the ground,” she said.

On the event, Christina said that the seminar is important as it serves as a refresher course to remind government officers and non-government organisations (NGOs) the importance of having their projects assessed in complying with all the terms and orders under the EIA.

http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/142272/ensure-projects-comply-with-eia/

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