I was admiring the view of Penang Island from the mainland at around noon today when suddenly, a wall of smoke billowed near the sea-front blocking the island from view for a few minutes.
A fire in Butterworth? No, just plumes of smoke coming from the direction of an industrial plant in the heart of Butterworth town, lasting a few minutes. Apparently, this happens once or twice a day, I was told.
I would be interested to know what exactly is in this smoke being discharged.
What I saw made me wonder how effective the DoE is in monitoring emissions and effluent (flowing into the Prai River and surrounding seas?) from firms in the industrial zones on the mainland in particular.
An experienced engineer told me established firms may have waste water treatment plants (they also have to submit independent treated waste water quality reports to the DoE every two weeks) while emissions from those using natural gas as fuel contain minimal pollutants. But who controls the other culprits who flout environmental standards?