KUCHING, Sept 27 — Sri Aman has been recording unhealthy air quality due to haze since 5am today.

According to the Department of Environment’s hourly Air Pollutant Index Management System (Apims), the highest air pollutant index reading was 152, which was recorded at 10am before dropping to 151 at 11am.

The rest of the areas in Sarawak recorded healthy or moderate air quality.

An API reading for good air quality is from zero to 50, 51 to 100 is moderate, 101 to 200 is unhealthy, 201 to 300 is very unhealthy and 300 and above is hazardous.

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When contacted today, Simanggang assemblyman Datuk Francis Harden said he would like to see open burning be put to a stop in view of the current situation.

“My advice to the public is to stop open burning and, to the farmers, especially the plantation or small holder farmers who plant paddy and oil palm trees, to avoid burning at this material time,” he added.

On August 17, Deputy Minister of Energy and Environmental Sustainability Hazland Abang Hipni said the state Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) had stopped the issuance of controlled open burning permits and cancelled previously issued permits.

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“NREB has also issued a notice banning open burning to all project developers. They have also held an awareness programme on the ban of open burning with other agencies to ensure that the air quality is maintained,” he was quoted as saying. — Borneo Post Online