II. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF DEVELOPMENT
A. Air pollution
Air pollution in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur is increasing at a phenomenal rate, thus exposing urban dwellers to unsafe levels of urban air quality. The sources of air pollution in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur are basically vehicular and industrial emissions, energy production and slash-and -burn activities. The most publicized source in recent years has been the periodic transboundary haze from the practicing of slash-and-burn cultivation in Indonesia, particularly in Sumatra, Kalimantan and the island of Riau. Most slash-and-burn activities have been identified as occurring in the dry season from May to September.
During the episodic haze the leading pollutant is PM10. In 1997, there were days when the Malaysia Air Pollutant Index reached emergency levels (over 500) in Kuching, Sarawak, and a state of emergency was announced by the government. In Kuala Lumpur the range is normally between 100 and 400 (unhealthy to hazardous). Kuala Lumpur also suffers from elevated levels of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide, mainly as a result of emissions from the large number of vehicles constantly moving in and out of the city.