Legislation covering hazardous products is urgently needed, the Office of the Secretary for Security said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The office said that Macau’s hazardous goods are mostly imported, and stored in industrial buildings or on construction sites. However, these storage spaces were not designed for keeping dangerous chemical goods. Usually, the design of the buildings does not include specific fire prevention facilities.
A major concern articulated by the Office of the Secretary for Security is that Macau’s industrial buildings are near to its residential buildings. The security authority is concerned that a potential accident could threaten the life and property of the residents.
Currently, Macau does not have a law to specifically regulate hazardous goods. The five secretariats have their own ordinances for hazardous goods. However, the bills do not coordinate with each other and there is a lack of standardization for their handling.
The existing laws are unable to serve the need for the monitoring of hazardous goods and therefore a comprehensive review of Macau’s hazardous goods regulations is needed, the office said.
It was also said that the Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, attaches great importance to the matter and has already demanded relevant government departments study the issue, consult the public, and make new proposals.
At the same time, the Chief Executive wants to resolve the relocation of Ilha Verde hazardous goods storage.
The Office for the Secretary for Security and the Fire Services Bureau completed the drafting of the hazardous goods ordinance six months ago, having listened to the opinions of various government departments on the content of the draft.
Currently, the security authority is reviewing opinions to improve the provisions in the draft before it is submitted to the Executive Council.
The security authority will also carry out a process of public consultation on the bill. JZ