JOINT NEWS RELEASE BY AVA, PUB, SCDF AND NEA
Singapore, 17 March 2019 - The authorities have been closely monitoring the chemical spill incident at Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang, Johor since reports of it first surfaced on 7 March 2019. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and National Environment Agency (NEA) are in contact with their respective Malaysian counterparts - the Johor Fire and Rescue Department (BOMBA) and the Johor Department of Environment - to get regular updates on the situation.
Singapore remains unaffected by the chemical spill incident
2. So far, our air and water quality remain safe, and our water supply is unaffected by the incident.
3. A portable stand-off chemical gas detector deployed by the SCDF at Punggol has not detected any signs of harmful substances.
4. NEA monitors ambient levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, at various locations in Singapore, including Pulau Ubin. The ambient levels of VOCs in the north-eastern region remain within safe levels. The 24-hr Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) since 6 March 2019 has been in the Good to Low-Moderate range, while the 1-hr PM2.5 readings have remained in Band I (Normal). While NEA has received feedback on smells over the past few days from about a dozen members of public daily, these are not from any particular region of Singapore.
5. NEA also has a continuous water quality monitoring system comprising buoy-based water quality monitoring stations deployed along the Straits of Johor, that monitors a set of key physical, chemical and microbiological water quality parameters to detect incidents such as oil spills and potential algae blooms. NEA has not detected any unusual variation in the water quality parameters monitored. Over the past week, NEA has taken the additional step of collecting water samples at Pulau Ubin and its vicinity to test additional parameters, including compounds Malaysia has identified in the chemical waste dumped in Sungai Kim Kim, such as benzene, acrylonitrile and acrolein. These substances have not been detected in our water samples. NEA has also not detected any anomalies in the quality of the waters of Singapore’s recreational coastal beaches.
6. NEA shares the results of its water sampling with the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). This allows for swift action to be taken in the event of any sign of pollution. AVA has been working closely with fish farms located north of Pulau Ubin to update them of the current situation. These farms are required to immediately report to AVA if they detect any unusual signs, such as abnormal smells or dead fishes. So far, AVA’s tests of seafood samples from these farms have not detected any anomalies.
7. PUB has been closely monitoring water quality along the Johor River and our local waterways and reservoirs. PUB assesses that the incident has no impact on our water supply as the chemical spill location is outside of the Johor River catchment area, where part of our water supply comes from. The water quality of our inland waterways and reservoirs in North and North-eastern Singapore is also unaffected.
Authorities will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide timely updates
8. Since reports of the chemical spill incident first surfaced, the relevant authorities have stepped up monitoring, and will continue to do so in order that swift remedial actions can be taken, where necessary. We will also continue to provide timely updates on the situation.
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