No anomalies in Singapore's air and water quality, say authorities amid chemical poisoning in Pasir Gudang
SINGAPORE: No anomalies have been detected in Singapore's air and water quality, the authorities said on Thursday (Mar 14) after illegal toxic waste dumping in Pasir Gudang, Johor left hundreds of people ill.
In a joint statement, the National Environment Agency (NEA), Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), Singapore's water agency PUB and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that they are closely monitoring the situation in Pasir Gudang.
"We understand that the clean-up operation by the Malaysian authorities is in progress. The affected area is outside of the Johor River catchment, and there is no impact on Singapore’s water supply," said the statement.
"SCDF, NEA and PUB have not detected any anomalies in our local air and water quality. The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority has been working with our farmers to monitor the situation and no anomalies or fish mortality have been observed at our fish farms."
On Mar 7, a tanker from an illegal tyre recycling factory is said to have dumped chemical waste into Sungai Kim Kim. Water from Sungai Kim Kim flows into the Strait of Johor, near Singapore’s Pulau Ubin.
SCDF and NEA said on Thursday that they are in contact with their Malaysian counterparts to get updates on the situation.
Earlier in the day, NEA said in a Facebook post: “The ambient Volatile Organic Compounds levels along Singapore’s coast remain within safe levels".
"The seawater quality within the vicinity of Pulau Ubin is also within normal levels,” it added.
According to NEA, the 24-hr PSI since Mar 6 has been in the good to low-moderate range, while the 1-hr PM2.5 readings remained in Band I (Normal).
As of 8pm on Wednesday, more than 940 people in Pasir Gudang have sought treatment for shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, said Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Sahruddin Jamal.
All 111 schools in Pasir Gudang were ordered shut by Malaysia’s education ministry.
The Sultan of Johor Ibrahim Iskandar has pledged RM1 million (US$244,700) to help aid efforts, and has ordered authorities to act against those responsible for dumping the toxic waste and asked for a thorough investigation.