Outward Bound Singapore (formerly called Outward Bound School of Singapore) campus on the island of Pulau Ubin (Photo by Igor Grochev from Shutterstock.com).

No impact on Singapore’s water supply from chemical spill incident in Johor

Authorities have stated that there is no impact on Singapore’s water supply and no anomalies detected in local air and water quality from the chemical spill incident at Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang, Johor.

Earlier said by Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Sahruddin Jamal, more than 940 people in Pasir Gudang have sought treatment for shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, due to chemical waste dumped by a tanker from an illegal tyre recycling factory into Sungai Kim Kim. Water from Sungai Kim Kim flows into the Strait of Johor, near Singapore’s Pulau Ubin.

The Malaysian authority also noted that all 111 schools in Pasir Gudang were ordered shut by Malaysia’s education ministry.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) stated in a press release that they have been closely monitoring the chemical spill incident at Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang, Johor and are in contact with their respective Malaysian counterparts to get updates on the situation.

“We understand that the clean-up operation by the Malaysian authorities is in progress,” the authorities stated, noting that the affected area is outside of the Johor River catchment.

Meanwhile, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority has been working with Singapore’s farmers to monitor the situation and no anomalies or fish mortality have been observed at the fish farms.

According to the authority, the 24-hr Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) since 6 March 2019 has been in the Good to a low-Moderate range, while the 1-hr PM2.5 readings remained in Band I (Normal).

NEA also said that it has not detected any elevated levels of benzene or other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) at air monitoring stations.

The ambient VOC levels along Singapore’s coast also remain within safe levels, as well as the seawater quality within the vicinity of Pulau Ubin is within normal levels.

“The authorities will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates if there are any significant developments,” the statement stated.