The Ministry of the Environment
and Water Resources (MEWR) is seeking the views of the public on a draft Transboundary
Haze Pollution Bill which introduces new legislative measures against errant
companies that cause or contribute to transboundary haze pollution in
Singapore. The consultation period will last for 4 weeks from 19 February 2014
to 19 March 2014.
2 Singapore has been affected by recurrent haze
resulting from land/forest fires in Indonesia since 1991. In 1994, 1997, 2006,
2010, and 2013, the haze was particularly severe. In 2013, Singapore
experienced unprecedented high levels of transboundary haze pollution. The
24-hour PSI reached a “Very Unhealthy” level of 246 on 20 Jun 13, far exceeding
previous records in 1997 (138) and 2006 (128). In June 2013, air quality deteriorated into the “Very
Unhealthy” range for 3 days and “Unhealthy” range for 5 days.
Transboundary haze pollution from land and forest
fires has an adverse impact on the health of our people and has resulted in
significant disruptions to businesses and livelihoods in Singapore.
Proposed Features of the Bill
4 The legislation will provide for criminal and civil liability for causing
or contributing to transboundary haze pollution in Singapore. Some of the key features of the
: The Bill covers the
operations of all Singapore and non-Singapore entities whose activities outside
of Singapore contribute to haze pollution in Singapore.
liability : The Bill
makes it a criminal offence when an entity engages in conduct, or authorises or
condones any conduct which causes or
contributes to any transboundary haze pollution in Singapore. A heavy criminal penalty of up to $300,000 may
be imposed. The fine may increase up to
$450,000 if the entity has deliberately ignored requests by the authorities to
take appropriate action to prevent, reduce or control transboundary haze
liability : Affected
parties may bring civil suits against errant entities that are involved in
causing or contributing to the transboundary haze problem in Singapore. The civil damages recoverable under the Bill will
be determined by the courts of Singapore based on evidence of personal injury,
physical damage or economic loss.
Interested parties may access the draft Bill
and provide feedback. Feedback can also be submitted to MEWR_THPBill@mewr.gov.sg
. The consultation exercise will end on 19 March
6 To ensure that
the consultation exercise is productive and focused, respondents are requested
to observe these guidelines when providing their feedback:
identify yourself as well as the organisation you represent (if any) so that we
may follow up with you to clarify any issues, if necessary.
be clear and concise in your comments.
focus your comments on the draft Bill and how it can be improved.
far as possible, please explain your points with illustrations, examples, data
or alternative suggestions.
7 This draft Bill on transboundary haze
pollution is released only for the purpose of consultation and does not
represent the final Bill.
8 All comments received during the
consultation exercise will be reviewed thoroughly and, if accepted, will be
incorporated into the Bill for introduction in Parliament.
9 We regret that we will not be able to
separately address or acknowledge every single comment we receive. Instead, we
will consolidate and publish a summary of the key comments received, together
with our responses, on the REACH website after the consultation exercise
closes. The summary will maintain confidentiality of the feedback received. The
identity of respondents will not be disclosed in the summary.
MINISTRY OF THE
ENVIRONMENT AND WATER RESOURCES