Update: 1st Oct 2017
After the recent public outcry and complaints against the authorities in tracing the source of the acute air pollution experienced island-wide on Monday (25 Sept 2017), NEA finally admitted in a FB post (on 29 Sept) that “the Department of Environment (DOE) in Malaysia traced the source to an industrial facility in Pasir Gudang, Johor Baru and is taking action against the industrial facility operator.”
This was only after an outpouring of unflattering comments by the public in online forums and tons of complaints registered with the authorities with some even published in the mainstream media.
This was not the first time Singapore was subjected to such “pungent gas attack” from Pasir Gudang. But as far as I know, this is indeed the first time NEA admits that the pollution is due to chemical plants in Johor.
My original blog post (published in Feb 2016) was intended to bring awareness to the public on the pollution issue plaguing residents in the northeastern part of Singapore. NEA had been very quiet on this and had been reassuring us that the air quality was acceptable. I wanted to let residents know that the pollution issue is real and that they should take mitigating actions (close windows, switch on air-con and air-purifier) lest they continue to inhale harmful toxic gases from those industrial plants located less than 2 miles from Punggol.
Yes. They deserve to know.
** ORIGINAL blog post (27 Feb 2016) ***
Have you ever smelled toxicity in the air, especially at night? This is especially true for residents staying in Punggol, Sengkang, Buangkok, Pasir Ris, etc in the northeastern part of Singapore. Why?
Pasir Gudang is a large petro-chemical industrial complex located in Johor, just across the straits from Punggol. At almost a quarter the size of Singapore and lying just a few miles from the shores of Punggol, the toxic fumes from their chimneys (operating 24/7) are something we should be concerned with.
Not just the strong pungent smell (which is obviously toxic and bad for your lungs) but the charcoal-black dust particles, as reported by some residents, have been accumulating on the floors of their apartments with such frequency that they have to mop the floor more often than before.
Our authorities have been very quiet on this. Most of the articles I found on the internet come from online forums. NEA has said they are monitoring the situation (and all that usual crap) and have no concrete plans to stop any of this pollution. They can’t, can they?
For those who are staying in the northeastern part of the island, I feel sorry for you. There’s pretty much nothing you can do except to close your windows and switch on your air-con, especially when the wind is blowing southward from Pasir Gudang.
For those lucky enough to be able to afford premium housing in the southern part of Singapore (i.e. Sentosa Cove, Keppel Bay, Marina Bay, etc.) , well, don’t be too happy yet since the seasonal Sumatra haze will be back to haunt you again.
Related forum articles:
Petrochemical odour (The Quartz @ Buangkok) This one is an interesting link as there were posters who vehemently denied the existence of such smell, possibly due to vested interest in the property.