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Singapore’s air, water quality unaffected by Johor fires, spills

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Singapore's air and water quality, as well as its water and food supply, have not been affected significantly by recent fires and chemical spills in Johor last month.

Residents in the north and north-eastern regions of Singapore complained about a burning smell after hot spots were detected in the southern Malaysian state between early February and mid-March - the result of fires in two landfills and near an oil palm plantation.

But Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) found the ambient air quality measured by the Pollutant Standards Index remained in the good to moderate range during this period, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources and Health Amy Khor told Parliament yesterday.

"There is no direct correlation or association between the smells and the ambient air quality readings," she said, replying to MPs such as Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC) and Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh.

Dr Khor also said that following the dumping of toxic chemicals last month into Kim Kim river in Johor's Pasir Gudang, the NEA did not detect physical, chemical and microbiological abnormalities in the Strait of Johor, near Pulau Ubin and at Singapore's recreational beaches.

It also did not find compounds from the Pasir Gudang chemical spill identified by Malaysia in the water samples.

She added that fish farms in the Strait of Johor did not report unusual fish deaths and the tests for pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds and heavy metals in seafood samples from the farms did not find any anomalies.