Govt to improve air quality standards in Singapore

BUT, isn’t it quite good already?

Here’s the article, courtesy of CNA:

Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan announced that the government will be enhancing standards to improve air quality in Singapore.

The government will impose Euro V emissions standards for new diesel vehicles starting from 1 January next year.

Currently, there are around 3,400 Euro V-compliant diesel vehicles on the roads.

Dr Balakrishnan said in Parliament more needs to be done as existing old diesel vehicles are a major source of pollution.

To incentivise the owners of old diesel commercial vehicles to retire and upgrade their old vehicles, a new Early Turnover Scheme will be implemented.

More details will be provided in the next two months.

The emissions standard for all new motorcycles will also be raised from 1 October 2014.

On the topic of air pollution from overseas, Dr Balakrishnan said more is also being done.

Member of Parliament for Joo Chiat SMC, Charles Chong, said: “We are very fortunate that on the whole, we are enjoying very good air quality in Singapore. Partly because of our geographical location, the biggest physical concern is trans-boundary smoke haze which sometimes blows into Singapore. This is an issue which has been going on for many years now.”

Dr Balakrishnan responded: “This is a chronic, recurrent problem. As I’ve said before, in fact this is a commercial problem. Working with our fellow ministers and ministries in ASEAN, we’re trying to put pressure on companies by using digital geo-referenced concession maps, and satellite and other mapping technologies so that ultimately we can name and shame the culprits for engaging in such anti-environment and anti-social activities.”

OK, we don’t know about this “putting pressure” thing – has that ever worked in the absence of commercial interest?

But regardless – we’re glad some attention is being given to the quality of air here in Singapore, especially all that news coming out of China about the smog.

While general air quality in Singapore isn’t bad – the same can’t really be said of our indoor air quality.

Now that’s something we hope the authorities will look into – and soon!

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