The Transboundary Haze Pollution Act - Oct 2014
The Transboundary Haze Pollution Act comes into operation on 25 Sep 2014. This Act concerns conduct which causes or contributes to haze pollution in Singapore, and provides for related matters.
All entities, based either in Singapore or overseas, which are found to have caused haze pollution affecting Singapore will be held accountable under the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act. Haze pollution in Singapore means pollution of the environment in Singapore comprising any poor air quality episode involving smoke from any land or forest fire wholly outside Singapore. A poor air quality episode occurs when the air quality index for any part of Singapore reaches or exceeds the 101 on the air quality index based on the average level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) of the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) for the next 24 hours or longer.
Under the Act, an entity shall be guilty of an offence if an entity engages in conduct or condones conduct which causes or contributes to any haze pollution in Singapore. It is also an office if an entity participates in the management of another entity which engages in conduct or condones conduct which causes or contributes to any haze pollution in Singapore.
The Act also establishes statutory duties in connection with any haze pollution in Singapore, breach of which gives rise to a civil claim. Where an entity engages in conduct that is in breach of the statutory duties, then, subject to certain defences, that is actionable conduct at the suit of any person who, in Singapore, sustains any injury, economic loss, etc.
In order to establish the causation link between the entity and the haze pollution, the Act provides four presumptions relating to causation, identifying the entity responsible for the haze pollution in Singapore, establishing the causal link between an entity which participates in the management of another entity and the other entity is responsible for haze pollution in Singapore and identifying an owner or occupier of land.
The Director‑General of Environmental Pollution is empowered to issue preventive measures notice in certain circumstances to prevent, reduce or control any haze pollution in Singapore.
Environmental Protection and Management (Hazardous Substances) (Amendment) Regulations 2014
Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and mercury are added in the Schedue to the Environmental Protection and Management (Hazardous Substances) Regulations (Rg 40). Permit to store and use hazardous substances will be required to store and use HBCD and mercury. Transport approval will also be required to transport any quantity of HBCD and mercury.