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SINGAPORE PROPOSES HARSH PENALTIES FOR TRANSBOUNDARY POLLUTERS

07/14/2014

Last week, the Singapore government proposed legislation that would levy substantial fines on companies responsible for air pollution that crosses over the border from Indonesia. Air pollution in Singapore reached record levels in 2013, due in part to forest fires in Indonesia, and experts predict that this year’s haze could be worse than last year’s pollution. The drafted changes to the Transboundary Haze Pollution Bill would fine companies S$100,000 for each day of haze and S$50,000 for each day the company fails to comply with preventative measures, for a maximum penalty of S$2 million. The new legislation also expands the definition of “owner” so that any person who holds a valid lease, license, or permit to carry out farming or forestry operations could be held responsible for causing transboundary haze, rather than only landowners. According to Singapore Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, enforcing the proposed legislation will require the cooperation of other South-East Asian nations in order to determine which companies are responsible for the pollution. For the full story, see http://world.einnews.com/article/212878566/XncYjjY8m_wiRZV_ and http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/fines-companies-cause-unhealthy-level-haze-raised.