Our Clean Air Policy in a Nutshell
GOOD AIR QUALITY PROTECTS PUBLIC HEALTH
Clean air protects our health and is an important component of quality of life.
POWERING OUR NEEDS IN A GREENER WAY
Industries, power stations, and motor vehicles are the main sources of air pollution. However, these are essential functions we cannot forego. To ensure good air quality, we set emission standards and encourage the adoption of progressively cleaner fuels in the industrial and transportation sectors.
Our Key Targets
Singapore Ambient Air Quality Targets
Singapore Targets by 2020
Long Term Targets
Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
24-hour mean: 50µg/m3 (WHO Interim Target)
24-hour mean: 20µg/m3
Particulate Matter (PM2.5)
Annual mean: 12µg/m3 (Sustainable Singapore Blueprint target)
Annual mean: 10µg/m3
Particulate Matter (PM10)
Annual mean: 20 µg/m3
8-hour mean: 100µg/m3 (WHO Final)
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Annual mean: 40µg/m3
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
8-hour mean: 10mg/m3
Our Main Plans
Environmental problems can be avoided through proper land use planning. In Singapore, an integrated approach is adopted to ensure that environmental considerations are factored in our land-use planning, development control and building control stages in order to minimise pollution impacts and mitigate nuisance impacts on surrounding land uses. Industries are sited in designated industrial estates with adequate buffer from residential estates.
Before industries are allowed to operate in Singapore, they are screened to ensure they do not pose un-manageable pollution problems and health and safety hazards. In addition, they have to incorporate pollution control measures to comply with NEA’s air emissions standards and regulations.
All new vehicles in Singapore have to meet minimum emission standards.
Emission standards have been progressively tightened over the years, taking into consideration the cost and environmental benefits. The next standard for all new diesel vehicles is the Euro V emission standard, to be mandated from 1 Jan 2014. Diesel vehicles registered on or after 1 October 2006 are required to meet at least Euro IV standard while all new petrol vehicles have to comply with Euro II standard since 1 January 2001. Euro V emission standard will be mandated for all new diesel vehicles from 1 Jan 2014.
Existing vehicles on the road are required to undergo regular inspections to ensure that they do not emit excessive smoke.
About Air Quality
Ensuring good air quality safeguards public health. It is an important component of our quality of life.
As a city develops, air pollutants are inevitably produced. Without control measures, increased urbanisation and industrialisation threaten to degrade our air quality. While our air quality is relatively good as compared to major cities, our levels of sulphur dioxide and fine particulate matter, such as PM2.5, remain a concern.
PM2.5 refers to fine air particles that measure less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter. These air particles are often found in dirt, dust and soot, and are dangerous to health because they can lodge deep in our lungs.
Many of our activities can result in air pollution. Our main sources of air pollution are vehicles, power stations and refineries.
To keep our air quality good, we review our air emission standards for industries and vehicles regularly and benchmark ourselves against major cities around the world.
For example, to reduce PM2.5 emissions from diesel vehicles, our main contributor to PM2.5 levels, stricter Euro V emission standards will be mandated for all new diesel motor vehicles from 1 Jan 2014.
MANAGEMENT OF AIR QUALITY IN SINGAPORE
Stringent measures have been put in place to ensure that Singapore maintains good air quality. From the planning stage, such as locating pollutive industries away from residential areas, down to mandating and enforcing strict emission standards, we have been careful to calibrate our air pollution control measures to strike a fine balance between supporting economic development and ensuring a high quality of life. These measures have served Singapore well over the past five decades, as can be seen by our good ambient air quality record.
24-HOUR AIR QUALITY MONITORING NETWORK
The ambient air in Singapore is monitored through a network of air monitoring stations located in different parts of Singapore. The monitoring stations measure concentration levels of particulate matter (PM10), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and carbon monoxide (CO). These six pollutant parameters determine the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI).
The state of air quality has an impact on our health and quality of life.
As such, the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings of the 5 regions of Singapore are reported every hour on the Haze microsite, and myENV iPhone and Android app. The pollutant concentration readings are also published regularly on the haze website.
ACHIEVING HIGHER AIR QUALITY STANDARDS
MEWR has adopted the World Health Organisation (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines (AQG) for particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O3), and the WHO Interim Targets for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and sulphur dioxide (SO2), as Singapore’s air quality targets for 2020. To attain these air quality targets by 2020, abatement measures are being implemented to reduce emissions from vehicles and industries.
NEW AIR QUALITY REPORTING SYSTEM
Since August 2012, NEA has been reporting the 24-hour PM2.5 concentration levels alongside the PSI. This was done as the part of the transition to the new air quality reporting system. From 1 April 2014 onwards, the 24-hour PM2.5 concentration levels has been incorporated into the PSI. The PSI now reflects a total of 6 pollutants – sulphur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM10) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O3).
Under the new PSI system, the health advisory will be based on the new 24-hour PSI as it now directly takes into account PM2.5.
Previously, health advisories issued by the Government were based on 24-hour PSI and 24-hour PM2.5, whichever was worse. The 1-hour PM2.5 readings, which reflect PM2.5 levels averaged across one hour, is now reported every hour on various NEA-managed platforms.
To learn more about the changes, visit Haze microsite.
Haze not only gives our island a blurry facade, it could cause health effects over time. Singapore has measures in place, and works closely with ASEAN to manage the haze issue.
One could sneeze or cough more often and one's eyes might be irritated. The elderly, children and individuals with existing heart or lung disease are most sensitive to the effects of haze. Haze also has the potential to lead to impairment of respiratory functions and aggravation of existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
Practising open burning to clear land for agricultural uses is common in certain areas in the region. The vastness of the land makes it difficult for local authorities to police this practice.
A combination of dry season, wind direction, cloud formation and poor precipitation formation creates haze. Thus haze could potentially occur at any time of the year.
Prevailing winds sometimes carry smoke produced by the forest fires across to Singapore. Such instances are particularly likely during the Southwest Monsoon Season.
BANDING TOGETHER TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION
Singapore works closely with ASEAN to manage the haze issue. Some of our efforts include sharing satellite pictures of hotspots and sending our men to help fight fires.
A HAZE ACTION PLAN IN PLACE
We have in place a set of measures and procedures to activate in the event of serious haze levels.
SUGGESTIONS FOR HOMES AND OFFICES
For air cleaning devices, see this list/a>.</p>
TIMELY UPDATES FOR THE PUBLIC The 24-hr PSI readings by the 5 regions of Singapore are made available on the myEnv iPhone and Android app, Twitter account and website. MEASURES IN PLACE TO MANAGE TRANSBOUNDARY HAZE POLLUTION In 2013, the ASEAN Leaders welcomed the adoption of the recommendation for an ASEAN Sub-Regional Haze Monitoring System to assist in the monitoring of hotspots and internal enforcement actions against irresponsible parties contributing to land and forest fires. MSE has introduced a Transboundary Haze Pollution Bill, which holds entities accountable for causing or contributing transboundary haze in Singapore. The Bill, passed in Parliament in August 2014, is the first of its kind in the region to provide for criminal and civil liability for conduct of entities which causes or contributes to haze pollution in Singapore. An International Advisory Panel on Transboundary Pollution (IAP) has also been appointed to study and advise the Government on the trends and developments in international laws related to transboundary pollution. The IAP will subsequently provide recommendations on solutions and practical steps Singapore can adopt.
TIMELY UPDATES FOR THE PUBLIC
The 24-hr PSI readings by the 5 regions of Singapore are made available on the myEnv iPhone and Android app, Twitter account and website.
MEASURES IN PLACE TO MANAGE TRANSBOUNDARY HAZE POLLUTION
In 2013, the ASEAN Leaders welcomed the adoption of the recommendation for an ASEAN Sub-Regional Haze Monitoring System to assist in the monitoring of hotspots and internal enforcement actions against irresponsible parties contributing to land and forest fires. MSE has introduced a Transboundary Haze Pollution Bill, which holds entities accountable for causing or contributing transboundary haze in Singapore. The Bill, passed in Parliament in August 2014, is the first of its kind in the region to provide for criminal and civil liability for conduct of entities which causes or contributes to haze pollution in Singapore.
An International Advisory Panel on Transboundary Pollution (IAP) has also been appointed to study and advise the Government on the trends and developments in international laws related to transboundary pollution. The IAP will subsequently provide recommendations on solutions and practical steps Singapore can adopt.</div> </div>
About Noise Pollution
Excessive noise can affect our quality of life. However, noise cannot be avoided completely as we become more urbanised and densely populated.
Singapore is a small and densely populated city-state with an average of over 7,000 residents in each square kilometre of land. Excessive noise can affect our quality of life. However, noise cannot be avoided completely as we become more urbanised and densely populated.
Given our land constraint, there is a limit on setback distances and land buffers that we can provide to keep noise sources such as road and rail traffic away from residential areas.
A balance between meeting residents' expectations and the realities of a densely populated Singapore needs to be carefully maintained in the long run.
NEA controls noise from construction sites and factories by stipulating maximum permissible noise levels for different times of day and night.
Daytime - 65 Decibels
Evening - 60 Decibels
Night - 55 Decibels
The noise limits also vary according to the sensitivity of the areas to noise. Noise standards for in-use vehicles are also in place under the Environmental Protection and Management Regulations.
From October 2007, maximum permissible noise limits were tightened for construction sites located within 150m of residential or noise sensitive areas for night-time and on Sundays and Public Holidays. In September 2011, NEA further introduced a no-work rule, prohibiting construction activities on Sundays and Public Holidays. The rule covers all new constructions sites commencing work on or after 1 September 2011, and located within 150m of residential or noise sensitive premises such as hospitals and schools.
The Related Laws
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT ACT (CAP 94A)</div>