Parliament Q&A

Oral reply by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, to Parliamentary Question on Chemical Odours/Fumes, on 15 October 2020

Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment what is being done to mitigate against the various chemical odours/fumes (besides cocoa) emanating from the factories in Pioneer constituency that adversely impact the households located within their close proximity.

Oral Reply by SMS Amy Khor:

1. The National Environment Agency (NEA) continuously monitors the ambient air levels of key pollutants as well as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are organic vapours of common industrial emissions and precursors of ozone. The ambient VOC levels in the western region are in the parts per billion and parts per trillion range, well within safe levels which are mostly in the parts per million range. The ambient air quality in the western region was also in the normal range from January to September 2020, with the Pollutant Standards Index ranging from 14 to 66 in the Good to Moderate bands.  


2. NEA has in place a suite of measures to manage emissions from industrial premises, including factories in Pioneer Constituency. Emissions of key industrial pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, dioxins and furans are regulated under the Environmental Protection and Management Act. Factories are required to install pollution control equipment to ensure that their emissions are properly treated before discharge. Industries with processes that emit higher levels of air pollutants are required to engage accredited surveyors to conduct source emission testing and submit the test reports to NEA regularly. NEA also conducts regular factory inspections to verify that their pollution control equipment is well maintained and operating effectively. About 150 inspections are conducted every year at factories in the Jurong area. 

3. Some factories in the Jurong Industrial Estate, such as those specialising in the manufacturing of food flavourings and fragrances, generate certain smells during their operations. Such smells are generally not harmful to human health. NEA has advised these factories on additional mitigation measures, such as the installation of odour control systems and dispersion fans to reduce odours from their premises. 


4. NEA will continue to ensure that industries meet air emission standards and will enforce against companies found to be non-compliant. My Ministry also regularly reviews the industrial emission standards to ensure they are on par with those in other jurisdictions.

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