Monday 17 June 2013

Solving the haze problem

Somewhere in Choa Chu Kang...

AsiaOne: Haze hits unhealthy level in Singapore

The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hit 155 at 10pm, nearly 100 points higher than the PSI level of 56 at 7am today and well above the "unhealthy" threshold of 101 and above. This is the highest since 1997, when the index reached 226.

Since this morning, conditions have been visibly hazy and a strong burning smell has been detected across many parts of Singapore.

The 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading as of 4pm today was in the range of 68 to 83, which is in the "moderate" range. The three-hour PSI reading soared to 117 at 7pm. It has since shot up to 140 at 8pm and 152 at 9pm.

Earlier, the National Environment Agency (NEA) had alerted the Indonesian Ministry of Environment on the haze situation in Singapore, urging Indonesia to look into urgent measures to mitigate the trans-boundary haze occurrence.

But the Indonesian forestry ministry said firefighters were already tackling the blazes and water-dropping aircraft would only be deployed if local governors made a request, which they had yet to do.

Ministry official Hadi Daryanto attempted to shift some of the blame onto Malaysia and Singapore, saying their palm oil companies that had invested in Indonesia were also responsible.

"We hope the governments of Malaysia and Singapore will tell their investors to adopt proper measures so we can solve this problem together," he said.