Singapore

OBS stops water activities after Johor chemical dumping incident

Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) has stopped all water-based activities following the illegal chemical-dumping incident at Pasir Gudang in Johor.

The adventure school, which conducts outdoor activities and camps for schools and young people at its campus in Pulau Ubin, is taking the precaution, even as the authorities have declared the seawater quality around the island to be within normal levels.

The National Youth Council, which oversees OBS, told The New Paper yesterday: "As the safety of our youth participants is the priority, the National Youth Council has directed Outward Bound Singapore to take active precautions and cease all sea-based activities around Pulau Ubin for now, while closely monitoring for possible spillover effects of the incident" with the National Environment Agency (NEA).

Several government agencies here said in a joint statement yesterday that Singapore's water supply has not been affected by the incident, which has caused more than 390 to be admitted to hospital, and all 111 schools in the district to be shut.

The statement, released by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), NEA, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and national water agency PUB, said: "The affected area is outside of the Johor river catchment, and there is no impact on Singapore's water supply."

It added that the seawater quality in the vicinity of Pulau Ubin was within normal levels.

SCDF, NEA and PUB also said they had not detected any anomalies in Singapore's air and water quality and AVA said no anomalies or fish mortality had been observed at fish farms.

In the joint statement, NEA said it had not detected any elevated levels of benzene or other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at their air monitoring stations and that VOC levels along Singapore's coast remain within safe levels.

It added that the 24-hour pollutant standards index since March 6 has been in the good to low-moderate range, while the 1-hour pm2.5 readings, which measures the presence of small atmospheric particulate matter in the air, remained in Band I(Normal).

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