Updated: 02/20/2014 01:11

MEWR launches public consultation for new bill

MEWR launches public consultation for new bill

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources is seeking views on new bill to fine local as well as foreign companies responsible for causing haze pollution. 

If passed, the proposed bill will be the first law ever to allow a country to prosecute entities in other countries for such offences. 

Deputy Director of International Relations at the Ministry, Hazri Hassan, says that the haze in Singapore is caused by commercial motivations. 

"Domestic laws that prohibit such acts have been less successful in controlling the fires. So we hope that this Bill will give a clear signal that we do not condone such acts and that we do not hesitate to bring those responsible to task for their irresponsible behaviour."

Today's the start of a month-long public consultation on the draft Transboundary Haze Pollution Bill. 

Under the bill, any company that engages, authorises or condones any activity that might cause or contribute to haze pollution in Singapore could be fined up to $300,000.

The fine could rise to $450,000 if the company has deliberately ignored official requests to prevent, reduce or control transboundary haze pollution. 

Affected parties may also bring civil suits against errant companies involved in causing or contributing to the haze in Singapore. 

The Bill is expected to be introduced in Parliament in April, after the public consultation ends on March the 19th.

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