We refer to Mr Phang Fook Ghay's letter, "Disconnect between reality and official statement" (last Thursday), which made reference to Mr Christopher Tan's article, "In regulators we trust" (last Wednesday).
The National Environment Agency (NEA) had responded conservatively to early media queries, and in order to avoid a premature conclusion. NEA had also stated then that it would investigate and take appropriate action against any cases of fraudulent emissions claims.
The agency had understood then that the cases reported in the United States of Volkswagen (VW) vehicles being fitted with auxiliary emissions control devices pertained to Volkswagen diesel models that were not sold in Singapore. NEA's investigations have since revealed that there are about 650 affected diesel vehicles in Singapore.
With the assistance of the Land Transport Authority, registration of all affected Volkswagen diesel vehicle models has since been suspended until Volkswagen has completed the rectification of the affected vehicles and ensured that the vehicles comply with the emission standards stipulated in the Environmental Protection and Management (Vehicular Emissions) Regulations.
Under these regulations, new vehicles need to comply with stipulated emission standards.
Since July 1 last year, NEA has tightened the smoke emission limit for in-use vehicles.
Currently, new petrol and diesel vehicles will have to comply with the Euro IV and Euro V standards respectively, or equivalent Japanese standards, and these will be tightened to the Euro VI standards from Sept 1, 2017 for petrol vehicles and Jan 1, 2018 for diesel vehicles.
Since July 1 last year, NEA has tightened the smoke emission limit for in-use vehicles. It also carries out enforcement operations against smoky and noisy vehicles.
These various measures have greatly helped to reduce the number of smoky and noisy vehicles on the road.
NEA assures Mr Phang that the agency will continue to ensure that our policies and regulatory measures serve to protect Singapore's environment against vehicular and other forms of pollution.
Cheang Kok Chung
Director, Environmental Protection Policy & International Relations
National Environment Agency