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Still hazy? Here are 5 things about the new haze law in Singapore

Published on Aug 6, 2014 2:49 PM
The Singapore skyline on June 20, 2013, as the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hit 371 at 1pm. -- PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES FILE 

SINGAPORE - A new law to punish polluters who cause the haze was passed in the Singapore Parliament on Tuesday. Here are five things you should know about this law:

1. Companies will be fined for each day that they contribute to "unhealthy" haze. Unhealthy haze is defined in the new law as air quality having a Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) value of 101 or greater for 24 hours or more.

2. Polluting companies may be fined up to $100,000 a day, up to a maximum of $2 million.

3. The cap on fines was first set at $300,000 when the law was drafted earlier this year. The penalty was raised following public consultation.

4. The new law also lets people or companies sue polluters with no limit set on the amount of damages they can ask for.

5. This legislation marks Singapore's first legal move against polluters but enforcement might be difficult as large palm-oil companies based in Indonesia are the main contributors to transboundary haze in Singapore and it would be difficult to nab firms based outside Singapore without infringing on the sovereignty of another country.