Singbuild fined S$3,000 for polluting Whampoa River

The construction company illegally dumped a bonding agent into a roadside drain near the construction site for the Viridian condominium.
Channel NewsAsia 9 Dec 15;

SINGAPORE: Construction company Singbuild was on Wednesday (Dec 9) fined S$3,000 for illegally discharging a bonding agent into a roadside drain beside a construction site for the Viridian condomimium at Jalan Ampas.

The substance found its way into Whampoa River on Jan 24 and turned the waters white.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said its contractors along with that from national water agency PUB took about 15 hours to clean up Whampoa River, as well as the roadside drain at Jalan Ampas.

"Such bonding agents should be stored in intermediate bulk containers and disposed of off-site by engaging a NEA-licensed toxic industrial waste collector," NEA said.

The agency added that discharging of pollutive matter into drains and canals can cause environmental and public health hazards. The offence carries a maximum fine of S$20,000 upon the first conviction, and S$50,000 for the second and subsequent convictions.

Singbuild was also charged for two other offences - for discharging trade effluent containing the bonding agent into public sewers without PUB's approval and for discharging construction debris into the sewerage system. The company was fined S$2,000 for each offence, which carries a maximum fine of S$20,000.

If members of the public see any pollution in canals and drains, they can notify NEA via its 24-hour call centre at 1800 2255 632, or they can tip off PUB at 1800 2255 782.

- CNA/dl


Company fined $3,000 for polluting public canal near Whampoa River
AsiaOne 9 Dec 15;

SINGAPORE - A construction company has been fined $3,000 for polluting a roadside drain near the Whampoa River, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and national water agency, PUB, announced in a joint press statement on Wednesday (Dec 9).

The statement said that on Jan 24, NEA and PUB were alerted when a stretch of the Whampoa River turned white. The source of the white liquid discharge was traced to a bonding agent used by Singbuild Pte Ltd for the construction works.

Singbuild had discharged the white liquid into a roadside drain beside the construction site of 'The Viridian' at 6 Jalan Ampas. The illegal discharge eventually found its way into the Whampoa River.

A reader also alerted citizen journalism website Stomp, to the incident on Jan 24 at about 10 am. Stomp reported that the water had turned an artificial-looking milky blue.

According to records from the Ministry of Manpower, Singbuild was issued a full stop-work-order on Feb 10. The order was lifted on Feb 24.

The statement added that clean-up operations of the river and the roadside drain took close to 15 hours to complete. Such bonding agents should be stored in intermediate bulk containers and disposed of off-site by engaging a NEA-licensed toxic industrial waste collector.

For polluting the drain and canal, Singbuild was charged under Section 15 of Environmental Protection and Management Act by NEA. It was fined $3,000 for that offence.

Singbuild was also charged under Section 16(1) and 19(1)(b) of the Sewerage and Drainage Act by PUB for discharging trade effluent containing the bonding agent into public sewers without PUB's approval and for discharging construction debris into the sewerage system. It was fined $2,000 for each offence, which carries a maximum fine of $20,000.

Singbuild was required to pay a total sum of $7,000 for contravening three acts.

NEA and PUB said: "Illegal discharge into the public sewers is a serious offence as it can have an adverse impact on the used water reclamation process and also pose health hazards to officers operating and maintaining the public sewerage system."

They also urged the public to contact NEA's 24-hour Call Centre at 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255-632) or PUB's 24-hour Call Centre at 1800-Call PUB (1800-2255-782) should they witness any pollution in the drains and canals.

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