SINGAPORE - Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) and Johor's Department of Environment (DOE) conducted the 9th exercise to simulate a chemical spill incident at the Tuas Second Link on Tuesday, involving multiple collisions between four vehicles and the spillage of hydrochloric acid on the road.
According to a statement from the NEA, the exercise is part of the bilateral cooperation programme to prepare emergency response agencies from both countries to tackle potential accidents involving the transportation of hazardous chemicals along the Second Link at Tuas.
Each year, about 110,000 tonnes of hazardous chemicals are transported between Malaysia and Singapore via the Second Link. These include phenol, formaldehyde, toluene diisocyanate, ammonia, acids and alkalis. While there has been no accident involving the transportation of hazardous chemicals on the Second Link, the exercise is essential to safeguard the safety of commuters on the Second Link as well as enable the relevant emergency response agencies to take swift and effective response actions and minimise the consequences should such an accident occur. In Singapore, hazardous substances are regulated by the NEA. These substances are generally those that are highly toxic and pollutive, and/or generate toxic wastes that need to be disposed of carefully to minimise the environmental impact.
NEA Chief Executive Officer Mr Ronnie Tay explained the importance of the exercise, "This is the ninth bilateral exercise we have conducted since 2000. Such exercises and the close co-operation between both countries help to ensure that agencies are ready to respond to any chemical spill incident on the Second Link in a prompt, co-ordinated and effective manner."
Today's exercise simulated an accident between four vehicles on the Second Link. Of the four vehicles, two were cargo trucks transporting drums of hydrochloric acid which were damaged in the accident, resulting in the spillage of hydrochloric acid.