The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Marine Department of Malaysia (MDM) conducted a joint chemical spill exercise at sea along the East Johor Straits to test the Joint Emergency Response Plan (ERP) for chemical spill incidents and the communication linkages between the Operation Liaison Officers (OLOs) and the Environment Liaison Officers (ELOs) in both countries.
Jointly developed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Marine Department of Malaysia (MDM), the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Johor Department of Environment (DOE), the ERP seeks to tackle potential chemical accidents involving the seaborne transportation of hazardous chemicals along the Straits of Johor.
The emergency response exercise is part of the bilateral cooperation programme under the Malaysia-Singapore Joint
Committee on the Environment (MSJCE).
In the event of a chemical spill incident at sea, MPA has put in place the Chemical Contingency Plan (Marine), which covers the roles and responsibilities of the responding agencies for the cleanup operations.
"The Straits of Johor is a busy waterway. Regular bilateral exercises are vital to strengthening regional and multi-agency response capabilities. Today’s exercise ensures that should collisions leading to chemical or oil spills occur, all agencies are ready to respond swiftly and effectively," said Andrew Tan, MPA's Chief Executive.
MPA will monitor and coordinate cleanup operations at sea while NEA is responsible for monitoring the air and water quality, and to coordinate cleanup efforts at affected shore areas.
NEA Chief Executive Officer Mr Ronnie Tay said, “Spills can have far-reaching consequences on the environment and forums such as the MSJCE allow us to hone our bilateral response to protect our shared environment from pollution. We are heartened by the outcome of today’s exercise, which clearly demonstrates the operational readiness of both countries to control and mitigate chemical spill incidents in the Straits of Johor.”