Air

Establishing an Air Quality Management System in Thailand

Date posted: 
Mar 19 2010

Timely and accurate data is invaluable to decision makers. Currently, Thailand has one of the best ambient air quality monitoring systems in the world. The ambient air quality is gathered from a nationwide network. Daily reports, as well as monthly or annual, can be readily produced. Reporting is also quick to react on sudden changes on levels of particular matters.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

Air quality deterioration brought about by recent economic growth has been a major problem in Thailand. There is growing awareness from both the government and the public on the need to address rising air pollution levels. The country is quite successful in improving air quality in urban areas, specifically Bangkok. Emissions from traffic are being reduced due to the introduction of unleaded gasoline and compulsory catalytic converters as early as 1995. The establishment of various emission standards also helped alleviate air pollution. However, continuous economic growth still puts pressure on air quality. Emissions in certain parts of the country need to be improved. Newly emerging emission types need to be monitored as well. Updated data need to be available to facilitate modeling of various scenarios. This in turn serves as input for decision and policy making on various issues. To address these concerns, the Pollution Control Department (PCD) of Thailand, with the assistance from the Swedish government, developed an Air Quality Management System which aims to address information needs on air quality.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The system’s foremost aim is to build a monitoring and information system that deals with air quality. It integrates various inputs from sources according to location, areas, and industries. The endeavor also provided the PCD the necessary skills and know-how to handle advanced analysis of certain pollution compounds. It also prompted the decentralization of monitoring from Bangkok to other provinces.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

Timely and accurate data is invaluable to decision makers. Currently, Thailand has one of the best ambient air quality monitoring systems in the world. The ambient air quality is gathered from a nationwide network. Daily reports, as well as monthly or annual, can be readily produced. Reporting is also quick to react on sudden changes on levels of particular matters. The system also has an established emission database containing from various sources (industries, domestic sources, traffic). The data can also accommodate modeling of specific scenarios. It can analyze the contribution to air quality of specific industries, and can measure potential impacts to pollution of different traffic measures (e.g. re-routing, road construction). An important aspect of the system is to make information accessible as well to various users. As of date, the information can be accessed from Thailand’s Department Operation Center, the Ministerial Operation Center, and the PCD website.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Human Resources and Skills An intensive training was provided to the PCD staff of the Monitoring Subdivision and the Air Quality Subdivision. The practical training was conducted by the assisting Swedish experts. Over-all, the training on the system lasted for 50 weeks. One of the difficulties encountered by the PCD staff is the heavy workload. This stems from the presence of other urgent tasks of the staff, and the ever-increasing environmental concerns in Thailand. However, a thorough training is required since manning the system demands specialized skills from a dedicated staff. Material and Resources The system is very dependent on the availability of an updated computer hardware system. For this endeavor, the PCD financed the enhancement of its hardware and system. Regional workstations were established to enable decentralization of some of the functions. Given the complexity of the system, the PCD has to commit on conducting regular service and maintenance of the hardware. Investment on future upgrades is also required. The monitoring stations of the PCD also require regular service checks and maintenance to ensure reliable and high quality data. Institutional Support One of the difficulties encountered by this endeavor is the decentralization of tasks from the central to the regional offices. The foremost reason for the difficulty is the lack of resources in the regional offices and the competing tasks that confronts the local staff. For decentralization to be successful, resources should be allocated for the capacity-building of local and regional staff. In the case of Thailand, the intended funds for establishing the decentralized offices were reduced due to the Asian financial crisis.

V. Further Information: 

Contact Person/Office: Pollution Control Department (PCD), Thailand. 92 Soi Phahon Yothin, Phahon Yothin Road, Sam Sen Nai, Phayathai District, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.

Public Disclosure of Industrial Pollution in Indonesia

Date posted: 
Feb 26 2010

The Public Disclosure of Industrial Pollution (PROPER) approach in Indonesia aims at reducing industrial pollution via public disclosure. It was developed and tested by the country’s National Pollution Control Agency (BAPEDAL) together with the World Bank.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The Public Disclosure of Industrial Pollution (PROPER) approach in Indonesia aims at reducing industrial pollution via public disclosure. It was developed and tested by the country’s National Pollution Control Agency (BAPEDAL) together with the World Bank. A major problem in regulating pollution is that companies, compared with regulators and government agencies, will have more information in terms of the level of pollution generated, their capacity to reduce pollution, and the actual effort they exert in reduction. The PROPER program addresses this problem by encouraging companies to self-report, and eventually comply with standards by using non-regulatory channels like public and social recognition of exerted efforts on pollution reduction, In the PROPER program, the incentive of attaining recognition and avoidance of disgrace is great since dissemination of environmental performance rating conducted at the national level.

 

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

During its inception in 1995, the program targeted major industrial water polluters.  It utilized a five-color scale to grade the environment performance of different facilities.  It initially handled 187 plants, which included medium and large-scale polluters, from several river basins in the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Kalimatan.  By 1998, the coverage was extended to 350 factories belonging to 28 sectors, situated in 14 provinces.

The program was temporarily halted during the Asian Crisis (1998-2001) due to the economic and political crisis experienced by the country.    However, it was re-instituted in 2002 and provided a more comprehensive assessment process for companies.  It then included air pollution control, hazardous and toxic waste management, and the implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment (AMDAL). By 2004, the number of participating companies increased to 251.  Around 1750 companies are expected to participate in 2009.

The PROPER program banks on the principle that citizens have the right to know about pollution control efforts and performance of companies.  It was designed in such a way that it is understandable by the public and at the same time still conveys enough information to influence compliance.  Therefore, it was recognized on set that an index indicating non-compliance or compliance would not do justice on the efforts exerted by the companies nor elicit community interest. 

For the PROPER program, a color-coded (gold, green, blue, red, and black) rating system was developed to grade factories’ performance against set benchmarks.  The color corresponds to the different levels of performance in pollution control.  The gold rating represents excellent performance in pollution control while the black rating relates to poor performance level.  Through public disclosure, companies garnering gold or green ratings are expected to get community support and praise.

PROPER proves to be cost-effective, with low transaction costs by mobilizing external agencies for support.  Interestingly, via the disclosure system and public inquiry, BAPEDAL was motivated to enhance its technical capability.  This resulted to both encouragement of the use of cleaner technology by companies and improvement of data collection and analysis capability of the responsible government agency.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

From a recent study made by the Resources for the Future, it was found out that there was a strong and positive response to the disclosure scheme. More importantly, firms with poor prior environment compliance records displayed intensive reduction in emissions (approximately by one-third). Also, the response made was immediate and consistent, as displayed by pursuit of further reductions in the succeeding months.

Two years after the after the program was launched (June 1995 to March 1997), the compliance level of the pilot program factories increased from 35 to 51%.  The program also contributed to voluntary participation by factories in conducting compliance ratings. 

 

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

(not applicable)

A. Policy Framework: 

The success of prior programs like ADIPURA (President’s award for cleanest cities) and PROKASIH (wastewater management) gave credibility to the government’s ability to implement an environment performance rating system. The PROPER became an alternative compliance instrument that is aligned with existing regulatory and monitoring activities. The PROPER program relies on the existence of other laws and regulatory efforts on pollution reduction, particularly on water pollution and control of industrial wastewater. The Presidential Decree PP /20/1990 and Ministerial Degree KEP/MEN/03/1991clearly stipulates activities supportive of PROPER, namely: (1) sampling and effluent analyses (at least once a month), (2) installation of flow meter, (3) reporting true values of pollution, and (4) effluent charges. Also, national regulations require polluters to self-monitor and report on a monthly basis.

B. Budgetary and Financial Requirements: 

(not applicable)

C. Human Resources: 

The public disclosure process of PROPER involves three distinct steps: (1) data collection and verification from different sources at participating plants, (2) data analysis, (3) assignment of ratings and public disclosure. The performance ratings includes the following steps: (1) selection of polluters, (2) gathering data through mail surveys, (3) verification and inspection, (4) development of a pollution data base, (5) data analysis, (6) data verification, (7) obtaining of rating and subsequent approval, (8) reporting of results to the President, and (9) release of information to the public. Overall, the entire data collection and rating process goes through a strict channel and scrutiny to avoid errors. This requires people adept in both data handling and analysis. Also, the program needs a large manpower, able to organize even up the local level, to collect data.

D. Material Resources: 

Disclosure schemes are perceived to be cheaper and less complex. However, as the scope of sector and location increases, it can be very information-intensive. Data need to be regularly collected and properly analyzed to ascertain that emission reduction is indeed a result of the program and not a mere trend (e.g. reduction would have occurred even without the program). The PROPER program requires a tight data collection, monitoring, analysis, and disclosure system. It requires the availability of testing laboratories, monitoring system, and reliable database. In particular, the key to the assessment in PROPER is based on the database system which allows simultaneous comparison of results from existing sources (self-reported, PROPER, PROKASHI). With the database, PROPER is able to do the following analysis: (1) correlation analysis of pollution levels, (2) trend analysis of pollution, (3) other regression analysis on effluent and characteristics of the treatment systems and production processes.

E. Institutional Support: 

The system requires support from the regulated sector (industrial sector). Participation for PROPER was compulsory for selected firms. However, it also contained provisions for “opt-ins”. In the case of Indonesia, the government agency went to a great deal not to alienate or provoke the industry. This required from the regulatory agency the provision of accurate and timely advice about what firms can do to improve their ratings. There was also heavy use of media strategy in the release of information and other aspects of public relations related to the program. The implementation of the program is successful due to the garnered political support, community willingness to participate, and building of experience from the PROKASHI initiative.

F. Planning, Scheduling or Sequencing of Activities: 

(not applicable)

V. Further Information: 

Contact Person: The Ministry of Environment, Republic of Indonesia (proper@menlh.go.id), C Building - 2nd Floor, Jalan D.I. Panjaitan Kav. 24 Jakarta 13410 – Indonesia, Telp/Fax : +6221-8518423, +6221-85905639

Lopez, Jorge Garcia, Thomas Sterner, and Shakeb Afsah. Public Disclosure of Industrial Pollution: the PROPER Approach for Indonesia?. October 2004, Discussion Paper 04-34. Resources for the Future. Washington D.C.

PROPER: The Company’s Environmental Performance Rating Program (http://www.menlh.go.id/proper/proper%20baru/Eng-Index.html)

What is PROPER? Reputational Incentives for Pollution Control in Indonesia (http://www.performeks.com/media/downloads/what%20is%20proper.pdf)

Preventive Air and Noise Pollution Programs in Small Communities: The Case of Palawan, Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 19 2009

Various programs that aim to minimize air and noise pollution from the transport sector are being implemented. These programs are usually conducted in areas with large and dense population or areas where flow of traffic and people are heavy. The aim is to improve air quality via the application of command and control schemes or market based instruments in the transport sector. Interventions could also involve introduction of alternative technologies (e.g. electric buses) or arrangements (e.g. limitation on number of vehicles via coding schemes).

Responsible Party: 
Regulated Community
I. Objectives or Impact: 

Various programs that aim to minimize air and noise pollution from the transport sector are being implemented. These programs are usually conducted in areas with large and dense population or areas where flow of traffic and people are heavy. The aim is to improve air quality via the application of command and control schemes or market based instruments in the transport sector. Interventions could also involve introduction of alternative technologies (e.g. electric buses) or arrangements (e.g. limitation on number of vehicles via coding schemes). However, there are few cases which showcase the promotion of air and noise pollution minimization in small communities. The common argument is that in small areas, air and noise pollution are relatively minimal. This notion tends to look at policies on pollution as curative rather than preventive. Also, if unchecked, the pace of growth has a greater tendency to overtake policy on pollution and environment. Thus, it becomes equally relevant for small communities and rural areas to undertake policies that would prevent air and noise pollution. The case of Palawan showcases possible preventive interventions that can be put into place. It also makes a point that preventive interventions are effective and could even be less costly to undertake. The objective of the effort is to promote awareness on the need to undertake preventive policies on air and noise pollution in small cities or rural communities.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The Asian Development Bank extended a technical assistance to Puerto Princesa, the city government of Palawan in the Philippines, for the identification of strategies that will reduce air and noise pollution from tricycles. The tricycles are targeted since this is the prime mode of transportation in the area. Also, if unchecked in terms of the number of vehicles, this sector can be a potential source of air and noise pollution in the city. The activities of the assistance involved the following components: (1) improving tricycle emissions by strengthening the operators’ and members’ technical and managerial knowledge base, (2) establishment of a fund that will be used for possible purchases of cleaner technologies by operators, and (3) enhancing the city government’s capacity in enforcing the Clean Air Act (e.g. roadside emission monitoring). A crucial activity undertaken by the project is soliciting the support of the stakeholders via consultations during the project’s implementation phase. In particular, a micro-finance institution is tapped to administer and manage the operators’ and drivers’ multi-purpose fund.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

Interestingly, the project’s strength is increasing the know-how of those who actually operate and use the tricycles. From the point of view of operators, there is an incentive for this since it ultimately affects their day-to-day earnings. Through demonstration and training, drivers were taught how to give proper preventive maintenance or basic clean-up of tricycles. For the initial training, a total of 161 tricycle drivers benefited. Currently, other associations are requesting the same demonstration training. With regard to the air quality management training, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) was engaged to provide training on the handling, operating, and maintenance of the air samplers. The PNRI also oversaw the training on the collection of air samples and analysis of the collected samples for the presence and concentration of particulate matters. On roadside emission monitoring, the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) administered the training.

A. Policy Framework: 

The effort required various forms of arrangements given the channels undertaken by the project. In terms of the establishment of funds, a Letter of Engagement (LE) or a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) might be required. The MOA or LE is needed to lay down rules on how the fund will be established and disbursed. On the side of regulation, rules identifying who would eventually perform the task of monitoring air quality need to be determined. A legal delineation of duties of the relevant local government divisions is required. Also, the identification of the office or staff who would be the eventual enforcers would need clearance from other national agencies. In the case of Palawan, sanction from the Department of Transportation and Communication/Land Transportation Office was required.

B. Budgetary and Financial Requirements: 

(see materials and resources)

C. Human Resources: 

The program would involve upgrading of skills of operators. Training on proper engine maintenance for operators and drivers are required. On monitoring of emissions and air quality, existing personnel in the local government can be used. However, these personnel will need certification from national agencies tasked with handling the transport sector and monitoring air quality. For the case of Palawan, involvement from the EMB and the DOTC was critical. With the use of equipment for air sampling, the local government should also have a staff dedicated on the proper maintenance and use of the equipment. This would require training on the setting up and operation of the samplers, and the proper handling storing, and transporting of the air filters.

D. Material Resources: 

The program will require additional capital equipment that will be used for air quality monitoring and road emission testing. For Palawan, a high volume air sampler was required. Machines needed for the handling, storing, and analysis of air samples are also critical.

E. Institutional Support: 

The program is dependent on the support of both public and private institutions like non-government agencies, national agencies and offices, and local communities. For Palawan, the setting up of fund required the support of the Negros Women for Tomorrow’s Foundation. Support from the Department of Science and Technology was also solicited with regard to the provision of technologies on cleaner production.

V. Further Information: 

Air and Noise Pollution Strategies for the Tricycle sub-sector in Palawan, Philippines: Project Interim Report. www.adb.org www.povertyenvironment.net

Promotion of Cleaner Production in the PRC

Date posted: 
Nov 17 2008

Industrial growth is the primary driver for the rapid development of China. However, the growth experienced in the industrial sector was accompanied by heavy consumption of resources, resulting to generation of pollution. Interestingly, large firms were not solely responsible for the generated pollution in the country. Small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) located in villages and towns also contributed to the pollution problem. The pace of development and the growth of the industries put pressure in China’s resource use. Air pollution also is a threat due to coal combustion.

Responsible Party: 
Compliance
I. Objectives or Impact: 

Industrial growth is the primary driver for the rapid development of China. However, the growth experienced in the industrial sector was accompanied by heavy consumption of resources, resulting to generation of pollution. Interestingly, large firms were not solely responsible for the generated pollution in the country. Small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) located in villages and towns also contributed to the pollution problem. The pace of development and the growth of the industries put pressure in China’s resource use. Air pollution also is a threat due to coal combustion.

The Cleaner Production Law promotes cleaner production, efficiency of the utilization rate of resources, and reduction and avoidance of generation of pollutants. The law mainly addresses the problems caused by overuse of resources due to utilization of outdated technologies and facilities. The law particularly helps small and medium-scale enterprises to shift production practices. This is quite important in the country since SMEs play an important role in economic development. However, these firms also have a substantial share in industrial pollution loads.

The law also identifies the key role of local governments in providing solution to the problem. This is quite critical since SMEs are more often than not, are clustered together. Most of the SMEs are township and village enterprises which uses outdated technologies and facilities.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The Cleaner Production program is touted as the key strategy for achieving sustainable development. The application of the program started from the conduct of demonstration projects in industrial sectors. The program also has a long history in the country. It started laying foundation by focusing on the introduction of the methodology, personnel training, and demonstration. This initial phase extended from 1992 to 1997. From 1998 to 2002, efforts were geared towards the study and formulation of the law.

From the policy formulated, it was identified to use compulsory mechanisms. This came in the form of direct restriction of toxic and harmful substances, particularly for SMEs. It also required the industry to adopt waste abatement plans and release environment reports.

Support mechanisms were also provided by the law. This came in the form of provision of expertise, information, technologies, and funding for cleaner production practices. Various incentives are given to firms in order to induce them to shift production practices. Products produced from wastes and materials reclaimed from wastes benefit from reduced taxation or exemption from value-added tax. Costs incurred for cleaner production auditing and training are also allowed to be booked as operating costs for the firms. Funds from the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Development Fund are also set aside to support cleaner production for SMEs. In some provinces, R&D programs supportive of cleaner production are given priority in application of bank loans.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

Interestingly, in provinces where the local economy is more developed, firms responded positively on economic incentives. In some provinces and cities, more stringent regulations are required because of the severity of environment problems. There are a number of cases where firms and enterprises failing national standards on environmental standards become compliant given the clean production law. Firms initially started with pursuing cleaner production by looking at end-of-pipe treatment. Eventually, some firms realized that disposal costs increases production costs and creates negative image for the entire company.

One firm, HeNan Lotus Monosodium Glutamate Group Limited, showed gains on profit margins when it adopted cleaner production techniques. Initially, pollution control was pursued via end-of-pipe treatment efforts. Eventually, the firm combined this effort with material substitution and recycling. Interestingly, the procedure they applied for end-treatment resulted to the production of solid fertilizers which yields considerable profit for the company (annual profit of RMB 280 million yuan).

The firm also integrated environment targets in the production management level. Bonuses are distributed according to conditions of cleaner productions. Specifically, with outstanding achievements, staff bonuses can be elevated by five percent. On the other hand, non-attainment of environment targets results to cutting down of bonus by one percent and five percent for staff and leaders respectively.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

The Cleaner Production law is a product of careful promotion, awareness campaigns, and demonstration projects.  In its initial stage, cleaner production was integrated with the existing environment policies of the country.  Support from the regional and local Environment Bureaus was solicited.  Modified policies supportive of cleaner production were also introduced, namely: policy on environmental impact assessment and pollution discharge licensing system. 

Provinces also promoted cleaner production by pursuing supporting activities at the local level.  These activities came in the form of establishment of funds for cleaner production processes, setting evaluation standards, promotion of the use of environmental labels in products, IECs, and offering of tax and price incentives.

Human Resources and Skills

Since the cleaner production promotes eventual shift of production approaches, training and awareness raising were conducted on the earlier stages.  Training programs came in the form of demonstration projects.  These primarily targets managers and technical staff directly involved in the production management.  Cooperation with other countries during the demonstration projects was present during the demonstration projects. 
   
Material and Resources & Institutional Support

Since a shift of production techniques can be costly for a firm, support for cleaner production efforts is necessary.  The establishment of funding mechanisms supportive of cleaner production is necessary.  Tax and price incentives play a key role in assisting firms.  Economic departments and local governments also adopted policies that encourage cleaner production.  Specific endeavors like material replacement, conventional technologies process innovation, solid fertilizer production, and methane utilization are encouraged.

V. Further Information: 

Tianzhu Zhang and Jining Chen. Promoting Cleaner Production in China. 2008 (http://www.chinacp.com/EN/PolicyDetail.aspx?id=41)

Case Studies of Cleaner Production in China http://www.chinacp.com/EN/Case.aspx

Cleaner Production in China (Environmental Legislation) http://www.chinacp.com/EN/PolicyDetail.aspx?tp=Law&id=38

Promotion of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in Bangladesh via Command and Control Schemes

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

The transport sector is identified to be one of the contributors of air pollution in Dhaka. In particular, two-stroke auto rickshaws or baby taxis were identified as one of the strongest contributor. It was also found out that this vehicle emits a hydrocarbon; volatile organic compound; and particulate matters. The program to achieve better air quality was kicked-off by conversion to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and the startup of fueling stations in October 2001. In December 2002, the Ministry of Communications issued a ban on two stroke baby taxies.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The transport sector is identified to be one of the contributors of air pollution in Dhaka. In particular, two-stroke auto rickshaws or baby taxis were identified as one of the strongest contributor. It was also found out that this vehicle emits a hydrocarbon; volatile organic compound; and particulate matters. The program to achieve better air quality was kicked-off by conversion to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and the startup of fueling stations in October 2001. In December 2002, the Ministry of Communications issued a ban on two stroke baby taxies. The following year, a new fleet of CNG three-wheeler was introduced.

Sector/subsector:

The objective of the policy was to ease air pollution problems in major cities like Dhaka. It was easy for the government to pinpoint the source of pollution in the capital since there are no heavy industries or power stations near the city.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The program employed command and control schemes to address the problem. The government introduced an option by bringing in CNG. The program was also accompanied by an air quality-monitoring project funded by the World Bank and the Dhaka Clean Fuel Project of the ADB.

With the introduction of CNG in 2001 and the start-up of fueling stations, about 25,000 light vehicles were converted to CNG. Initially, conversion to CNG was thought to be prohibitive, averaging to about US$583 per vehicle. However, increasing prices of fuel triggered the demand for conversion. Currently, an average of about 3500 vehicles are converting to CNG. Currently, there are more than a hundred refueling stations in the country.

Currently, the government is also converting their fleet to CNG. As of today, almost half of their fleet converted to CNG. The government also recently established the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission, which aims to monitor and make regulations on CNC use.

Currently, the government is also looking at CNG conversion for diesel buses and trucks. The plan is to do it side by side with the phasing out of old buses and trucks. It is also planning to look at pricing issues on fuel. For example, there is an incentive in the other sectors to use diesel fuel since it is provided with subsidy.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The introduction of CNG resulted to an improvement in air quality of urban cities, like Dhaka. As of date, around 50,000 baby taxis converted to CNG. Initially, the public found the initial phase out of old rickshaws difficult. However, the benefit of the program was realized with the improvement of air quality in the city. Currently, the increasing price of fuel creates an incentive to convert to CNG.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

The government carefully planned the move towards promotion of alternative fuels.  The country’s Environmental Conservation Rules requires the use of catalytic converter and diesel particulate filter for petrol and diesel driven vehicles.  Also, this policy was effective since ban on old buses plying the city was done side by side. 

In terms of the program’s operation, a national standard that will guide daily program routines (conversion, refueling, etc) needs to be developed.  The various components, from licensing, conversion, monitoring, and enforcement of emission standards, need to be properly assigned to respective agencies.

Human Resources and Skills

A well-integrated organization is required to man the program’s operation.  A licensing office should be prepared to handle the annual increase of applicants for vehicle regulation, inspection, and CNG conversion.  A pool of trained technicians and fleet managers should be developed to handle the day-to-day operation (refueling, ensuring of safety, conversion). 

On the side of monitoring of air quality and emission standards, technicians should be regularly available.  Also, the tasked agency should be prepared for expert who can handle the equipment used for emission testing.

Material and Resources

The program is quite intensive in the use of capital equipment, from licensing to monitoring of air quality.  For the CNG stations, fueling stations should be carefully designed for efficiency and safety.  The size of the fueling station should be appropriate given the daily demand for CNG.  The government should also invest on proper emission testing equipment. 

Institutional Support

The business of CNG refueling and conversion is becoming lucrative given the demand for CNG.  In Bangladesh, a large number of entrepreneurs is applying license to operate fueling and CNG converting stations.  The government recently granted more than 2000 permits to operate for CNG fueling stations alone.  The mechanisms on accreditation and monitoring should be laid down since there are both safety and pricing concerns in this business. 

In terms of emission testing, an office should be properly designated on handling the daily emission testing activities.  A procedure on how to properly conduct testing should also be prepared. 

Simplified and Effective Air Monitoring Programs in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

The practice aims to provide cost-effective air monitoring program, especially in the scenario of budget and resource constraint.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The practice aims to provide cost-effective air monitoring program, especially in the scenario of budget and resource constraint.

Sector/subsector:

Air pollution monitoring

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

Ambient air quality standards have averaging times of ranging, from one hour for carbon monoxide and ozone to one year for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. However, commercial manufacturers and distributors of air pollution monitoring equipment aim to sell expensive real-time monitoring equipment, linked to the Internet where people could see the trends of air quality. While the instantaneous presentations of the results could mesmerize the public and decision-makers unfamiliar with technical issues on air quality monitoring, the prohibitive cost of such system (US$300,000 to 700,000 per monitoring site) makes the usefulness of the monitoring data of little value to actual policy making. Also, the monitoring stations are limited in number and often sparsely located. The operating and maintenance cost of the monitoring stations is very expensive, ranging from $20,000 to 50,000 annually. Real time air quality monitors then often serve as promotional display, often located in the middle of parks and places of thick vegetation, negating its main and actual purpose.

However, with budget constraints, far more cost-effective options are available. In the last 20 years, passive samplers have been developed and used satisfactorily. Compared with real time monitors, passive samplers are cheap, costing from $5 to 10 per sample. Instead of one sample for one urban area, the air quality could be monitored at a hundred sites at a fraction of the annual and operating cost of an open path sampler. One drawback of passive samplers though is the frequent need to take, remove, and change the sampler depending on the averaging time of the pollutant.

Passive samplers were shown to be very effective. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank used the passive sampler in monitoring the sulfur dioxide concentration in its RAINS-ASIA program. The monitoring results were used to calibrate a complex acid rain regional model and development regional strategies. In the past, the cost of passive samplers and analysis was much higher, by as much as a factor of three as the equipment for analyzing the samples were in the early stages of development and very few laboratories in the world have the capability. The samplers were sent to Europe for analysis. Today the equipment for analysis could be purchased at around $50,000.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank used the passive samplers effectively in its acid rain studies in Asia. The monitoring results were used to calibrate the RAINS-ASIA model and develop mitigation measures.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

There is a need for the development of a strong and well-defined air pollution monitoring policy framework in order for the technical personnel to resist the strong pressure from expensive air pollution monitoring equipment salesmen. The monitoring stations locations have to be defined in terms of area, population density and economic activity. It should be realized that one or two sampling stations do not give any meaningful picture of the air pollution trend of the city.

Human Resources and Skills

In the World Bank and Asian Development Bank study, the nearby residents did the collection and replacement of the passive samplers.  They were given one hour training on the placement, removal and storage of the samplers. Laboratory equipment for analysis would be advantageous if there are more than a hundred samples to analyze every month. A skilled chemist is required to run the equipment.

Material and Resources

Supply of passive samplers and analytical equipment is needed. Otherwise the sampler could be mailed to the nearest laboratory with the proper equipment and analyst as done in the World Bank –Asian Development Bank study.

Institutional Support

Support from scientific community and NGO is needed in order for the environmental management agency to withstand the pressure from salesmen to buy expensive monitoring equipment.

V. Further Information: 

References and Publications:

World Bank publications on Acid Rain

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