Implementation Of Air Policies

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The air value in Bangladesh has been on its last legs over the years at an alarming rate. It worsens extensively during its winter season. It’s so much worse that five among the top 10 cause of death in Bangladesh is correlated to air contamination, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Dhaka scored 556 in the Department of Environment’s Air Quality Index (AQI). Air pollution especially in the large cities, is a major environmental fear in Bangladesh. Bangladesh havetaken note of the air pollution issues, and often guided by the multinational agencies like the World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Environment Programs (UNEP), have taken measures or have made plans to reduce and control air pollution. According to the most current World Health Organization figures, the air quality in Dhaka reaches a yearly average of 90 µg/m3 of PM2. 5, which corresponds to unhealthy Air Quality Index. Now let’s discuss about ambient air quality. Ambient air quality standards were first introduced in Bangladesh in 1997 under environmental conservation rules (ECR). The Air Quality Management Project (AQMP)implemented by the DoE during 2000-2007 with the hold from the World Bank. It was the first major project designed at air quality management in Bangladesh.

Particulate Matter (PM)

Diesel engines, motor vehicles, power plants, brick kilns, industries, windblown and road dust, wood/ biomass stoves, open burning. It indicates that fine particulates including black carbon from diesel combustion and other PM2. 5 precursors such as SO2 which comes from high sulphur diesel are the most harmful outdoor pollutants of concern while developing an air quality policy, since other pollutants are well within the national AQS. Fat particulates are also a significant source with its large collision on minor health incidences. The most important sources for ambient air pollution at present are and in future will be motor vehicles, brick kilns, cement factories, open burning, metal smelters, glass factories, power plants and re-suspended soil or dust.

For indoor pollution, the most harmful pollutants are the fine and ultrafine particulates including black carbon from cooking stoves using kerosene or other forms of solid fuels, although CO can be fatal especially in the winter when doors and windows are shut. In the absence of emissions inventories, and any genuine shelf of emissions into the future. So we can see that most of the Air pollutant come from motor vehicles, brick kiln, industries and also from indoor pollutions. Bangladesh had taken some policies, in them some passed and some failed. Though that didn’t work so well. Such as Lead phase out from Petrol, 1999 was a Success because Media and public support allow easy implementation. Brick kiln stack height was a Success which Benefit to the owners (more efficient burning, better quality bricks) is good for policy implementation. Promotion of CNG vehicles in 2002 was also a success because of extensive public support, good pricing policy, good incentive to private sector, multiple benefits and all are important for a functioning MBI. Like that other movement was Ban on three strokes three wheeler, Ban on use of wood in brick kilns, ICS Programs. But Vehicle emissions Standard, Ban on driving older vehicles in Dhaka, Lane based traffic, Ban on import of high Sulphur coal was a miserable failure. Now the Question arises, what can be the air policies for a livable and sustainable environment of Bangladesh?That comes with,Participation of major international environmental treaties and conventions Bangladesh is a signatory to most of the international environmental conservation protocols or treaties. Amongst these, the Montreal Protocol, the Vienna Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, the UNFCCC and the Malé Declaration straightly address the air pollution matter.

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The Montreal and Vienna protocol address the emissions of Chloro-Fluoro Carbons that are known to deplete the Ozone layer. The Kyoto Protocol and UNFCC address GHG emissions causing global climate change – and can be seen as a global scale air pollution issue. The Male Declaration on Control and Prevention of Air Pollution and Its Likely Transboundary Effects for South Asia is a regional cooperation program between the South Asian countries. Unlike the other treaties and conventions, the Malé Declaration covers all types of air pollution, though major emphasis is on local air pollution and its regional, transboundary effects. Strict Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance. Vehicle inspection and maintenance (I&M) is a major strategy for reducing air pollution from the transport sector in many countries and cities. I&M can be useful for Dhaka and Bangladesh, the main issue with vehicle emissions now (after the large CNG conversion) is identifying the high-emitters. Most clearly, they would be diesel trucks and buses. Thus an extensive I&M for diesel trucks and buses should get more strict and should be more cost-effective in the close term. Shift to Electric VehiclesWe can follow Nepal.

The removal of around 600 in-use diesel three wheelers from the streets of Kathmandu by 1999. The lack of transportation vehicles were immediately filled by the locally produced electric vehicles (EVs), known as Safa tempos. Since hydropower is a significant source of energy in Nepal, the conversion to EVs had large air quality and greenhouse gas benefits. Present a challenge for Bangladesh because of its need of and unreliability in electricity supply. Only 40% of the population has access to electricity, and that supply too is not dependable, and there is a severe power shortage through most of the year. However, there has been a reasonable proliferation of electric baby taxis (primarily imported from China) in smaller towns and in some pockets within Dhaka city as well. Ban On SulphurLarger sulphur content and impurity in coal increases dangerous particulate emissions. Following this, there was a ban on the import of high sulphur coal in Bangladesh through the Import Policy of Bangladesh, which was enforced by the Ministry of Commerce. Although the Import Policy does not allow the import of coal with a sulphur content of more than 1%, the Government allowed the import of such coal from the Meghalaya region of India.

Although the coal from that region has a sulphur content of around 3-5%, the government possibly bowed to the pressure of the brick kiln owners who sought cheap energy sources. The u-turn on ban is another example of poor governance and weakness in policy implementation. Stringent Vehicle emissions StandardAgain the example of poor governance, there is no testing facilities for monitoring vehicle emissions during certification, poor institutional capacity and enforcement hinder implementations. So it must be followed strictly. Ban on driving older vehicles. There is a lot older and unfit vehicles which are still on the road. The emission from this older vehicles are huge and also unhealthy for roads. So Command and Control must be strict to implement this policy for betterment. This policy is already taken by the government in 2010. All it need is accurate implementation. Following USEFA GuidelineWe can presume that the centre problem of all our policy is proper implementation. . There are four main steps in developing an air pollution control policy by USEFA:

  1. Determine priority pollutants: The pollutants of concern depend not only on the health but also on the severity of the air quality problem in the region.
  2. Identify control measures: For specific emissions source categories, the suitable controls for the priority pollutants are identified. This segment primarily deals with the technological solutions.
  3. Incorporate the control measures into a policy: Once the control measures are identified, a regulatory program is proposed such that the control strategies are formalized. This section primarily deals with policies aimed at approval of the technologies mentioned above.
  4. Involve the public: It is important to involve the community and other affected parties, during the development of the policy or strategy. Early consultation reduces later challenges. In order to facilitate the implementation of the strategies mentioned above, there are other necessary components which must be addressed.

A description of these points is presented earlier in Chapter 8, but a selection of the headline points are presented below:

  1. Regulatory and fiscal improvement to enable effective implementation of the policies ;
  2. Awareness and motivation about air pollution across sectors;
  3. Research and development to address the knowledge and information gaps so that future policies can be taken based on quantitative modeling and assessments;
  4. Co-operation and coordination among various stakeholders.
  5. Capacity building and knowledge retention;
  6. Institutional reform to ensure idle coordination and governance.
  7. Review of the emissions inventory by the DoE and make corrections, if necessary.
  8. Widespread understanding among the public and stakeholders of the extent of problem and its impact
  9. Information campaign and involvement of media in disseminating information
  10. Government must enforce to implement the policies.
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