Archive for Environment Protection Agency (EPA)
By Abdul Manan
LAHORE: Around 300 steel mills in the city are increasingly burning used tyres as fuel, releasing toxic smoke into the environment, it was learnt on Wednesday.
The mills have resorted to using tyres as fuel following the shortage of natural gas.
There are about 300 steel mills in Northern Lahore and their gas emissions are at level four on the Ringelmann scale, whereas the international standard is level one. Emissions at level six blacken the surrounding environment.
According to local government statistics, these factories are situated in Shalimar and Wagha towns, home to around two million people. “These factories have been using natural gas and discarded tyres. However, they have increased the burning of tyres following an increase in gas outages,” a City District Government Lahore (CDGL) official said.
He said factories’ emissions were three times higher than the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) 2000. There is no arrangement in Pakistan for measuring overall environment pollution, known as the Air Ambient Quality Standard. According to official sources, the Pakistan Environment Protection Act, 1997, is silent on the burning of used tyres. The Local Government Ordinance, 2001, and the five sections concerning public nuisance of the Pakistan Penal Code can be used to punish those burning used tyres. The CDGL official said that no civic agency had taken any interest in the issue, adding that the CDGL Environment Department had only seven inspectors which were insufficient to deal with the environmental pollution. He said the smoke from these factories contained excessive carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, which were injurious to health.
The inhalation of the two gases causes listlessness, depression, dementia, emotional disturbances, headaches, vertigo, and flu-like effects, whereas excessive exposure can lead to significant toxicity of the central nervous system and heart, a medical expert said. An Environment Protection Agency (EPA) spokesman said the agency would ask the CDGL Environment Department to accelerate its drive against steel mills. He said these factories, if found burning tyres, would be sealed under the Local Government Ordinance.
By Abdul Manan
LAHORE: Following a recent wave of gastroenteritis cases in Faisalabad, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has conducted high-level meetings with industrialists in Faisalabad, compelling them to follow standards and guidelines of the EPA in order to eradicate the gastroenteritis disease from the city, EPA officials told Daily Times on Thursday.
An EPA spokesman said that the city was facing such problems because of its contaminated water. He added that the EPA, upon inspection, found the city’s water supply to be unhealthy. He said that a water treatment plant was lacking in almost all the factories located around the city. He blamed the industries for disposing their hazardous polluted water into open drains, which had poisoned the sub-soil water.
He said that all industries were given a deadline of six months, in which they were expected to install water treatment plants. He said that any industries that would not comply with the EPA’s orders would be sealed.
He said that all industries were also ordered to remove solid wastes and make arrangements for proper disposal.
He said that all industries had been directed to make sure that the landscape around the factories was such that it would benefit the environment. He said that officials from the Environment and Forestry Department had been instructed to plant trees in nearby areas, adding that the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry had been ordered to establish development funds like those in Sialkot.
LAHORE: Punjab Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has set up an ‘Ozone Gas and Global Warming Cell’ at the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to help save the ozone layer.
EPD Secretary Zafar Iqbal told APP on Wednesday that the cell would consist of three members; a deputy director and two chemical engineers as research officers.
He said that the cell would function under the supervision of the director general of the department and the EPA would play its role in maintaining liaisons with the Environment Protection Ministry (EPM).
He added that they would also create awareness among the people about the impact of using ozone-depleting substances (ODS). He also said that the cell would evaluate and review reports prior to giving recommendations to the EPA for issuing no-objection certificates (NOC) to stakeholders for setting up industries so that there is minimum emission of ODS. He also disclosed that a cell had already been set up at the EPM, under the sponsorship of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Regarding World Ozone Day (WOD), he said that the Montreal Protocol signed by 193 countries was aimed at eliminating the use of ODS by 2010. He claimed that 95 percent use of ODS had already been controlled, while 5 percent use still remains.
He said that the use of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) has depleted the ozone layer over Antarctica and the diameter of the hole was 25 million square kilometres, which is twice as large as the continent of Europe. In an attempt to create awareness among the masses, he urged the people to use gases that were environmentally friendly so that the ozone layer might be protected, which in turn protects mankind from harmful ultraviolent rays.