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Air Quality Management

by | Mar 18, 2022 | Air Pollution, Pollution

Preventive Measures

Air quality management refers to all the actions a regulatory administration undertakes to protect human health and the habitat and prevent them from the damaging effects of air pollution. 

Pollution prevention aims to prevent pollution, such as air pollution. That may entail changes to industrial and corporate operations such as developing sustainable manufacturing methods (and product designs) and corresponding legislative restrictions and initiatives to convert to renewable energy.

The justification for minimizing air pollution is compelling, and this action can take a variety of forms. Urban planning, technical advancements (e.g., the design of new automobiles that emit less pollution), and the implementation of new legislation at the federal level are just a few examples of air quality management.

Reducing black carbon and O3 levels are projected to avoid over 3 million premature deaths and enhance agricultural yields by 50 million tonnes each year. Cooking stove improvements would help cut demand for firewood and deforestation in underdeveloped countries. Improved brick kilns, which are utilized in portions of Latin America and Asia, require half the amount of fuel that traditional kilns do.

Asthma and other respiratory disorders would be considerably decreased if air pollution levels in high-traffic regions were lowered. While it is widely acknowledged that measures to reduce air pollution will help avert additional environmental changes. They will not be able to reverse current warming. 

An increasing number of research demonstrate that dietary supplements might be a potential method to lower sensitivity to air pollution and give an alternate strategy for neutralizing the effects of pollutants on health in those with low anti-oxidant levels.

Air quality management

Air Pollution Control Efforts 

Air quality control is a continuous procedure and the most important tool for air quality management. It must be incorporated into the government’s capacities and the behavior of corporations and individuals. This will need enough resources and a consistent focus on capacity development.

Air pollution reductions may be accomplished in various methods, with governments playing a significant role.

Planned Actions to Improve Air Quality in India:

  • The Central Government launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) under the Central Sector “Control of Pollution” Scheme as a long-term, time-bound national strategy to address the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner, with targets of 20% to 30% reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations by 2024, using 2017 as the base year for comparison. 
  • Based on ambient air quality data from 2011 to 2015 and the WHO report 2014/2018, 102 non-attainment cities, predominantly in the Indo-Gangetic Plains, have been found. All 102 non-attainment cities have had their city-specific Action Plans authorized for implementation on the ground.
  • In 2018, the Central Government issued a Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP) that identifies dates and implementing agencies for activities outlined for air pollution prevention, control, and mitigation in Delhi and the NCR.
  • The Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for the prevention, control, and reduction of air pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) was announced on January 12, 2017. It specifies graded responses and implementing agencies for four AQI categories: Moderate to Poor, Very Poor, Severe, and Severe + or Emergency.

Zoning Town Planning Regulation of New Industries 

The goal of zoning is to allow local and national governments to manage and control land and property markets to guarantee that complementary uses are maintained. Zoning can also help to speed up or slow down growth in certain locations.

According to the Planning and Zoning authorities, controlling land use would be more equitable by stipulating what performance standards an enterprise must satisfy concerning its neighbors.

The establishment of restrictions or prohibitions on particular land uses that are regarded as damaging to the environment, and public health is one of the most straightforward ways that zoning regulations may assist in minimizing pollution. Municipalities can utilize their general rights to ban undesired land use in a variety of ways to safeguard people’s quality of life and health.

The zoning atlas for industrial zone siting analyses the environment in an area and uses easy-to-read maps to show the pollutant receiving potential of various places as well as feasible replacement sites. The zoning atlas for industrial zone siting analyses the environment in an area and uses easy-to-read maps to show the pollutant receiving potential of various places as well as feasible replacement sites. The following are the goals for creating the zoning atlas:

  • To divide and classify geographical areas.
  • To locate potential industrial and commercial sites. 
  • Determine which industries are appropriate for the sites that have been identified.

Legislation and Enforcement

Air quality rules govern the discharge of air pollutants into the atmosphere. A subset of air quality rules regulates air quality within buildings. Air quality laws are frequently enacted to safeguard human health by restricting or eliminating pollution concentrations in the air. Regulatory measures include detecting and classifying air contaminants, imposing emission limits, and prescribing required or appropriate mitigating technology.

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act was passed in 1981 to control air pollution; however, it has failed to reduce pollution due to lax enforcement.

Air quality standards are legislative guidelines or criteria that limit the amounts of contaminants in the air we breathe, both outside and indoors. These standards are usually expressed as levels of specific air pollutants that are deemed acceptable in ambient air, and they are most often designed to reduce or eliminate the human health effects of air pollution, though secondary effects such as crop and building damage may also be taken into account.

Emission regulations are regulatory criteria that control the emission of air pollutants into the atmosphere. Emission regulations define the maximum quantity of specified air pollutants that can be discharged from specific sources during specific periods.

Bans may be enacted as part of air quality legislation. While bans are arguably a type of emissions control rule (in which the emission limit is set to zero), they vary in that they may govern activities other than pollutant emission, even if the ultimate purpose is to eradicate pollutant emission.

Environmental Impact Assessment and Air Quality

Air quality impact assessment (AQIA) is a technique for evaluating certain present or prospective source emissions relative contribution at receptor locations to ground-level pollutant concentrations. Air quality modeling and monitoring techniques are the main activities of AQIA, which help in better air quality management.

The appropriate procedures for a given scenario are inextricably linked to the problem to be examined. An overview of relevant modeling methodologies has been given, focusing on Gaussian plume models because of their simplicity and wide application. Alternative modeling methodologies have been offered when the atmosphere departs from the Gaussian form, or when more precise information on atmospheric chemistry, deposition, or long-range transport is necessary.

The aims and procedures of ambient air quality monitoring have been reviewed, as well as instrument placement, sampling length and frequency, monitoring rationale (fixed or mobile), sampling error minimization, data storage, and analysis. For an effective AQIA, modeling and monitoring are required. The ideas and procedures for conducting AQIA investigations employing these two methodologies in tandem have been given systematically.

At the very least, air quality impact studies must consider the worst-case scenarios (the biggest increases in AQ levels). To provide context, a proponent may also present information on “average” AQ impacts. Because it addresses the fundamental question, “What are the worst effects of this project on my community?” a worst-case impact assessment is essential.

 

 

Author

  • The author has done a master's in Environmental science and is currently working as chief Environmental Advisor with New Delhi State Government.

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