Clean air act review pushed

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Monday, June 30, 2014


THE Clean Air Act needs a thorough review.

Clean Air Asia consultant Doris Montecastro said the law needs to be updated to be at tune with the time during a workshop led by Environmental Management Bureau held in the Summer Capital recently.

She said there is a need to review the law to know if there has been an overlapping with other laws and what provisions still apply today to be able to correct the provisions.

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Montecastro highlighted the provision covering the emission standards should be amended believing the standards are not deterrent to pollution.

While there are provisions covering standards for Total Suspended Particles (TSP), volatile organic compounds and PM10, she suggested PM2.5 should also be included.

Provisions on carcinogens should also consider regulation of all gasoline stations to protect attendants who are exposed to benzene, a hazardous organic chemical compound.

There is also a need to revisit the provision discouraging incineration.

She maintained although it could be really harmful as undergoing the process will emit more carcinogens, she cited countries successfully using this process.

She said incineration should be at least considered by adopting the good practices of other countries without compromising the air quality.
These should all be considered in creating the clean air plan of different communities.

Montecastro said the country has many written laws but lacks enforcement, not only by those in the legal divisions and agencies concerned, but all in the civil society.

"It should be everyone's responsibility," she emphasized adding the public should not only be careful not to violate laws related to air but also be concerned with what other people do that contributes to air pollution.

Montecastro said it is necessary the law be re-examined not only to serve as a guide in formulating actions to address issues in air quality but most importantly to protect the whole ecosystem affected by the challenges concerning climate change.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 01, 2014.

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