Establishment of Air Quality Monitoring System in the Punjab

The major objectives of this project are :

  • To ensure the sustainability of EMS Project recently completed jointly by the Federal EPA and JICA in order to fulfill the commitments made by Govt. of Pakistan to JICA
  • To ensure continuous environmental monitoring of ambient air quality
  • To compare the analytical data with the Environmental Quality Standard
  • To secure the scientific knowledge needed to take administrative measures for improving the deteriorating air quality
  • To establish the monitoring Laboratory network for environmental monitoring system (Including the installation of Mobile and Fixed Air Quality Monitoring Stations)
  • To build the capacity of Federal and Provincial EPAs in monitoring Environmental Monitoring Parameters through trainings
  • To apprehend the present environmental condition through environmental monitoring network
  • To compare the analytical data with environmental quality standards
  • To secure the scientific knowledge needed to take administrative measures for improving the deteriorating air and water quality

Main Components of the Project for Punjab EPA were:

  • Installation of Automatic Air Quality Monitoring Stations at 3 locations in Lahore
  • Provision of Stack Emission Monitoring Equipment for the analysis of Industrial Air Emissions (16 parameters)
  • Provision of transport facility for the mobilization of sophisticated equipment
  • Provision of equipment for industrial waste water analysis (32 parameters)
  • Provision of Training to the staff appointed under this project and the staff of EPA

Project Details

The project will be a continuation of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) assisted EMS Project which aims to strengthen the capacity and activities of ambient air monitoring system and management. Total three ambient air monitoring stations are installed in Lahore among them two are fixed and one is mobile. The mobile and fixed ambient air monitoring stations are equipped with Particulate Matter2.5/10 Analyzer, Nitrogen oxide Analyzer, Ozone Analyzer, Carbon Monoxide Analyzer, Hydrocarbon Analyzer as well as the metrological instruments to measure Relative Humidity, Temperature, Wind Speed, Wind Direction and Solar Radiation.

 After the Implementation of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 and National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS), the EPA Laboratory had a very limited capacity to analyze all air and waste water quality parameters. In year 2005, the Ministry of Environment in Collaboration with JICA, started a project namely “Establishment of Environmental Monitoring System in Pakistan” to strengthen the monitoring capacity of Federal and Provincial EPAs. This project aimed at establishing the foundation for building capacity of EPA Punjab in order to enhance regulatory compliance and environmental management.

Ambient airborne pollution indicator data is helpful in developing the linkage between impact response and pollutant concentration. Implementation of national guidelines/standards for air quality, consistency in laws and strong enforcement to provide the required results.

The ambient air quality monitoring stations are well equipped to monitor criteria pollutant as well as meteorological parameters to monitor ambient air. The analyzers are very sensitive and require proper operation and maintenance otherwise the data generate from these analyzer would be fake/useless. The Data Collected through the existing Fixed and Mobile Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station has revealed that concentration of different air quality standards is exceeding the NEQS.

A project namely “Establishment of Environmental Monitoring System in Pakistan” has been completed by Pak-EPA through Grant in Aid from the Government of Japan. Under this project 3 Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations have been provided to Punjab EPA along with necessary equipment. After the 18th amendment the Environment Ministry has been devolved and this subject has been handed over to provinces. To ensure the sustainability of the project funds will be allocated for the operation and maintenance of existing ambient air quality monitoring stations provided by Federal EPA and JICA under EMS Project.

Laboratory Equipment

Following are the equipments that are used in Laboratory:

  • Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (heavy metals)
  • Gas Chromatic Graph (organic pollutants)
  • Ion Chromatograph (anions and cations)
  • Kjeldhal Apparatus (ammonia & nitrogen)
  • Oil & Grease analyzer (oil & grease)
  • Cyanide analyzer (cyanide)
  • BOD and COD Apparatus (organic matter)
  • PG 250 (Stack Gas Analyzer)
  • SO2 Monitoring Facility
  • 2 Fixed and 1 Mobile Air Quality Monitoring Station

Measuring Parameters

Parameters to be monitored for assessing ambient air quality are PM2.5/10, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxides, carbon monoxide, ozone, total hydrocarbons and weather condition (wind speed, direction, and humidity, temperature and UV rays). (As mentioned in the Official Gazette for NEQS for Ambient Air).

Determination of Air Pollution Trends

Data for establishing trends in the degree of pollution with time (for example year to year) and the influence on these trends of changes in emissions due to planning, growth of industry, density of traffic, and population movement is also very important. This project will be helpful in determining the air pollution trends in Lahore.