The objective of the Environment Sector is the Protection, Conservation rehabilitation and improvement of the environment, for the prevention and control of pollution, and promotion of sustainable development. Monitoring of pollution is basic function of EPA under PEPA 1997. Moreover monitoring is basic tool for management of pollution.
The major objectives of this project are :
- Establishment of Environmental Laboratories to cater for environmental monitoring and testing requirements in Districts of Faisalabad Sargodha, Mianwali and Khushab, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Murree, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Rawalpindi, Attock and other nearby areas
- Implementation of provisions of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 and Rules & Regulations made there under the enforcement of National Environmental Quality Standards
- Monitoring of quality of surface water and drinking water sources
- The project objectives are directly related with sectoral objectives
The menace of pollution of air, water and soil coupled with natural resource degradation is increasing with an ever-increasing population, intensive agric-farming, industrialization and motorization and therefore needs to be assessed, so that proper controlled measures for protection of environment and resource conservation are planned.The District Offices (Environment) entertain complaints/court cases against polluters but they do not have pollution measuring equipment to monitor National Quality Standards (NEQS) parameters. The prosecution against the polluters requires measurement of NEQS parameters in accordance with Environmental Sample Rules 2001. At moment, there is one central environmental laboratory at Lahore and one regional laboratory in Multan which meet the requirements in the whole province.
The mandate of these laboratories thus would be identifying the overall adverse environmental effects of pollution on public health, safety and welfare in central and western districts of Punjab.
The major function of EPA Punjab as envisaged in Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 are as under:
- To administer Laws/Rules & Regulations on Environment
- Create mass awareness about safer environment
- Implementation of National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) waste water, industrial emissions and motor vehicular exhaust
- Establishment of Environmental Laboratories
- Monitoring of drinking Water for safe supply to the Public
The Section 6(2)(e) of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 (PEPA-1997) states, “establish and maintain laboratories to help in the performance to its function under this Act and to conduct research in various aspects of the environment and provide or arrange necessary assistance for establishment of similar laboratories in the private sector”. Hence the project is fully justified with regard to mandatory functions of EPA Punjab.