SAHIWAL: As tehsil Sahiwal’s air quality index (AQI) is unhealthy, the local Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has decided to go for a departmental stack emission monitoring of seven industrial units in Sahiwal.

It is said the seven units get stack emission monitoring conducted by a third party having a license of certified labs approved under Pakistan Environmental Quality Standards and these labs reports are submitted to the EPD office on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Stack emission monitoring is essentially the monitoring of air from an emission point. This type of monitoring is often carried out on printer exhausts, thermal oxidisers and boiler stacks amongst others. Stacks from industrial processes carry pollutants such as solvents, gases, dusts and particles.

Despite clear lab reports, the AQI of Sahiwal is increased from 122 US to 165 US, which is unhealthy.

EDP Assistant Director Younas Zahid said they had requested the environment department to monitor stack emission through the departmental laboratory.

Dawn learnt the seven industries whose stacks emission reports are sought include Huaneng Shandon Ruyi (Pakistan) Energy Private Limited, Saif Power Plant, Adam Milk Food, Eden Milk Food, Suraj Fertilizer Pvt Limited, and Phillips Morris Tobacco Unit.

The EPD website has 14 certified labs for stack emission monitoring of private industries across Punjab.

Farooq Alam, deputy director of the Environmental Laboratory Section, told Dawn that though the seven industries are bound to get stack emission monitoring done through third parties, the department has the authority to recheck and overrule any submitted report. He confirmed the department was planning to do stack emission through its own laboratory.

He said the Sahiwal Coal-fired Power Plant’s monitoring would be held after special “permission and security clearance” from the quarters concerned.

Last month, the Sahiwal district administration sealed two biomass-fired boilers of a private company for spreading air pollution and smog. Dawn learnt from sources though the district administration on Nov 6 de-sealed both boilers, EPD has to do an internal stack emission of them.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2021

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