A standard for pollutants emissions control from fixed and mobile sources

In recent days the public hearing of the environmental standards of air quality was conducted, a session in which the players involved were the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Ministry of Public Works and Communications, the Dominican Institute for Quality –INDOCAL–, the Dominican Petroleum Refinery, the Dominican Barrick Gold and monitoring companies of environmental quality.

This proposed standard would replace –if approved– the NA-AI-001-03 standard. Its aim is to establish the maximum concentration values ​​of air pollutants allowed in order to ensure human health and the environment. It simultaneously introduces the following Articles 4, 5, 5.1, 5.2, 6 and 6.1.

Article 4 refers to non-conventional pollutants and substances generating offensive odors. While Article 5 is based on non-traditional pollutants, in which a new classification is presented, separating non-traditional pollutants from air pollutants, which in turn are classified as non-carcinogenic pollutants, showing a table setting the concentration limits and the average time of air pollutants which are non-carcinogenic. While two types of evaluations are contemplated in carcinogenic pollutants: qualitative and quantitative, accompanied by a table with the risk indicators for carcinogenic pollutants. 

Article 6 sets out the criteria for identifying the problems of air pollution, giving the competent authorities the power to environmental authorities to establish action programs which will regulate the types of alarm levels of air pollution, and the national territory will be zoned for each of the alarm levels. These levels are: level of prevention, and emergency alteration.

Within this article, in paragraph 1, through a table, concentration and time exposure of pollutants for prevention, early warning and emergency levels are proposed.

Observations and recommendations were conducted during the public hearing, of which the most important were about the parameters imposed by the standard, which they claimed that these parameters are excessively low and therefore impossible to comply. Other observations were made concerning:

  • The standard shows editing errors,
  • The measurement method of parameters must be established,
  • Circulation permits should be facilitated, to authorize the transit or the operation of certain pollutants producers, and companies internationally accredited for these purposes should grant such permits,
  • The standard does not set its adjustment period,
  • It was also mentioned that the tables generate confusion because the values expressed do not match the provided references.

Those interested in making formal observations can do so by writing a letter to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources during the next thirty days.