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General News Mon, 26 Nov 2007

EPA to develop vehicular emission standards

Ho, Nov. 26, GNA - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to develop standards to reduce vehicular emissions with its health problems in the country.

The initiative also aims at promoting the use of more environmentally benign fuel Mr Jonathan Allotey Executive Director of EPA announced these at a day's dissemination workshop for stakeholders in Ho.

It was organized by the EPA and sponsored by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) as a sub-component of the DANIDA Transport Sector Programme Support (TSPS) Phase II. Mr Allotey noted that the transport sector remained the major contributor to atmospheric emissions in the country. He said total emission levels in the country increased linearly from 32,222.78 in 2000 to 52,666.17 in 2005, an estimated rise of 16.67 per cent per annum depending on the commensurate increase in fleet numbers and fuel consumption.

Mr Allotey indicated that vehicular emissions were likely to double in the next 10 years and underscored the need for the introduction of emission control mechanisms. He expressed the hope that the country would in the future eliminate completely the use of metallic additives and also reduce the level of sulphur in fuel to promote the use of compressed natural gas for public transport.

Mr Joseph Kwaku Nayan, Deputy Volta Regional Minister noted that vehicular emission had adverse effects on the respiratory system, coughing, reduces lung capacity, pneumonia, influenza and asthma apart from its effects on the environment.

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He said it was important for the country to establish an Ambient Air Quality Control and Monitoring, establishment and notification of vehicular emission norms and phase out grossly polluting vehicles among others to reduce the problem.

He urged individuals to adopt practices like regular vehicular maintenance and "moderate driving" to avoid high fuel consumption. " People should learn to avoid high-speed driving, avoid frequent stopping and starting of vehicles and walk short distances to reduce fuel use", the Minster advised.

Launching the " Vehicular Emissions Report", Alhaji Ahmed Yirimea, Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment underscored the need to further promote the use of public transport system and alternative fuels and activities that sought to promote modal shift and development and enforcement of vehicular emissions and performance standards.

An executive summary of the Report circulated at the workshop stated that the " major sources of noise pollution in Ghana originate from various activities including transport- road, rail and air and commercial activities such as operation of restaurants, drinking bars, music recording shops, funerals, child naming ceremonies and industrial activities".

Source: GNA
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