Time Up: Revised particulate matter emission standards are being set for baby boilers to prevent pollution | Photo: Pixabay

CPCB lowers PM emissions limits for industries using small boilers

Industries that are run on small boilers won’t be able to pollute more, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has revised the particulate matter emission standards for capacity less than two tonnes per hour. The emission limit was reduced to 500 milligrams per cubic metre from 1,200 mg / NM3. 

As per a CSE study, a majority of the boilers in the industrial clusters of Delhi-NCR, covering Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, are baby boilers. It’s important to regulate and control emissions at these units because installing continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) and air pollution control devices is not economically feasible. 

The emission norms for such boilers, however, was quite relaxed compared to that for big boilers installed in the organised sector. Thus, industries with small boilers were given huge margins to pollute the environment. 

Delhi, North-West plains more polluted this summer than 2021: Study

The Particulate Matter PM10, PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution in Delhi was worse this summer compared to last summer, NCAP Tracker analysis revealed. From March to June, PM10, PM2.5 levels were above the safe limit, and NO2 rose in March and April. Pollution from coal-based electricity was the main cause because power demand was more this year, one of the hottest summers. Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru were among the 10 cities that breached safe limits during summers.

On June 10, India’s power demand peaked at 211 GW against the peak requirement of 186 GW in 2021 and 75% of this was provided by coal-fired thermal power plants. The heatwave also pushed up the demand for air conditioning resulting in higher coal consumption reflected in higher PM 2.5 levels.

Delhi did not have a single day when PM 2.5 met the CPCB’s 24-hour safe limit of 60 ug/m3. Mumbai had only nine days of safe PM 2.5 concentration. Such prolonged exposure can have an impact on human health, the analysis revealed.

Pollution warnings should be directed towards polluters, rather than people: Study

A new air pollution study based in London concludes that air pollution data and warnings place health responsibility on people when actually warnings need to be directed towards polluters. The Oxford study analysed the ways Londoners access air pollution data. The study noted a large number of systems—54—in operation. The study found that an increasing number of commercial companies are providing data to create a market for the purchase of personal sensors, masks and air filters.

Current systems have their weaknesses. If people are seeking air quality information associated with their exact physical location, most services are incapable of providing it, the author said. 

The study highlighted that the narrow focus on messages to help people protect themselves when air pollution gets high was sensible, but risks transferring responsibility for the problem to the individuals that suffer the consequences.

Instead of being directed towards people who breathe poor air, the information should be directed towards polluters. The study noted that in 1955, the pollution warning system made industries activate plans to lower boilers and use carpooling schemes, while residents were asked to drive less and stop burning rubbish.

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