Handbook of Environmental Protection and Enforcement: Principles and Practice


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For example, by thermal action sulphur dioxide can oxidize to sulphur trioxide which, dissolved in water, gives rise to the formation of sulphuric acid mist catalysed by manganese and iron oxides. Photochemical reactions between nitrogen oxides and reactive hydrocarbons can produce ozone O 3 , formaldehyde and peroxyacetyl nitrate PAN ; reactions between HCl and formaldehyde can form bis-chloromethyl ether. While some odours are known to be caused by specific chemical agents such as hydrogen sulphide H 2 S , carbon disulphide CS 2 and mercaptans R-SH or R1-S-R2 others are difficult to define chemically.

Examples of the main pollutants associated with some industrial air pollution sources are presented in table Air quality management aims at the preservation of environmental quality by prescribing the tolerated degree of pollution, leaving it to the local authorities and polluters to devise and implement actions to ensure that this degree of pollution will not be exceeded. An example of legislation within this approach is the adoption of ambient air quality standards based, very often, on air quality guidelines WHO for different pollutants; these are accepted maximum levels of pollutants or indicators in the target area e.

Air quality standards are short-, medium- or long-term values valid for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and for monthly, seasonal or annual exposure of all living subjects including sensitive subgroups such as children, the elderly and the sick as well as non-living objects; this is in contrast to maximum permissible levels for occupational exposure, which are for a partial weekly exposure e. Typical measures in air quality management are control measures at the source, for example, enforcement of the use of catalytic converters in vehicles or of emission standards in incinerators, land-use planning and shut-down of factories or reduction of traffic during unfavourable weather conditions.

The best air quality management stresses that the air pollutant emissions should be kept to a minimum; this is basically defined through emission standards for single sources of air pollution and could be achieved for industrial sources, for example, through closed systems and high-efficiency collectors. An emission standard is a limit on the amount or concentration of a pollutant emitted from a source. This type of legislation requires a decision, for each industry, on the best means of controlling its emissions i.

The emissions inventory is a most complete listing of sources in a given area and of their individual emissions, estimated as accurately as possible from all emitting point, line and area diffuse sources. When these emissions are compared with emission standards set for a particular source, first hints on possible control measures are given if emission standards are not complied with. The emissions inventory also allows an estimate of air pollutant concentrations for those pollutants for which ambient concentration measurements are difficult or too expensive to perform. The air pollutant concentrations inventory summarizes the results of the monitoring of ambient air pollutants in terms of annual means, percentiles and trends of these quantities.

Compounds measured for such an inventory include the following:. Comparison of air pollutant concentrations with air quality standards or guidelines, if they exist, indicates problem areas for which a causal analysis has to be performed in order to find out which sources are responsible for the non-compliance. Using appropriate meteorology parameters in a suitable dispersion model, annual averages and percentiles can be estimated and compared to air quality standards or guidelines, if they exist.

If the compound or compounds have been fixed in a causal analysis compound-causal analysis , a second analysis has to be performed to find out the responsible sources source-causal analysis. Control measures for industrial facilities include adequate, well-designed, well-installed, efficiently operated and maintained air cleaning devices, also called separators or collectors. Wet collectors scrubbers can be used to collect, at the same time, gaseous pollutants and particulate matter. Also, certain types of combustion devices can burn combustible gases and vapours as well as certain combustible aerosols.

Depending on the type of effluent, one or a combination of more than one collector can be used. The control of odours that are chemically identifiable relies on the control of the chemical agent s from which they emanate e. However, when an odour is not defined chemically or the producing agent is found at extremely low levels, other techniques may be used, such as masking by a stronger, more agreeable and harmless agent or counteraction by an additive which counteracts or partially neutralizes the offensive odour. It should be kept in mind that adequate operation and maintenance are indispensable to ensure the expected efficiency from a collector.

This should be ensured at the planning stage, both from the know-how and financial points of view. Energy requirements must not be overlooked. Whenever selecting an air cleaning device, not only the initial cost but also operational and maintenance costs should be considered. Whenever dealing with high-toxicity pollutants, high efficiency should be ensured, as well as special procedures for maintenance and disposal of waste materials. Substitution of materials. Examples: substitution of less toxic solvents for highly toxic ones used in certain industrial processes; use of fuels with lower sulphur content e.

Modification or change of the industrial process or equipment. Examples: in the steel industry, a change from raw ore to pelleted sintered ore to reduce the dust released during ore handling ; use of closed systems instead of open ones; change of fuel heating systems to steam, hot water or electrical systems; use of catalysers at the exhaust air outlets combustion processes and so on. For example, a different plant layout may facilitate the installation of a local exhaust system; the performance of a process at a lower rate may allow the use of a certain collector with volume limitations but otherwise adequate.

Process modifications that concentrate different effluent sources are closely related to the volume of effluent handled, and the efficiency of some air-cleaning equipment increases with the concentration of pollutants in the effluent. Adequate housekeeping and storage. Examples: strict sanitation in food and animal product processing; avoidance of open storage of chemicals e. Adequate disposal of wastes. Examples: avoidance of simply piling up chemical wastes such as scraps from polymerization reactors , as well as of dumping pollutant materials solid or liquid in water streams.

The latter practice not only causes water pollution but can also create a secondary source of air pollution, as in the case of liquid wastes from sulphite process pulp mills, which release offensive odorous gaseous pollutants. Example: well maintained and well-tuned internal combustion engines produce less carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons.

Work practices. Example: taking into account meteorological conditions, particularly winds, when spraying pesticides. By analogy with adequate practices at the workplace, good practices at the community level can contribute to air pollution control - for example, changes in the use of motor vehicles more collective transportation, small cars and so on and control of heating facilities better insulation of buildings in order to require less heating, better fuels and so on.

Motor vehicle emissions are controlled by controlling emissions per vehicle mile travelled VMT and by controlling VMT itself Walsh Emissions per VMT can be reduced by controlling vehicle performance - hardware, maintenance - for both new and in-use cars. Fuel composition of leaded gasoline may be controlled by reducing lead or sulphur content, which also has a beneficial effect on decreasing HC emissions from vehicles.

Lowering the levels of sulphur in diesel fuel as a means to lower diesel particulate emission has the additional beneficial effect of increasing the potential for catalytic control of diesel particulate and organic HC emissions. Another important management tool for reducing vehicle evaporative and refuelling emissions is the control of gasoline volatility. Control of fuel volatility can greatly lower vehicle evaporative HC emissions. Use of oxygenated additives in gasoline lowers HC and CO exhaust as long as fuel volatility is not increased.

Reduction of VMT is an additional means of controlling vehicle emissions by control strategies such as. While such approaches promote fuel conservation, they are not yet accepted by the general population, and governments have not seriously tried to implement them. All these technological and political solutions to the motor vehicle problem except substitution of electrical cars are increasingly offset by growth in the vehicle population.

The vehicle problem can be solved only if the growth problem is addressed in an appropriate way. The estimation of the costs of public health and environmental effects is the most difficult part of a clean air implementation plan, as it is very difficult to estimate the value of lifetime reduction of disabling illnesses, hospital admission rates and hours of work lost. However, this estimation and a comparison with the cost of control measures is absolutely necessary in order to balance the costs of control measures versus the costs of no such measure undertaken, in terms of public health and environmental effects.

The pollution problem is intimately connected to land-use and transportation, including issues such as community planning, road design, traffic control and mass transportation; to concerns of demography, topography and economy; and to social concerns Venzia In general, the rapidly growing urban aggregations have severe pollution problems due to poor land-use and transportation practices. Transportation planning for air pollution control includes transportation controls, transportation policies, mass transit and highway congestion costs.

Transportation controls have an important impact on the general public in terms of equity, repressiveness and social and economic disruption - in particular, direct transportation controls such as motor vehicle constraints, gasoline limitations and motor vehicle emission reductions. Emission reductions due to direct controls can be reliably estimated and verified. Indirect transportation controls such as reduction of vehicle miles travelled by improvement of mass transit systems, traffic flow improvement regulations, regulations on parking lots, road and gasoline taxes, car-use permissions and incentives for voluntary approaches are mostly based on past trial-and-error experience, and include many uncertainties when trying to develop a viable transportation plan.

National action plans incurring indirect transportation controls can affect transportation and land-use planning with regard to highways, parking lots and shopping centres. Long-term planning for the transportation system and the area influenced by it will prevent significant deterioration of air quality and provide for compliance with air quality standards.

Handbook of environmental protection and enforcement: principles and practice

Mass transit is consistently considered as a potential solution for urban air pollution problems. Selection of a mass transit system to serve an area and different modal splits between highway use and bus or rail service will ultimately alter land-use patterns. There is an optimum split that will minimize air pollution; however, this may not be acceptable when non-environmental factors are considered.

The automobile has been called the greatest generator of economic externalities ever known. Some of these, such as jobs and mobility, are positive, but the negative ones, such as air pollution, accidents resulting in death and injury, property damage, noise, loss of time, and aggravation, lead to the conclusion that transportation is not a decreasing cost industry in urbanized areas. Highway congestion costs are another externality; lost time and congestion costs, however, are difficult to determine. A true evaluation of competing transportation modes, such as mass transportation, cannot be obtained if travel costs for work trips do not include congestion costs.

Land-use planning for air pollution control includes zoning codes and performance standards, land-use controls, housing and land development, and land-use planning policies. Land-use zoning was the initial attempt to accomplish protection of the people, their property and their economic opportunity. However, the ubiquitous nature of air pollutants required more than physical separation of industries and residential areas to protect the individual. For this reason, performance standards based initially on aesthetics or qualitative decisions were introduced into some zoning codes in an attempt to quantify criteria for identifying potential problems.

The limitations of the assimilative capacity of the environment must be identified for long-term land-use planning. Then, land-use controls can be developed that will prorate the capacity equitably among desired local activities. Land-use controls include permit systems for review of new stationary sources, zoning regulation between industrial and residential areas, restriction by easement or purchase of land, receptor location control, emission-density zoning and emission allocation regulations. Housing policies aimed at making home ownership available to many who could otherwise not afford it such as tax incentives and mortgage policies stimulate urban sprawl and indirectly discourage higher-density residential development.

These policies have now proven to be environmentally disastrous, as no consideration was given to the simultaneous development of efficient transportation systems to serve the needs of the multitude of new communities being developed. The lesson learnt from this development is that programmes impacting on the environment should be coordinated, and comprehensive planning undertaken at the level where the problem occurs and on a scale large enough to include the entire system.

Land-use planning must be examined at national, provincial or state, regional and local levels to adequately ensure long-term protection of the environment. Governmental programmes usually start with power plant siting, mineral extraction sites, coastal zoning and desert, mountain or other recreational development. As the multiplicity of local governments in a given region cannot adequately deal with regional environmental problems, regional governments or agencies should coordinate land development and density patterns by supervising the spatial arrangement and location of new construction and use, and transportation facilities.

Land-use and transportation planning must be interrelated with enforcement of regulations to maintain the desired air quality. Ideally, air pollution control should be planned for by the same regional agency that does land-use planning because of the overlapping externalities associated with both issues. The clean air implementation plan should always contain an enforcement plan which indicates how the control measures can be enforced.

This implies also a resource commitment which, according to a polluter pays principle, will state what the polluter has to implement and how the government will help the polluter in fulfilling the commitment. In the sense of a precautionary plan, the clean air implementation plan should also include estimates of the trends in population, traffic, industries and fuel consumption in order to assess responses to future problems. This will avoid future stresses by enforcing measures well in advance of imagined problems. A strategy for follow-up of air quality management consists of plans and policies on how to implement future clean air implementation plans.

Environmental impact assessment EIA is the process of providing a detailed statement by the responsible agency on the environmental impact of a proposed action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment Lee EIA is an instrument of prevention aiming at consideration of the human environment at an early stage of the development of a programme or project.

EIA is particularly important for countries which develop projects in the framework of economic reorientation and restructuring. EIA has become legislation in many developed countries and is now increasingly applied in developing countries and economies in transition. EIA is integrative in the sense of comprehensive environmental planning and management considering the interactions between different environmental media. On the other hand, EIA integrates the estimation of environmental consequences into the planning process and thereby becomes an instrument of sustainable development.

EIA also combines technical and participative properties as it collects, analyses and applies scientific and technical data with consideration of quality control and quality assurance, and stresses the importance of consultations prior to licensing procedures between environmental agencies and the public which could be affected by particular projects.

A clean air implementation plan can be considered as a part of the EIA procedure with reference to the air. International agencies such as the World Health Organization WHO , the World Meteorological Organization WMO and the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP have instituted monitoring and research projects in order to clarify the issues involved in air pollution and to promote measures to prevent further deterioration of public health and environmental and climatic conditions. The kernel of this programme is a global database of urban air pollutant concentrations of sulphur dioxides, suspended particulate matter, lead, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and ozone.

As important as this database, however, is the provision of management tools such as guides for rapid emission inventories, programmes for dispersion modelling, population exposure estimates, control measures, and cost-benefit analysis. The GAW programme consists of four activity areas: the Global Ozone Observing System GO3OS , global monitoring of background atmospheric composition, including the Background Air Pollution Monitoring Network BAPMoN ; dispersion, transport, chemical transformation and deposition of atmospheric pollutants over land and sea on different time and space scales; exchange of pollutants between the atmosphere and other environmental compartments; and integrated monitoring.

The aim of air pollution modelling is the estimation of outdoor pollutant concentrations caused, for instance, by industrial production processes, accidental releases or traffic.

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Air pollution modelling is used to ascertain the total concentration of a pollutant, as well as to find the cause of extraordinary high levels. For projects in the planning stage, the additional contribution to the existing burden can be estimated in advance, and emission conditions may be optimized. Depending on the air quality standards defined for the pollutant in question, annual mean values or short-time peak concentrations are of interest.

Usually concentrations have to be determined where people are active - that is, near the surface at a height of about two metres above the ground. Two types of parameters influence pollutant dispersion: source parameters and meteorological parameters. For source parameters, concentrations are proportional to the amount of pollutant which is emitted. If dust is concerned, the particle diameter has to be known to determine sedimentation and deposition of the material VDI As surface concentrations are lower with greater stack height, this parameter also has to be known.

In addition, concentrations depend on the total amount of the exhaust gas, as well as on its temperature and velocity. If the temperature of the exhaust gas exceeds the temperature of the surrounding air, the gas will be subject to thermal buoyancy. Its exhaust velocity, which can be calculated from the inner stack diameter and the exhaust gas volume, will cause a dynamic momentum buoyancy. It has to be stressed that it is not the mass of the pollutant in question but that of the total gas that is responsible for the thermal and dynamic momentum buoyancy.

Meteorological parameters which influence pollutant dispersion are wind speed and direction, as well as vertical thermal stratification. The pollutant concentration is proportional to the reciprocal of wind speed. This is mainly due to the accelerated transport. Moreover, turbulent mixing increases with growing wind speed. As so-called inversions i. On the contrary, convective situations intensify vertical mixing and therefore show the lowest concentration values.

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Air quality standards - for example, annual mean values or 98 percentiles - are usually based on statistics. Hence, time series data for the relevant meteorological parameters are needed. Ideally, statistics should be based on ten years of observation. If only shorter time series are available, it should be ascertained that they are representative for a longer period. This can be done, for example, by analysis of longer time series from other observations sites.

Handbook of Environmental Protection and Enforcement: Principles and Practice / Edition 1

The meteorological time series used also has to be representative of the site considered - that is, it must reflect the local characteristics. This is specially important concerning air quality standards based on peak fractions of the distribution, like 98 percentiles. If no such time series is at hand, a meteorological flow model may be used to calculate one from other data, as will be described below. As mentioned above, dispersion of pollutants is dependent on emission conditions, transport and turbulent mixing. Using the full equation which describes these features is called Eulerian dispersion modelling Pielke By this approach, gains and losses of the pollutant in question have to be determined at every point on an imaginary spatial grid and in distinct time steps.

As this method is very complex and computer time consuming, it usually cannot be handled routinely. However, for many applications, it may be simplified using the following assumptions:. In this case, the equation mentioned above can be solved analytically. The resulting formula describes a plume with Gaussian concentration distribution, the so called Gaussian plume model VDI The distribution parameters depend on meteorological conditions and downwind distance as well as on stack height. They have to be determined empirically Venkatram and Wyngaard Under this approach, distinct puffs are emitted in fixed time steps, each following its own path according to the current meteorological conditions.

On its way, each puff grows according to turbulent mixing. Parameters describing this growth, again, have to be determined from empirical data Venkatram and Wyngaard Concerning accidental releases or single case studies, a Lagrangian or particle model VDI Guideline , Part 3 is recommended. The concept thereby is to calculate the paths of many particles, each of which represents a fixed amount of the pollutant in question. The individual paths are composed of transport by the mean wind and of stochastic disturbances.

Due to the stochastic part, the paths do not fully agree, but depict the mixture by turbulence. In principle, Lagrangian models are capable of considering complex meteorological conditions - in particular, wind and turbulence; fields calculated by flow models described below can be used for Lagrangian dispersion modelling. If pollutant concentrations have to be determined in structured terrain, it may be necessary to include topographic effects on pollutant dispersion in modelling. Such effects are, for example, transport following the topographic structure, or thermal wind systems like sea breezes or mountain winds, which change wind direction in the course of the day.

If such effects take place on a scale much larger than the model area, the influence may be considered by using meteorological data which reflect the local characteristics. If no such data are available, the three-dimensional structure impressed on the flow by topography can be obtained by using a corresponding flow model. Based on these data, dispersion modelling itself may be carried out assuming horizontal homogeneity as described above in the case of the Gaussian plume model.

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However, in situations where wind conditions change significantly inside the model area, dispersion modelling itself has to consider the three-dimensional flow affected by the topographic structure. As mentioned above, this may be done by using a Gaussian puff or a Lagrangian model. Another way is to perform the more complex Eulerian modelling. To determine wind direction in accord with the topographically structured terrain, mass consistent or diagnostic flow modelling may be used Pielke Using this approach, the flow is fitted to topography by varying the initial values as little as possible and by keeping its mass consistent.

As this is an approach which leads to quick results, it may also be used to calculate wind statistics for a certain site if no observations are available. To do this, geostrophic wind statistics i. If, however, thermal wind systems have to be considered in more detail, so called prognostic models have to be used. Depending on the scale and the steepness of the model area, a hydrostatic, or the even more complex non-hydrostatic, approach is suitable VDI Models of this type need much computer power, as well as much experience in application. Determination of concentrations based on annual means, in general, are not possible with these models.

Instead, worst case studies can be performed by considering only one wind direction and those wind speed and stratification parameters which result in the highest surface concentration values. If those worst case values do not exceed air quality standards, more detailed studies are not necessary. Figure Road traffic emissions will be trapped to a certain amount in street canyons.

Empirical formulations have been found to describe this Yamartino and Wiegand Pollutants emitted from a low stack situated on a building will be captured in the circulation on the lee side of the building. The extent of this lee circulation depends on the height and width of the building, as well as on wind speed.

Therefore, simplified approaches to describe pollutant dispersion in such a case, based solely on the height of a building, are not generally valid. The vertical and horizontal extent of the lee circulation has been obtained from wind tunnel studies Hosker and can be implemented in mass consistent diagnostic models. As soon as the flow field has been determined, it can be used to calculate the transport and turbulent mixing of the pollutant emitted.

This can be done by Lagrangian or Eulerian dispersion modelling. More detailed studies - concerning accidental releases, for instance - can be performed only by using non-hydrostatic flow and dispersion models instead of a diagnostic approach. As this, in general, demands high computer power, a worst case approach as described above is recommended in advance of a complete statistical modelling. Hans-Ulrich Pfeffer and Peter Bruckmann. Air quality monitoring means the systematic measurement of ambient air pollutants in order to be able to assess the exposure of vulnerable receptors e.

Ambient air pollutant concentrations are influenced by the spatial or time variance of emissions of hazardous substances and the dynamics of their dispersion in the air. As a consequence, marked daily and annual variations of concentrations occur. It is practically impossible to determine in a unified way all these different variations of air quality in statistical language, the population of air quality states. Thus, ambient air pollutant concentrations measurements always have the character of random spatial or time samples. The first step in measurement planning is to formulate the purpose of the measurement as precisely as possible.

Important questions and fields of operation for air quality monitoring include:. The goal of measurement planning is to use adequate measurement and assessment procedures to answer specific questions with sufficient certainty and at minimum possible expense. An example of the parameters that should be used for measurement planning is presented in table Recognizing that formal requirements vary by jurisdiction, it should be noted that specific reference here is made to German licensing procedures for industrial facilities.

The example in table The idea behind this approach is that a random choice of measurement sites is made in order to cover equally locations in an area with varying air quality e. This approach may be very costly in large areas due to the number of measurement sites necessary.

Another conception for a measurement network therefore starts with measurement sites that are representatively selected.

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This approach can be extended to other microenvironments e. Diffusion modelling or screening measurements can help in choosing the right measurement sites. A third approach is to measure at the points of presumed highest exposure e. If assessment standards are met at this site, there is sufficient probability that this will also be the case for all other sites. This approach, by focusing on critical points, requires relatively few measurement sites, but these must be chosen with particular care. This particular method risks overestimating real exposure. The parameters of measurement time period, assessment of the measurement data and measurement frequency are essentially given in the definition of the assessment standards limits and the desired level of certainty of the results.

Threshold limits and the peripheral conditions to be considered in measurement planning are related. By using continuous measurement procedures, a resolution that is temporally almost seamless can be achieved. The following section is dedicated to describing the capabilities of measurement procedures and quality control as a further parameter important to measurement planning. Measurements of ambient air pollutant concentrations can be costly to conduct, and results can affect significant decisions with serious economic or ecological implications.

Therefore, quality assurance measures are an integral part of the measurement process. Two areas should be distinguished here. Every complete measurement procedure consists of several steps: sampling, sample preparation and clean-up; separation, detection final analytical step ; and data collection and assessment. In some cases, especially with continuous measurement of inorganic gases, some steps of the procedure can be left out e. Comprehensive adherence to procedures should be strived for in conducting measurements. Using standardized and proven equipment and procedures for ambient air pollutant concentration measurement cannot alone ensure acceptable quality if the user does not employ adequate methods of quality control.

A wealth of measurement procedures exists for the broad range of inorganic gases. We will differentiate between manual and automatic methods. In the case of manual measurement procedures for inorganic gases, the substance to be measured is normally adsorbed during the sampling in a solution or solid material. In most cases a photometric determination is made after an appropriate colour reaction. Several manual measurement procedures have special significance as reference procedures. Because of the relatively high personnel cost, these manual procedures are conducted only rarely for field measurements today, when alternative automatic procedures are available.

The most important procedures are briefly sketched in table A special sampling variant, used primarily in connection with manual measurement procedures, is the diffusion separation tube denuder. The denuder technique is aimed at separating the gas and particle phases by using their different diffusion rates.

Thus, it is often used on difficult separation problems e. In the classic denuder technique, the test air is sucked through a glass tube with a special coating, depending on the material s to be collected. The denuder technique has been further developed in many variations and also partially automated. It has greatly expanded the possibilities of differentiated sampling, but, depending on the variant, it can be very laborious, and proper utilization requires a great deal of experience.

There are numerous different continuous measuring monitors on the market for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and ozone. For the most part they are used particularly in measurement networks. The most important features of the individual methods are collected in table Interferences, e.

It should be emphasized here that all automatic measurement procedures based on chemical-physical principles must be calibrated using manual reference procedures. Since automatic equipment in measurement networks often runs for extended periods of time e. This generally is done using zero and test gases that can be produced by several methods preparation of ambient air; pressurized gas cylinders; permeation; diffusion; static and dynamic dilution.

Among particulate air pollutants, dustfall and suspended particulate matter SPM are differentiated. Dustfall consists of larger particles, which sink to the ground because of their size and thickness. SPM includes the particle fraction that is dispersed in the atmosphere in a quasi-stable and quasi-homogenous manner and therefore remains suspended for a certain time. As is the case with measurements of gaseous air pollutants, continuous and discontinuous measurement procedures for SPM can be differentiated.

As a rule, SPM is first separated on glass fibre or membrane filters. It follows a gravimetric or radiometric determination. Depending on the sampling, a distinction can be made between a procedure to measure the total SPM without fractionation according to the size of the particles and a fractionation procedure to measure the fine dust. The advantages and disadvantages of fractionated suspended dust measurements are disputed internationally. In Germany, for example, all threshold limits and assessment standards are based on total suspended particulates. This means that, for the most part, only total SPM measurements are performed.

In this procedure, only particles with an aerodynamic diameter up to 10 mm are included 50 per cent inclusion portion , which are inhalable and can enter the lungs. The plan is to introduce the PM procedure into the European Union as a reference procedure. The cost for fractionated SPM measurements is considerably higher than for measuring total suspended dust, because the measuring devices must be fitted with special, expensively constructed sampling heads that require costly maintenance.

For example, economic incentives and market-based instruments such as taxes and tax exemptions, tradable permits, and fees can be very effective to encourage compliance with environmental policy. Bilateral agreements between the government and private firms and commitments made by firms independent of government requirement are examples of voluntary environmental measures. Another instrument is the implementation of greener public purchasing programs.


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Several instruments are sometimes combined in a policy mix to address a certain environmental problem. Since environmental issues have many aspects, several policy instruments may be needed to adequately address each one. Furthermore, a combination of different policies may give firms greater flexibility in policy compliance and reduce uncertainty as to the cost of such compliance.

Government policies must be carefully formulated so that the individual measures do not undermine one another, or create a rigid and cost-ineffective framework. Overlapping policies result in unnecessary administrative costs, increasing the cost of implementation. The current reliance on a market-based framework is controversial, however, and many environmentalists contend that a more radical, overarching approach is needed than a set of specific initiatives, to deal with climate change. For example, energy efficiency measures may actually increase energy consumption in the absence of a cap on fossil fuel use, as people might drive more fuel-efficient cars.

Thus, Aubrey Meyer calls for a 'framework-based market' of contraction and convergence. The Cap and Share and the Sky Trust are proposals based on the idea. Environmental impact assessments EIA are conducted to compare impacts of various policy alternatives. Moreover, it is assumed that policymakers make rational decisions based on the merits of the project. Eccleston and March argue that although policymakers normally have access to reasonably accurate information, political and economic factors often lead to environmentally destructive decisions in the long run.


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  • The decision-making theory casts doubt on this premise. Irrational decisions are reached based on unconscious biases, illogical assumptions, and the desire to avoid ambiguity and uncertainty. Eccleston identifies and describes four of the most critical environmental policy issues facing humanity: water scarcity , food scarcity , climate change , and the population paradox.

    Synergic to the environmental policy is the environmental research and innovation policy. An example is the European environmental research and innovation policy , which aims at defining and implementing a transformative agenda to greening the economy and the society as a whole so to achieve a truly sustainable development. Europe is particularly active in this field, via a set of strategies, actions and programmes to promote more and better research and innovation for building a resource-efficient, climate resilient society and thriving economy in sync with its natural environment.

    Research and innovation in Europe are financially supported by the programme Horizon , which is also open to participation worldwide. The stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson 's New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in and strengthened the Environmental movement. Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson , then a U. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, became famous for his environmental work. At the time, Environmental Policy was a bipartisan issue and the efforts of the United States of America helped spark countries around the world to create environmental policies.

    The world's first minister of the environment was the British Politician Peter Walker from the Conservative Party in The German "Benzinbleigesetz" reduced Tetraethyllead since In the European Union, the very first Environmental Action Programme was adopted by national government representatives in July during the first meeting of the Council of Environmental Ministers. EU environmental policy has thus become a core area of European politics. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.

    Public participation as a principle in international environmental law was first articulated in Agenda One of the fundamental prerequisites for the achievement of sustainable development is broad public participation in decision making. Furthermore, in the more specific context of environment and development, the need for new forms of participation has emerged. This includes the need of individuals, groups and organizations to participate in environmental impact assessment procedures and to know about and participate in decisions, particularly those which potentially affect the communities in which they live and work.

    Subsequently this principle was included in many global and regional MEAs. The Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context guarantees non-discriminatory public participation in environmental impact procedures. Article 2 6 states that: The Party of origin shall provide … an opportunity to the public in the areas likely to be affected to participate in relevant environmental impact assessment procedures regarding proposed activities and shall ensure that the opportunity provided to the public of the affected Party is equivalent to that provided to the public of the Party of origin.

    A comprehensive approach to public participation is established by the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, which was adopted in and has now been ratified by 44 parties. Public participation is particularly important in environmental impact assessment EIA procedures. Furthermore, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has stressed the role that public participation should play: [Public] participation in decision-making is of key importance in efforts to tackle climate change ….

    So far scientific progress, while contributing to the well-being and comfort of humankind, has also had a significant, negative effect on the global environment. The consequences of this have recently drawn the attention of developed and developing nations and the world has united in its effort to face the challenge of global environmental degradation including climate change. In checking the progress of environmental degradation, a significant contribution has been made through the development of a framework of cooperation based on legal principles, such as sustainable development, intergenerational equity, prevention of harm, common but differentiated responsibility, the precautionary principle, the polluter pays principle and access to information and public participation in environmental decision-making good governance.

    The above-cited principles developed by jurists, environmentalists and policy-makers, if followed by all nations, are a great step forward in mitigating the environmental crisis. Many states and international organisations have already accepted these principles in broad outline; what is now needed is consensus that the principles have the force of law.

    The environment and interna The settlement of disputes Multinational corporations Biological diversity. We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

    Free trial voucher code. Invalid Search. Enter keywords, authors, DOI etc. Search History. Search history from this session 0. Metrics Views 4. In This Chapter Principles of international environmental law Introduction Sustainable development Precautionary principle Polluter pays principle Common but differentiated responsibilities Intergenerational equity Access to information and public participation good governance Conclusion.

    Some of them are universally accepted and frequently endorsed in state practice. The international community became concerned and to contain the damage, and also improve the environment, it recognised certain legal principles: for example, sustainable development, intergenerational equity, intra-generational equity, prevention of harm, common but differentiated responsibility, precaution, polluter pays, the right to a healthy environment and access to information and public participation in environmental decision-making good governance.

    These principles, though recognised by the international community, and in the absence of judicial decisions, opened a floodgate of conflicting interpretations making it difficult to determine their actual legal status. Each of these principles has to be interpreted in turn and their legal status should be considered taking into account the textual content, the transparency of the language and the circumstances of their creation.

    In the overall context of environmental governance many of these general principles are of less importance, but some play a significant role in protecting the environment and many states have already declared their allegiance to them. According to Jena, the conservation of nature and maintenance of ecological order, which preserves biodiversity and thereby makes life on Earth possible now and in the future, is the real meaning of sustainable development.

    It also recognised the fact that in order to achieve sustainable development environmental protection should constitute an integral part of the development process and must not be considered in isolation from it. Furthermore, treaties such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC recognise that all countries — especially developing countries — need access to resources required to achieve sustainable, social and economic development and thus acknowledged sustainable development as an instrument of interaction between states.

    This was, however, a minority decision. They do, however, agree with the proposition that the Icelandic Fisheries case and various treaties do support the existence of customary obligations to cooperate in the conservation and sustainable development of common property resources of the high seas. Handl in expressed the view that the notion of sustainable development has not yet become a norm of international law, but that it might in time even become a peremptory norm of international law. It is clear that a meaning of sustainable development, requiring activities to be carried out without causing harm to the environment, is broadly respected by the world community.

    Precautionary principle The precautionary principle provides guidance on the development and application of international environmental law in the absence of scientific certainty. Where there is no firm scientific evidence on the measures to be taken in a development activity that may have an environmental effect, the principle advocates protective anticipatory action. The precautionary principle provides that lack of scientific certainty should not be used as a reason to postpone measures to be taken for the protection of human life, health and environment. The precautionary principle was first advocated in the s under the name of Vorsorgeprinzip during discussions relating to West German environmental law.

    While it is difficult to find the existence of such a concept in early legal writings in the United States US , 24 C. Where a prima facie case is established that a measure or development programme may cause environmental damage, and there is a lack of full scientific certainty about the nature and dimension of the environmental damage that may happen if the activity is realised, this should not prevent action. Thus the principle obligates authorities to take precautionary measures where there is a lack of scientific certainty about the consequence of its action and induces authorities undertaking development activities based on exploitation of nature to take precautionary measures to minimise the possible degradation of nature.

    It also encourages such bodies to consider less intrusive alternative approaches. During the Third Conference on the Protection of the North Sea, ministers agreed to abide by the rules of this principle under the Bergen Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Development. The Declaration stated that the precautionary principle must serve as the foundation on which policies should be created in order to achieve sustainable development.

    Environmental degradation must be prevented with measures that predict and diminish threats to the environment. In cases where damage to the environment is inevitable, lack of scientific evidence should not be used to delay execution of measures to prevent environmental degradation. The amendment of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in London in added a precautionary measure as a further safeguard to protect the ozone layer. At the Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa, it was set forth that parties should put some effort into implementing the precautionary approach to pollution, which would in turn prevent the release of substances which may be toxic to humans or the environment, without waiting for scientific proof to affirm the presence of such harm.

    The parties would have to work together to implement the precautionary principle and would have to adopt hygienic production methods to inhibit pollution. A further example of the principle is seen in the Protocol to the regional Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Further Reduction of Sulphur Emissions, which called on states to take precautionary measures to predict, prevent and reduce hazardous air emissions and diminish their potentially detrimental effects.

    Similar to later protocols, it provides that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of scientific certainty should not be used to defer precautionary measures, taking into consideration that such measures would be worthwhile to invest financially. Although the Convention on Biological Diversity CBD does not put much emphasis on the precautionary principle it does state that in cases where there is a major risk of reduction or loss of biological diversity in significant magnitude, inadequate scientific knowledge should not be used as an excuse for delaying necessary measures to avoid or diminish such a threat.

    Furthermore, the precautionary approach contained in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration was reiterated in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. An outline of a plan for the application of the precautionary principle was presented as part of the Communication from the Commission on the Precautionary Principle. According to Birnie and Boyle, in spite of its importance and the novel and far-reaching effects of some applications, the late reception of the precautionary principle in international instruments suggests that it is not yet a principle of international law. Difficult questions, concerning the point at which it becomes applicable, remain unanswered and seriously undermine its normative character and realistic utility, although support for it does show greater prudence on the part of those states that intend to accept it.

    Sands remarks that the legal status of the principle is still evolving. Udemgba, noticing the progress that has been made at the international level relating to the application of the principle, agrees with Sands and remarks that the precautionary principle seems to be emerging as a customary norm. He considers that the uncertainties in the meaning, application and implications of the principle make it difficult to reach a conclusion that the precautionary principle is a rule of customary law.

    Polluter pays principle The polluter pays principle is essentially based on a commonsense approach for the mitigation of environmental degradation. Underlying the meaning of the polluter pays principle is the belief that when public authorities take measures to prevent potential and actual environmental damage, the expenses incurred should be borne by the person responsible for the pollution.

    Where it is required, the resource user should also meet the necessary expenses for implementation of technical regulations. It is also suggested that introduction of liability regimes be introduced to make resource users liable for causing environmental harm and thus pay for the pollution caused by their authorities. The OECD Council Recommendation concerning the Application of the Polluter-Pays Principle to Accidental Pollution provides that the principle implies that the operator of a hazardous installation is under an obligation to bear the cost of reasonable measures to prevent and control accidental pollution from that installation in conformity with domestic law before the occurrence of an accident in order to protect human health or the environment.

    One particular application of the polluter pays principle in the Recommendation consists of adjusting fees or taxes, in concurrence with domestic law, to pay more fully for the cost of certain exceptional measures to prevent and control unexpected pollution in specific hazardous installations. Such measures are taken by public authorities to protect human health and the environment, and must be rational and directly related to accident prevention or the control of accidental pollution released by the hazardous installation.

    Another application of the principle in the Recommendation consists of charging the cost of basic pollution control measures to the operator of the hazardous installation following an accident. Such a measure would allow the operator or the authorities to take prompt action, to completely avoid or at least minimise dissemination of environmental damage and to put a lid on the release of toxic substances, thus preventing any adverse effects on the environment. But public authorities may demand compensation from the person responsible for the accident. The principle was subsequently endorsed in when the European Community EC adopted a programme of action on the environment.

    It further provided that natural or legal persons must pay the price of such measures that are necessary to reduce or remove the pollution to meet the standards or equivalent measures laid down by public authorities.

    Handbook of Environmental Protection and Enforcement: Principles and Practice
    Handbook of Environmental Protection and Enforcement: Principles and Practice
    Handbook of Environmental Protection and Enforcement: Principles and Practice
    Handbook of Environmental Protection and Enforcement: Principles and Practice
    Handbook of Environmental Protection and Enforcement: Principles and Practice
    Handbook of Environmental Protection and Enforcement: Principles and Practice
    Handbook of Environmental Protection and Enforcement: Principles and Practice

Related Handbook of Environmental Protection and Enforcement: Principles and Practice



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