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Abu Dhabi issues decree to improve air quality, cut noise

ABU DHABI, May 10, 2024

Abu Dhabi has issued a decree which aims to preserve the environment, improve ambient air quality, reduce air pollutants emitted from stationary and mobile sources, and keep noise levels within permissible limits in the emirate.
 
Decree No (2) of 2024 regarding the air quality system in Abu Dhabi has been issued by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD).
 
The provisions of the air quality system apply to all projects and establishments operating in Abu Dhabi, and their work requires obtaining an environmental licence from EAD to protect the ambient air. The Agency will prepare the executive decisions, practice guides, and the necessary guidelines to implement the provisions of this system and issue them as part of its annexes.
 
Ambient air quality
According to the decree, EAD will monitor and evaluate ambient air quality through environmental monitoring networks and periodically sampling monitor and evaluate air pollutants in accordance with the maximum limits for concentrations of ambient air pollutants.
 
Furthermore, there will be coordination with relevant authorities to identify monitoring sites and ambient air pollutants that should be measured by them. EAD will also evaluate the performance and effectiveness of ambient air quality monitoring stations and create plans and initiatives to develop the air quality monitoring network.
 
Among the tasks undertaken by EAD is the management of ambient air quality standards. This includes undertaking the task of setting the maximum limits for concentrations of ambient air pollutants in Abu Dhabi to ensure the protection of public health and environmental systems in coordination with the concerned authorities. EAD will also work with the authorities to ensure that the maximum concentration limits of relevant and applicable ambient air pollutants are not exceeded. 
 
Additionally, EAD will prepare and review environmental studies and research to demonstrate the extent to which natural sources contribute to cases of exceeding ambient air quality standards and make recommendations based on their findings. The Agency will also develop precautionary measures and response plans to deal with cases of exceeding the concentration of ambient air pollutants from natural sources in coordination with the concerned authorities.
 
Controlling emissions
The decree also addresses the Agency's tasks regarding controlling emissions from stationary sources. This includes setting standards and requirements for the project or facility that must implement a continuous monitoring system for its emissions. The decree also sets conditions and requirements for facilities when adopting a continuous emissions monitoring system.
 
The decree also specifies the owners’ responsibilities when it comes to standards, specifications and technical requirements, for obtaining the necessary environmental licences. It also states that an owner can apply to the EAD to obtain a temporary exception permit to exceed the noise or maximum limits for air pollutant emissions according to specific conditions.
 
Regarding noise levels, EAD will periodically monitor and evaluate noise levels through its monitoring networks, and coordinate with the concerned authorities to take all necessary precautionary measures to ensure that the maximum permissible noise limits are not exceeded. The agency will also manage the database of air quality, noise and emissions from stationary sources.
 
The decree also highlights the role of EAD in encouraging innovation by adopting new and effective ideas, initiatives, projects, solutions and technologies to reduce emissions with the aim of improving the ambient air quality in Abu Dhabi, as well as developing programmes and mechanisms for environmental incentives in the field of protecting the surrounding air from pollution. 
 
Ensuring compliance
Moreover, using techniques, equipment, modern technology and artificial intelligence methods will be part of the monitoring and inspection operations, ensuring compliance with the requirements of the system.
 
The decree also specified the Agency’s role in raising awareness and educating people. In its role, EAD will coordinate with the concerned authorities, prepare and implement education and awareness programmes for community members and owners about the environmental damage of air and noise pollution. 
 
It will also provide information about legislation related to air quality and noise, decisions, standard operating procedures, and relevant technical guidance manuals, in order to comply and reduce violations and administrative penalties.
 
EAD will also be responsible for stimulating the development and implementation of research projects in the field of air protection. This will be done through partnerships with researchers and specialists in scientific research centres and universities, as well as motivating and encouraging all owners to follow the best environment-friendly technologies.--TradeArabia News Service
 



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