ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) with the assistance of the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) was planning to conduct the first-ever carbon footprinting of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) industrial area.

The Pak-EPA was mandated with function under the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 (PEPA 1997) for the protection, conservation, and rehabilitation of the environment in ICT, a Pak-EPA official told APP while sharing an update of the ambitious initiative intended to gauge the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by anthropogenic activities of a particular person, group, sector, company or community.

The carbon dioxide gas emissions were responsible for driving the whopping effects of environmental degradation or climate change causing global warming and unleashing natural catastrophes of unprecedented volume. 

He said Pak-EPA in collaboration with the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ICCI) and all associations of industries were working together to make the first model green industrial zone of Pakistan, whereas, every step was being taken under the green and clean vision of the Prime Minister.

The Agency, he said, was arranging awareness lectures, seminars, and workshops regarding the use and introduction of green technologies in the industrial sector to abate the pollution issues within the country with the ICCI.

The official informed that mainly, there are two types of industrial wastes being monitored by Pak-EPA namely industrial liquid effluents or waste and industrial air emissions.

The EPA through its concerted efforts made visible progress in the ICT as in the case of liquid waste managed the Agency had notified National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) for Municipal and liquid Industrial Effluents and under S.R.O. 549(1)/2000 (Annex-I) Pak-EPA ensures the compliance of the said regulations within ICT through monitoring and inspection on a routine basis.

Moreover, all the steel furnaces situated in ICT had installed pollution abatement technology and Pak-EPA regularly monitors these steel units for ensuring the compliance of the NEQS. The steel plants had installed reverse bag carbon absorbing scrubbers that help contain dark smoke that used to be spewed into the atmosphere damaging human health and the environment. 

In order to ensure holistic compliance and acceptance of the environment-protecting technology, gradually every industry situated in ICT was being taken into the loop for the installation of pollution-reducing technology.

The EPA official informed that for controlling air pollution, the EPA had notified NEQS for ambient Air under S.R.O. 1062(I)/2010 (Annex-II) and NEQS for Industrial Gaseous Emission vide S.R.O. 549(I)/2000. 

The Agency ensured the compliance of the said Regulations within ICT through monitoring and inspection on a routine basis. 

Moreover, for tackling the water pollution from pharmaceutical industries, Pak-EPA was working for Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTPs) with the cooperation of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries to develop a strategy. To a query, he replied that the EPA had also conducted a 30-day ambient air quality survey of industrial areas of ICT in February 2018. 

However, it was regularly monitoring industrial areas to assess the pollution status of ICT due to these industries. 

Pak-EPA also takes legal actions against the industries when non-compliance with Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 and rules and regulations made thereunder, were observed, he added.