Performance Evaluation of the effectiveness of the program in curbing air pollution and gas emissions : SAB Kuwait

Performance Evaluation of the effectiveness of the program in curbing air pollution and gas emissions : SAB Kuwait


1. Introduction

The constitution of the State of Kuwait has guaranteed the protection of the environment vide annex (21) which summarizes that “the entirety of the environment’s national resources is owned fully by the State of Kuwait, to preserve and to use in accordance with national guidelines and safety measures”. The issue of environmental contamination has come under the spotlight from all sectors within the State of Kuwait, in which factors such as urban, industrial pollution, and increase in car gas emissions has led to a number of significant health hazards to the general well being of the citizens and the environment. Therefore, the decision number (42) on the Environment Protection Act and annex (48) on the protection of the air pollution from gas emissions, reports as follows:

“The Public Authority for the Environment is responsible for the continuous monitoring and assessing of the environment for any pollution and verifying its conclusions through research and continued commitment to the safety of the environment, according to worldwide environmental measures and regulations. It is also responsible for adhering to these measures and cooperating with the necessary third parties to decrease the risk of jeopardizing the safety of the environment.”

The Public Authority for the Environment and the United Nations Developmental Office (UNDP), have collaborated on a number of environmental related programs, such as Kuwait’s Cohesive Environmental Management program, which was part of the 2010-2014 developmental plans. The program strove to limit air pollution through its collaboration with the plants of Kuwait’s Oil Company, most especially near the southern region of the State of Kuwait.

As is in accordance with SAB’s auditing reports, a detailed assessment of the program will be outlined to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the program in curbing air pollution and gas emissions. The report will also include SAB’s conclusions and recommendations on the 2005 report regarding the region of Om Al Haiman.  The first edition dated 9/3/2014 is also discussed in attendance of the Public Authority for the Environment as well as SAB’s representatives, who have agreed on the terms within the report and SAB’s conclusions and subsequent recommendations, which will be monitored later and assessed in the future.

2. SAB’s conclusions and remarks:

  1. The quantity and varying quality of the programs aimed at assessing the air pollution and monitoring of gas emissions has assisted in minimizing the damage from emergency related industrial gas emissions, which has reflected on the effectiveness of the project planning program within the State’s growth projected plan.
  2. However, the limited number of completed projects within the State’s growth projected plan that are related to the safety of the environment has led to the ineffectiveness of the agreed upon recommendations that were outlined in the plan three years ago, thereby prolonging the time to benefit from the plans and its projected success rates in ridding the environment from pollution.
  3. There appears to be significant decrease in technical staff as well as technical supporting equipment, such as portable stations, portable labs, stationary as well as portable vehicles, which in turn effects the ability to accomplish the projected plans regarding the safety of the environment.
  4. It is not certain whether the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research’s involvement and monetary support has led to any significant positive results, whether through their collaboration in research programs with the Public Authority for the Environment, or through their efforts in reducing the risks of gas emissions and air pollution.
  5. A noticeable increase in sulfur dioxide (SO2) in several areas in the State of Kuwait during the year 2013, in which Faheehel and Al Ahmadi refinery, in particular, have exceeded the standard rates that were permissible.
  6. Increase in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in 2013 have exceeded the standard rates in all designated areas, but most especially in areas such as Faheehel, Al Salam, Al Mansouria, Al Gurian refinery, and Road refinery, which may be caused by car gas emissions (30%-35%), oil facilities, and energy plants.
  7. Faheehel area is considered to have the most polluted air in the State of Kuwait, in which NO2 rates were found to be significantly higher than the normal standards, due to the presence of oil and energy plants.
  8. With the help of Kuwait’s Oil Company and the Public Authority for the Environment, air pollution rates have recorded a decrease in average rates inside the area of Al Ahmadi residential, in which several key gas emission points have been closed down, as well as electricity plants, and relining the gas routes to lead outside the parameters of the residential area.
  9. Air pollution in the State of Kuwait can be designated at three key points: oil refineries, electricity plants, and water plants. These areas cause air pollution through the emissions of nitrogen, sulfur, and other dust particles that can effect the purity of the air.
  10. Records of high emissions of PM10, which are caused from sand storms, and which in turn can cause heart and lung failure.

3. Review to the Public Authority for the Environment’s response to SAB’s Om Al Haiman Audit report:

 11. Summarization of quick and strong response:

  1. The installation of the OPSIS station that monitors the air pollution in the areas from south the northern region of the State of Kuwait.
  2. Installing an environmental facility with four stations in the Industrial Al Shuaiba area, to monitor and asses the various air pollution related issues and to analyze the water, sand, and air samples for further research. Finalization of the contract to equip the facility with the needed supplies should be due by the end of 2014.
  3. The issuance of the ministry law no. (15) that passed in 10/1/2010, which prohibits any new non-environmental industrial plant or any non-environmentally friendly industrial related activity to take place in West Shuaiba area.12. While comparing the air pollution rates in Sabah Al Salam area from 2000-2004, with the 2013 rates, we have recorded the following:

    1. Most pollution is derived from gas emissions, which stem from oil facilities, burning of recycled trash, car waste, and energy plants, which in effect have adverse side effects on health safety from the high concentrated emissions of NO2, SO2, and dust particles.
    2. Decreased levels of gas omissions, and low levels of SO2, from Om Al Haiman area, which counts as a positive achievement towards the safety of the residential area, its residents, as well as the environment.

  1. In regard to the discrepancies found in reports, measures, and lack of accurate data:
  1. The response of the Public Authority for the Environment came through the transference of all air pollution audit related data accordingly.
  1. The response of the Public Authority for the Environment regarding the discrepancy in their reporting of pollution rates was justified as an occurrence of too many factors that may have affected the pollution standards and which may not always be present, such as sand storms, and weather occurrences.

 4. SAB’s Recommendations

            High risk recommendations:

  1. Equip the environmental facility in industrial Shuaiba area with the necessary equipment to allow it to achieve its target in limiting the air pollution and gas emissions.
  2. Work at completing the project plan for the management and control of air pollution and gas emissions in the environment of the State of Kuwait.
  3. Enforce that all industrial plants and companies monitor their gas emissions through specific equipment’s that can help asses air pollution, in accordance with the annex no (79), decision no. (210), which passed in 2001, on air quality.
  4. Limit the average standard rates of gas emission to below average, especially NO2 emissions by electing a national and technical panel that involves all related governmental agencies.
  5. Analyze the reasons for the low-income budget allocated to environmental plans and why some programs did not benefit from the monitory sums that were allocated during their designated time line.
  6. Work to increase the number of consultant staff to the need and strengthen the competencies and skills of the technical and support staff, as well as increase the needed equipment’s and vehicles.

            Medium risk recommendations:

  1. The necessary allocation of a permanent facility to the staff representing the Southern Area Environmental Operations, so as to provide support and constant supervision to the area and its residents.
  2. Conduct research towards initiating a new refinery to support the needs of the Water and Electricity Ministry, and to conduct a project to increase the levels of renewable energy to Kuwait’s Oil Company to produce gas oil with low SO2 emissions.

      Low risk recommendations:

  1. Conduct follow up reports on whether the Public Authority for the Environment has benefited from the research projects it funded, as well as on its project to curb air pollution with the World Bank.
  2. Expand on informing the citizens of the dangers of air pollution and gas emissions and to showcase to the general public the results of the constant monitoring and assessment tests done to check air pollution and gas emissions.




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