WHO Releases Resource Addressing Air Quality Management
The World Health Organisation has released an online database with more than 100 United Nations tools and documents that can be used by businesses and communities to develop air quality management strategies.
The report offers general air quality management strategies, screening tools, and a comprehensive survey to help understand areas that need more resources. The database also includes a cost-benefit analysis of air quality management, monitoring methods, funding opportunities, and educational programmes from UN agencies and international institutions.
The WHO says more than 6,700 cities and 117 countries are now monitoring air quality, and WHO is a custodial agency for three air pollution-related Sustainable Development Goals. One piece of those goals is making air pollution data publicly available.
According to the WHO, even though more than 60% of countries have air quality standards, most are not aligned with the WHO’s air quality guidelines. The organisation says standards are not stringent enough across various pollutants or times when air quality is at its worst, and that resources should be provided to develop, align, and implement air quality management systems.
For businesses, air quality management can impact their sustainability efforts. Industries can also have regulations set against how many pollutants can be emitted by a facility or the emissions points at that facility, or limits based on fuels or materials.
The main regulation on air quality in the United States is the Clean Air Act. Earlier in 2022, the EPA made a multi-million-dollar settlement with Crescent Point Energy and EP Energy for violations at oil and gas production facilities in Utah, for example of Clean Air Act enforcement.
The WHO tool also offers resources to measure air quality. Additionally, it provides models to identify various pollutants and means to predict changes in air quality in specific areas.
The report is the result of work with the UN Economic Commission for Europe, the UN Environment Programme, the World Meteorological Organization, and the World Bank. A complementary report is set to be released in the coming weeks on air quality in cities which will look at the connection between air quality management and topics such as policy, impact assessments, and the valuation of health costs and training programs, among other issues.
Source: Environmental Leader