Air Quality Management and Emissions Inventory Workshop Held in Shanghai

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08 April 2015, SHANGHAI—The Workshop for Air Quality Management and Emissions Inventory was jointly held by Clean Air Asia and Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center on March 24-25 in Shanghai. The workshop is aimed at strengthening attendees’ capacities for the development and management of an emissions inventory for the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region.

An emissions inventory is an account of the total amount of pollutants discharged into the atmosphere, which makes it an essential building block for measuring and managing air quality. The development of an emissions inventory has been conducted progressively in provinces and cities in the YRD region according to the government’s local Action Plan on Air Pollution Prevention and Control.

Over 50 engineers and researchers from 16 organizations attended the workshop. The participants represented various agencies, which includes Environmental Monitoring Centers, the Research Academy of Environmental Science, the Environmental Protection Bureau, and universities from the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui and from the cities of Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Ningbo.

Three emissions inventory experts, Julie McDill, senior environmental engineer, Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association and Dr. Bai Song, senior air quality scientist of Sonoma Technology, Inc from the U.S. and Dr. Tazuko Morikawa, senior researcher of Japan Automobile Research Institute attended the event and presented on their experience and practice of emissions inventory development.

Dr. Fu Lu, China Director of Clean Air Asia, hosted the opening ceremony and Ms. Fu Qingyan, Chief Engineer of Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center (SEMC) delivered the welcome speech. The workshop was conducted in three sessions. During the first session, experts from the U.S. and Japan presented on the following topics: Regional Emissions Inventory in U.S., Estimating Emissions and Air Quality Impacts from Crop Residue Burning, and Emissions Inventory in Japan with a focus on mobile sources. The second session focused on the progress on emissions inventories conducted in Zhejiang Province, Jiangsu Province and Shanghai City and how to determine the effectiveness of the monitoring data and the local clean air action plan in Nanjing and YRD region through an application of their respective emissions inventories.

The final session was a roundtable that focused on the current status and challenges and necessary workplans and support needed associated with emissions inventories in all participating provinces and cities in YRD region. The closing session was chaired by Ms. Liu Juan, Vice Director of SEMC and Dr. Fu Lu.

Key inputs from from theinternational experts include the following:

  • A comprehensive collection of emissions activity data is the most important aspect in the development of an emissions inventory.
  • Localized factors and models can improve the accuracy of an emissions inventory.
  • Cross-sectoral coordination mechanisms need to be established to ensure the comprehensiveness and validity of resulting the data gathered.
  • The development of a complete emissions inventory is time-consuming. Under the circumstance of limited resources, priority actions must be identified in every stage. The emissions inventory process must undergo constant improvement as it is conducted.Understanding the level of efforts needed in each stage of development in advance is necessaryin order to facilitate the smooth development of the emissions inventory.

The capacity level and progress of provinces and cities in the YRD region vary considerably in the development of an emissions inventory. Major challenges in an emissions inventory include the following:

  • Because emission factors adopted in emissions inventories are generally from other countries or from national guidelines, the resulting process may be inaccurate owing to the lack of localized factors.
  • It is difficult to collect comprehensive and accurate activity data, particularly data from area sources andnon-road sources as these are often quite limited.
  • There is a shortage in technical support and training for emissions inventories. There is also a lack of clarity in how emissions inventories can be applied to air quality modeling as well as policy formulation.
  • Careful valuation and validation of the emissions inventory should conducted as there exists the inconsistency of air quality between monitoring value and simulation value based on the application of emission inventory to the model.
  • The guidelines and models adopted for developing an emissions inventory by different cities are not uniform, detailed localized guidelines are needed.
  • The lack of guidelines and norm of data reporting leads to the inaccuracy of data from industries and the heavy workload of data processing.

The representatives identified the following needs to address the above mentioned problems:

  • The need to further understand the emission activities of industries, and to be equipped with the knowledge necessary in selecting the typical enterprises to conduct on-site testings of emission factors, and the set up of a database of localized emission factors.
  • The need to establish a cross-sectoral coordination mechanism for comprehensive and accurate data collection.
  • The need for training on emissions inventory application to air quality models and the input of experts to present domestic and international experiences.
  • The need to establish localized emissions inventory development guidelines and regular updating mechanisms.
  • The need to for a regional platform for sharing data, technology, and existing results to strengthen the exchange and cooperation in the YRD region.

Clean Air Asia also conducted a survey covering questions related to workshop effectiveness. Twenty-three complete questionnaires were collected. 100% of respondents thought the emission inventory is imperative work for their respective provinces and cities, and the workshop was highly helpful and appreciated. Based on the participants’ feedback on challenges and needs, Clean Air Asia will continue providing technical support tailored to the YRD region and develop a long-term regional learning and communication platform.

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