The Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has vowed to revise its emission standards for the coal-fired powerplant (CFP) sector.
This was stated by Atty. Jonas Leones, Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs of the DENR, during a follow-up meeting with Clean Air Asia early in September.
The current national emission standards for CFPs are among the most lenient in the region based on a comparative study by Clean Air Asia and have not been updated for 23 years. Clean Air Asia is supporting DENR through a technical study under the “Pathways for Clean Air and Clean Energy Project.”
Air quality dispersion modeling will be conducted in the proposed study geographical domain to assess the air quality benefits of adopting more stringent emission standards for CFPs.
Air quality models* help to characterize the primary and secondary pollutants emitted directly into the atmosphere. These models are used in air quality management to identify the source contributions to air pollution and help create a strategy to effectively limit the pollution from these sources.
“This is an opportunity for Clean Air Asia to assist in providing a solid, scientific basis for the upgrade of emission standards for the CFP sector, to achieve cleaner and healthier air in the country,” said Atty. Glynda Bathan-Baterina, Deputy Executive Director at Clean Air Asia.
In addition to the air quality dispersion modeling, Clean Air Asia will conduct with EMB an exceedance analysis to determine CFP compliance with current emission standards and an impact assessment to evaluate the health and economic benefits of revised emission standards. Following this, Clean Air Asia will support DENR in policy development and facilitate stakeholder consultations to ensure buy-in for the proposed revised emission standards.
Region-wide, the Pathways for Clean Air and Clean Energy Project has been providing support to the Governments of the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia in the upgrade to and implementation of more stringent emission standards for CFPs. Clean Air Asia has also established a regional Community of Practice (CoP) on reducing emissions from the CFP sector and other heavy industries in 2021. Co-learning opportunities are made available to Asian governments through CoP to help achieve clean air and clean energy in Asia.
*US Environment Protection Agency, (n.d.). Air Quality Models. Retrieved on 21 September 2023 from https://www.epa.gov/scram/air-quality-models