Cape Town to monitor air quality near Chevron Oil Refinery

South Africa. The City of Cape Town has purchased two Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) analysers to monitor air quality for substances like benzene and toluene near oil refinery areas.

One of these highly sophisticated analysers will be installed near the Chevron oil refinery in Milnerton to scientifically monitor the quality of air in the area.

“The analyser will measure the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air, thus alerting the municipality to any transgressions of acceptable standards with potential health risks to exposed population groups,” says Dr Ivan Toms, Executive Director of City Health.

The second VOC analyser will be installed at a monitoring station in Cape Town’s central business district.

In a report to the City’s Health Portfolio Committee, Dr Toms confirmed that funding of R300 000 has been confirmed by the Royal Danish Embassy for a research project to quantify and determine the spatial distribution of VOC emissions.

“This showcases the city’s commitment to constantly improve its air quality management programme,” said Councillor James Vos, Chairperson of the Health Portfolio Committee.

Tremendous strides have also been made in the household, traffic and business surveys, which form part of the Khayelitsha Air Pollution Strategy Project (KAPS).

The KAPS is a partnership between the city and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and the University of Cape Town. The project is funded by the Poverty Alleviation programme of the national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

It aims to improve air quality in informal areas of the city.

It involves detailed surveys of households, businesses and other sources of air pollution in Khayelitsha in order to establish an emissions database and analyse future scenarios of air quality.

“Once the data has been analysed, City Health will start developing appropriate interventions in partnership with the affected communities. This is but one of the steps that the city will take to intensify the campaign on air quality management,” Mr Vos added.

From 1 January to 30 September, the city paid 1 628 visits to facilities in response to complaints of possible contraventions of the Air Pollution Control by-law.

During the same period, random tests were conducted on 6 158 vehicles by City Health’s diesel vehicle testing teams. Of these, 88 failed to comply with the provisions of the by-law.

A total of 131 warnings were issued and 30 certificates of approval issued.

Another 110 diesel vehicles operated by nine companies at Cape Town International Airport were also tested, and 12 were found to have transgressed the city’s stringent air quality standards.

Source: BuaNews

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