The Central Environmental Authority has a well equipped Laboratory which is capable of carrying out extensive tests and measurements in water quality, air quality, noise and vibrations. Analytical testing facilities are provided under commercial basis for those who need water, air, noise, soil and solid waste testing facilities.
Annual averages of ambient PM10 level in Colombo over the years have remained relatively within the 60 to 82 µg/m3 range with a slight decreasing trend from 1998 to 2011. The peak was recorded in 2001(Figure 1). It was observed that sharp decrease for 2009 again started to increase. These values, however, consistently exceeded WHO latest guideline value of 50 µg/m3 for PM-10. Thus Colombo city is very unhealthy in terms of its particulate pollution. However, there is a slight decreasing trend of PM-10 from 1998 to 2012 (Figure 1).
Source: Central Environmental Authority (Year2012)
Figure 1: Annual averages of PM-10 at Colombo Fort ambient air quality monitoring Station (1998-2012)
Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Carbon monoxide, Ozone and Pm-10 in ambient air were monitored from 1998 to 2008 at Colombo Fort . However only the parameter PM10 was measured to ascertain the air quality of the Colombo city as other instruments are out of order to measure other parameters from 2008.
In control of ambient air quality in Sri Lanka, it is mandatory to control source emissions as well as non-source emissions. As a strategy for source emission control, the Central Environmental Authority has finalized Source Emission Control standards for Sri Lanka. These standards were approved by Board of Management of the CEA and allowed to practice as interim standard until gazetted under National Environmental Act. During the year 2012, five stack emission measurements have been carried out with the available limited resources.
Isalandwide mobile ambient air quality monitoring programme was initiated by Air Noise vibration monitoring unit of CEA by using automated ambient air quality monitoring station provided by Vehicle Emission Test Trust fund.
Vehicle emission testing program is implemented to control air pollution caused by vehicles and officers of this unit engage road side monitoring activities occasionally. In addition the vehicle emission testing program and VET centers are monitored on regular basis to make it public benefitted program through controlling air pollution caused by vehicles.
Source Emission standards are being formulating at present and will be published as a regulation in near future. However, at present source emissions are controlled by interim emission standards established by the CEA.
Central Environmental Authority is the National Implementing Agency for program on Male’ Declaration on Control and Prevention of Air Pollution and it’s likely Tran boundary effects for South Asia. Air Noise & vibration monitoring unit is carrying out the study of trans-boundary air pollution monitoring program under Male Declaration in parallel to other South Asian countries. With the use of passive samplers, ambient air quality analysis are carried out at the above sampling site and Dutuwewa for NO2, SO2 and O3. Also measurement of particulate matter concentrations in ambient air is carrying out in weekly basis at Doramadalawa monitoring site.
Acid Rain Monitoring
Under Male Declaration project Air Quality Noise & vibration monitoring unit is carrying out acid rain monitoring program to identify any possible acid rains due to trans-boundary air pollution. Under this program sampling site is identified under the recommendation of Male Project Monitoring committee in Doramadalawa, Mihinthale and rain water collected in wet only collectors and bulk collectors are analyzed for Ph, Conductivity Anions concentrations, cations concentrations and amount of precipitation.
Emission Inventory Preparation
The Air Noise & Vibration Monitoring unit of Central Environmental Authority was selected as the regional centre for south Asian Region for emission inventory preparation. National and international training workshops were held in May 2012 under Male Declaration on Control and prevention of air pollution and its likely trans-boundary effects for south Asia. The main objective of national training was to initiate data collection network through stakeholder organizations with provide basic hands on experience on emission inventory. The main objective of international training was to provide hands on experience on Compilation of emission inventory and development of integrated assessment modelling which is a prime requirement in air quality management. At the end of the year 2012, all participating countries prepared emission inventories for year 2005 by using available data.
Noise and Vibration Measurements / Industrial Noise Measurements.
Noise pollution is also a major environmental problem causing public nuisance in Sri Lankan community. Laboratory receives many complaints on noise pollution caused by industrial activities and community activities. Technical committee was formed to amend national Noise control regulations comprising technical experts on noise. New regulation was prepared are going to be gazetted after preparation of Code of Practices. Noise measurements are carried out for compliance monitoring. In addition to that laboratory engages noise level measurements on commercial basis made by clients.
Regulations for vehicle horn noise control was gazzeted and Vehicle horn noise testing program was implemented to aware and control noise pollution caused by vehicles.
In the mean time unit is planning to expand its testing facilities to test the quality of fossil fuels since the major sources of air pollution is poor quality fossil fuels used in transport sector , power generation and industrial activities. Expansion of testing facilities will help us to check the compliance of fuel quality with existing emission related standards published under NEA.