Temas Especiales

16 de Jan de 2021

Nacional

Anti-pollution norms are imperative

PANAMA. The Panamanian Environmental Advisory Enterprises Chamber (CAPECA) president, Jorge Lee Leon, said that certain governmental in...

PANAMA. The Panamanian Environmental Advisory Enterprises Chamber (CAPECA) president, Jorge Lee Leon, said that certain governmental institutions such as the National Environmental Authority (ANAM) should be moving forward the two decrees that regulate the emission of gases in vehicles and industries to solve the pollution problem in the country.

Lee Leon, an environmental engineer, said that a third norm should be put in place to regulate “air quality” with the aim of finding possible sources of atmospheric pollution and, at the same, time monitor air contaminants in different parts of the country.

The environmental engineer said that he expects the new norm to be published soon because it is imperative that the three regulations be implemented as soon as possible.

ANAM should have started a program to explain how to put these regulations into place last June, but nothing has happened yet, said Lee Leon.

He said that several companies have already starting writing their emission reports but it is imperative that the evaluation parameters are published so that CAPECA can give the necessary technical support to implement the new legislation.

Lee Leon said that the new norms are an important step towards improving air quality in Panama and that is why implementation of the rules is a very complex phase.

“ANAM will face a series of challenges. It needs to refine its technical knowledge of air quality parameters. A program must be developed to educate the public, including all vehicle owners, private and industrial. Computer models showing how pollutants disperse in the air and their environmental impact should be made and garages should be authorized to measure vehicles’ gas emissions,” said Lee Leon.

The engineer said that in Panama the air quality problem is concentrated in the metropolitan area where the main source of contaminants is motorized vehicles which generate 78 percent of hydrocarbons and 98 percent of carbon monoxide.

In addition to this, there are 1,627 manufacturing industries, of which 188 (16 percent) generate a fair amount of emissions.

However, there are no studies available about how air pollution is affecting Panamanians’ health although respiratory illnesses are among the principal causes of death in Panama, said the environmentalist.