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UAE contains vehicular pollution

By Nada S. Mussallam / 17 February 2005

ABU DHABI — The UAE has contained the negative impact of transportation on its environment, an official has said.

The country, thanks to the procedures adopted by the authorities concerned, has succeeded in limiting the negative effects of the transport sector despite the tremendous development in the land, marine and air transport, said Salim Masri Al Dahiri, the Director-General of the Federal Environment Agency (FEA).

Addressing the opening session of a national symposium on ‘Development of Sustainable Transportation’ yesterday in the capital, Dahiri said the number of vehicles in the country shot up to 800,000 by the end of 2003. The country has devised strategies on transportation sector like usage of clean fuel, control of emissions and upgrading collective transportation, said Dahiri.

Regarding modifications of fuel, he said the UAE has taken several steps to reduce the effect of harmful emissions of different means of transportation. The most telling step was banning in January 2003 of leaded petrol in favour of the lead-free one, said Dahiri.

“The percentage of sulphur in diesel will be reduced as soon as the necessary studies by the specialised technical committee in the Ministry of Energy are ready,” he said.

In the field of air pollution monitoring, he said the bodies concerned have established more surveillance stations for monitoring air quality, especially in crowded areas in big cities to generate round-the-clock data on the quality.

Speaking at the first session of the symposium, Dr Saad Numairi, FEA’s Environment Consultant, said the inspection of 6,128 vehicles showed that 72.4 per cent of cars had carbon dioxide emissions within the allowed 4.5 per cent limit.

He said that 84.2 per cent of cars emitted hydrocarbonate gases while staying within the allowed limits (500/1 million), according to an inspection, which was part of a recent study held in cooperation with the Inspection and Licensing Section of the Traffic Department and the Abu Dhabi Municipality.

The one-day national symposium also focussed on ways of developing standards and measurement of reducing transportation-related pollution and the impact of harmful vehicular emissions on human health.
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