Sunday, June 24, 2012

Air Pollution News & Alerts - June 24th, 2012

India Together, June, 2012
Environmental Records in India.

The Telegraph, June 21st, 2012
Rio+20: Nick Clegg blames China for 'disappointing text'.

Environment News Service, June 21st, 2012
Rio+20: Billions Committed for Sustainable Energy, Transport.

EDF, June 21st, 2012
Proposed Soot Standards Long Overdue.

Phys.Org, June 21st, 2012
UN aims at universal access to clean energy by 2030.

People's World, June 21st, 2012
Senate blocks GOP attack on clean air regulations.

The Hindu Business Line, June 21st, 2012
Climate change, courtesy coal.

New York Times, May 20th, 2012
Cooking Up a Cleaner, Safer Open-Fire Stove.

PTleader, June 20th, 2012
Up in smoke: Woodstoves are air pollution offenders.

New York Times, June 20th, 2012
Businesses Take Action to Clean Up London’s Air.

China Dialogue, June 20th, 2012
20 years of China’s public voice.

NPR, June 19th, 2012
Rio Environment Meeting Focuses On 'Energy For All.

NRDC Switchboard, June 19th, 2012
The Price of Pollution Politics.

Mongolia News, June 18th, 2012
MPs initiates a Special Tax law on coal export.

Mongolia News, June 18th, 2012
Mongolian Engineers Invent Duobuses of New Model.

DoE Pulse, June 18th, 2012
Berkeley Lab scientists tackle air pollution in Mongolia.

Talk Vietnam, June 16th, 2012
Pollution in Hanoi.
Pollution in Hanoi.

Times of India, June 16th, 2012
Garbage Fire Turns Perungudi into a gas chamber.

Bangkok Post, June 16th, 2012
Regulate this silent killer in Bangkok.

Norden, June 16th, 2012
Nordic Workshop on action related to Short Lived Climate Forcers.

Norden, June 16th, 2012
Svalbard Declaration on Shortlived Climate Forcers.

Info Mongolia, June 15th, 2012
Reducing Air Pollution in Ulaanbaatar.

Huffington Post, June 15th, 2012
New Soot Pollution Standard Benefits Americans, Saves Lives.

China Daily, June 15th, 2012
Mongolia seeks int'l cooperation to improve air quality in capital city.

Kafila, June 14th, 2012
The (Auto)Rakshasa and the Citizen.

People's Daily Online, June 14th, 2012
FM: China endeavoring to improve air quality.

Times of India, June 14th, 2012
Clean air programme for Delhi ready for roll out.

UB Post, June 14th, 2012
Drivers who do not pay taxes will be fined.

China Daily, June 13th, 2012
Clearing the air on measuring pollution.

The Atlantic, June 13th, 2012
China Has No Good Answer to the U.S. Embassy Pollution-Monitoring.

US Department of State, June 13th, 2012
U.S.-India Bilateral Cooperation on Energy and Climate Change.

New York Times, June 12th, 2012
W.H.O. Declares Diesel Fumes Cause Lung Cancer.

China Daily, June 12th, 2012
Coal will still fuel economic miracles.

Washington Post, June 12th, 2012
Most Chinese adults prioritize environment over economy.

Next Big Future, June 12th, 2012
Air Pollution by Location and Incremental Effect from Coal Plants.

Today Online, June 9th, 2012
Fuel surprises.

Ceylon Daily News, June 9th, 2012
Needed: development of a people-friendly transport strategy.

Financial Express, June 9th, 2012
Bogota model: Developing Dhaka as a pedestrian-friendly city.

People's Daily Online, June 8th, 2012
China needs time, room to improve air quality.

Business Standard, June 8th, 2012
Delhi only Indian city to get average green label.

Mid Day, June 8th, 2012
Non-motorised transport cell does little to promote cycling.

The Hindu, June 7th, 2012
Air quality in Delhi is fast worsening.

Santiago Times, June 7th, 2012
Government report shows severe dangers of Chile’s air pollution.

Christian Science Monitor, June 6th, 2012
Heat-absorbing ceramic stoves cut fuel use.

Prevention Web, June 6th, 2012
On the eve of Rio+20 world remains on unsustainable track despite hundreds of internationally agreed goals and objectives.

Wall Street Journal, June 6th, 2012
Urban Journal: Why Everyone Should Want Delhi’s BRT.

Times of India, June 6th, 2012
Trends of ambient air quality in city.

Wall Street Journal, June 6th, 2012
Garbage Problems Piling Up, World Bank Warns.

TIME, June 6th, 2012
Conflict in the Air: U.S. Vows to Keep Reporting on Pollution in China.

Shanghai Daily, July 5th, 2012
Air quality improving after city action plans.

Reuters, June 5th, 2012
China says only it has right to monitor air pollution.

The Hindu, June 5th, 2012
Rising car ridership worsening pollution, congestion in Delhi.

Wall Street Journal, June 5th, 2012
China to U.S.: Stop Monitoring Our Air.

Bloomberg, June 5th, 2012
EPA Allows Some States to Use Emissions Trading in Cross-State Rule to Reduce Haze.

China.Org, June 5th, 2012
Beijing bordering province to clear air.

Pakistan Today, June 4th, 2012
Poor planning in bus transit system causing hardships to people.

Environmental Health News, June 4th, 2012
Pollution, Poverty, People of Color: The factory on the hill.

EurActiv, May 31st, 2012
Euro 5 emissions standards for cars.

Wall Street Journal, May 31st, 2012
Air Pollution Fuels Hospital Visits in Hong Kong.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Why BRT is Better for Future Urban Transport (WSJ)

From Wall Street Journal, June 6th, 2012

The push back against Delhi’s Bus Rapid Transit seems like an unnecessary waste of time and energy, just delaying the inevitable. This is because Delhi’s reliance on private cars, two-wheelers and even auto-rickshaws is not sustainable in the long-term. Here are some reasons why:

Fuel Prices:

Last month, petrol prices were raised 11.5% to 73.18 rupees per liter in Delhi. The outcry at this perceived attack on the “aam aadmi,” or common man (who anyway remains largely unaffected because he rides a bicycle), has been sizeable, and laughable at times. A Hindustan Times opinion piece says “its psychological impact… has been devastating. The night before [the price increase], long queues had formed at petrol pumps as if tanking up would save cars and two-wheelers from Armageddon.”

A recent policy brief by the American Public Transportation Association examines how public transportation “protects Americans [and everyone else] from gas price volatility.” While it states that an increase in petrol prices will cause a shift from automobiles (and other private modes) to public transport, a less obvious finding is that “the decline in ridership [on public transport] when gas prices fall is not as great as the increase in ridership when gas prices rise; the long-term effect is an increase in ridership.”

The price of fuel may fluctuate in the short term, now that it is a deregulated commodity. But ultimately fuel is a diminishing resource. It is elementary economics that as supply decreases (and demand increases), prices will rise. An efficient BRT in Delhi, which when implemented system-wide, would provide an attractive public transport alternative.

Congestion Pricing is Coming to Delhi:

In early 2010, under a Delhi High Court order, a Special Task Force was set up to study problems related to traffic congestion in the city. Among the subsequent proposals, congestion pricing was recommended for heavy vehicles entering Delhi and all vehicles entering certain congested parts of the city’s center and old quarter.
In December 2011, news broke that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi planned to charge car drivers 150 rupees ($2.70) and motorbike riders 50 rupees during the day (residents of congestion zones would be exempt in their area). Even though experts believe the plan would be difficult to implement in Delhi, it remains an option that may well be turned to in the future (or may manifest itself as an increased tax on fuel in the city).

Increase in Parking Fees:

The Special Task Force also recommended a re-evaluation of parking practices in Delhi. According to Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director of research and advocacy at the Center for Science and Environment, scarce urban land is being offered for parking, in what perpetuates a “hidden subsidy” to car owners. It also raises some equity concerns. “More land is allotted for one car slot while building a multilevel parking structure than to a low cost housing scheme for poor people. A car needs about 23 square meters to be comfortably parked, but a very poor family in Delhi gets a plot of just 18-25 square meters,” she said.

The National Urban Transport Policy also recommends that parking should be used as a restraint measure that discourages the use of private vehicles, thereby making public transport more attractive.
And the Delhi Government is looking into it. In early May, Delhi’s Transport Department posted a public notice inviting feedback on the proposal to increase parking fees. Existing fees range from about 10-20 rupees an hour, but the new proposal is to charge a fee of 50 rupees for the first three hours during peak times and 30 rupees for the first three off-peak hours. After this, every subsequent peak hour will cost 30 rupees, and every off-peak hour 20 rupees. The proposal also includes a monthly charge of 1,500 rupees for residents, who have been parking for free until now.

Finite Road Space:

Approximately 21% of Delhi’s land area is occupied by roads, which is among the highest worldwide, according to the task force. And with much of the city developed, there is very little scope for adding more. Additional roads do little to alleviate the problem anyway. Drivers are tempted to travel on the newest roads, soon bringing congestion levels back to where they were initially, and often even making them worse. The flyovers between AIIMS and Dhaula Kuan on the Ring Road illustrate this well. The only option now is to manage our traffic by prioritizing buses, which occupy only 2.5 times the road space that a car needs and carry up to 40 times as many people.


For those of us who sneeze and wheeze through Delhi, this is probably the most important reason. The Centre for Science and Environment last year said that the health of everyone who travels on urban roads regularly or lives near them is at serious risk.  “About 55% of Delhi’s population lives within 500 meters of such roads – and is therefore, prone to a variety of physical disorders,” it said.

With increasing car-ownership and congestion, and thanks to some good policies being put in place by the Delhi Government, it is going to get harder and more expensive to drive in Delhi. It would be smart to put our weight behind sustainable public transport. We need an efficient system that puts a network of buses running on dedicated lanes within an easy walking distance from our front doors, connected with an extended metro system.

If you do want to continue driving, despite the rising fuel prices, high parking fees and congestion charges, you should still support the BRT: it just may take some cars that are competing for space with you off the road. Now that is an outcome we should all be rooting for.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

China to US - Stop Tweeting Air Quality Data from Beijing (WSJ)

From Wall Street Journal

It’s well-known that China’s government isn’t pleased with the U.S. diplomatic mission’s trio of Twitter feeds dedicated to publicizing independent air quality measurements in major Chinese cities. But is the highly popular initiative a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations?

The answer, according to one top Chinese environmental official, is yes. And not only that, they may be violation of Chinese law as well.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Wu Xiaoqing, China’s vice minister of environmental protection, said the monitoring and publicizing of air quality data was the sole province of the Chinese government.

“Some foreign embassies and consulates in China are monitoring air quality and publishing the results themselves,” Mr. Wu was quoted by the state-run Xinhua news agency as saying. “It is not in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and it is also against relevant environmental protection regulations.”

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing has used the @BeijingAir Twitter account to publish hourly air quality readings – based on measurements of air pollution particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, also known as PM2.5, that are considered especially damaging to human health – since 2008.

The U.S. consulate in the southern city of Guangzhou followed suit with @GuangzhouAir in June last year, and the consular mission in Shanghai joined in May with the launch of @CGShanghaiAir.

Twitter has been blocked in China since 2009, but Chinese users have been able to the U.S. data through a handful of third-party mobile apps. In November, several Chinese celebrities cited discrepancies between Chinese and U.S. air quality index readings in launching on online campaign to press Beijing to measure air pollution more accurately.

Two months later, municipal authorities in Beijing began releasing their own PM2.5 data, previously restricted to researchers.

The Chinese government has complained about the Twitter feeds before. In 2009, according to a WikiLeaks cable, China’s Foreign Ministry called a meeting with U.S. diplomatic officials during which Chinese officials complained the U.S. data might “confuse” the Chinese public because it conflicted with China’s own published air quality readings, based on larger pollution particles referred to as PM10. Since then, Chinese officials have complained publicly about the publication of the U.S. data, saying the air monitoring stations, based inside U.S. diplomatic compounds, provide an incomplete picture.

The U.S. embassy has said it maintains the Twitter feeds for the benefit of the American community in China and does not intend the data to be seen as comprehensive.

It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted Mr. Wu’s comments Tuesday, though the timing suggests he may have been responding to the recent launch of the Shanghai monitoring station.

The U.S. Embassy declined to comment on Mr. Wu’s allegations that the air quality monitoring stations were a violation of the Vienna Convention.

Online reaction to the comments on Tuesday afternoon suggested Chinese Internet users didn’t exactly share Mr. Wu’s concerns about diplomatic protocol.

“Can’t the Ministry of Environmental Protection just control the air quality? What’s the point in flapping your gums?” wrote one user of the popular Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo.

“Does that mean we’re interfering in other countries’ internal affairs when we broadcast the global weather forecast?” asked another. “Are we promoting hegemonism?”

China announced in late February that it planned to include PM2.5 readings in national air quality standards and would expand monitoring of the smaller particles to all cities at the prefecture level or above by 2015. Still unclear, however, is how much of that data will be made public.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Waste Management Problems in Tourist Resorts of India

...Most hotels try to maximise the number of rooms, even if they block the best views of the Himalayan peaks in the process. The three major resorts are fast becoming concrete jungles.

With tourists from all over India and the world moving into Kashmir in droves, rubbish now threatens not just the ecology but the tourism industry itself. Environmentalists are already expressing their concerns about the policy paralysis.

Environmental experts maintain that construction should be prohibited within these resorts. But the government has not only allowed construction of hotels right on the most scenic spots, but has also failed to provide adequate disposal systems for solid and liquid waste...

Read more on China Dialogue.

Spare the Air Campaign in San Francisco

The Spare the Air Program was established by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to educate people about air pollution and to encourage them to change their behavior to improve air quality.

On this site (Spare the Air Campaign) you will find daily air quality forecasts for the Bay Area, information about air pollution and its health effects, opportunities for community members and employees join up to prevent pollution, clean air tips, and a variety of other educational resources.

Water Consumers of the World (Informatics)

Click to enlarge view. More on Scientific American.

How Climate Change May Impact Electricity Supplies (Scientific American)

Listen to the podcast on Scientific American (June 3rd, 2012)

Ironic twist alert: most electricity production requires vast amounts of water. Cold water. Which means that climate change is going to be bad for electricity supplies.

Why's that ironic? Here's how we make electricity. In the U.S., we burn coal or natural gas, which produces massive quantities of the greenhouse gases causing climate change, or we fission uranium. The heat from those processes boils water that makes steam that spins a turbine. And those turbines produce more than 90 percent of our electricity.

Massive cooling towers then help chill the power plant back down using river water, for example. Only river water isn't quite as cold as it used to be, or as available. As a result, in recent years, such thermal power plants in the southeastern U.S. have had to decrease power production because river temperatures were too high or water levels were too low.

That problem is only going to get worse, according to an analysis in the journal Nature Climate Change. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.) By the 2040s, available electricity could be down by 16 percent in the summertime. When you’d most like electricity. To run your air conditioner. To beat the heat. Told you it was ironic. 

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Air Pollution News & Alerts - June 3rd, 2012

Kuwait Times, June 3rd, 2012
EPA playing major role in safeguarding environment – 17 years of successful activities.

Xinhua Net, June 3rd, 2012
Bangladeshis boil over power cuts amid hot summer.

The Guardian, June 3rd, 2012
Government giving firms mixed signals on carbon emissions.

Scientific American, June 3rd, 2012
How Climate Change May Impact Electricity Supplies.

NRDC Switchboard, June 1st, 2012
Generating Support for Cleaner Air through Bike Advocacy.

Scientific American, May 31st, 2012
Ethanol Scheme Bids to Clean Up Cooking.

Times of India, May 31st, 2012
Surat to be India's first 'Eco City'.

Wall Street Journal, May 31st, 2012
Air Pollution Fuels Hospital Visits in Hong Kong.

US Global Health Policy, May 31st, 2012
Better Urban Planning Needed To Reduce Negative Health Impacts Of Urbanization.

TIME, May 31st, 2012
Drawing Battle Lines Over American Coal Exports to Asia.

LBNL, May 31st, 2012
Hazy Days: Berkeley Lab Tackles Pollution in Mongolia.

The Atlantic Cities, May 30th, 2012
The Urban Health Desert.

Forbes, May 30th, 2012
G8 Takes On Short-Lived Climate Pollutants.

China Daily, May 30th, 2012
Taiyuan to shut down 100 polluters.

The Standard, May 30th, 2012
Experts reveal bigger pollution problem.

Xinhua Net, May 30th, 2012
China scientists find ways to clean polluted soil.

China Daily, May 30th, 2012
China urbanization rate exceeds 50%.

Fuzhou News, May 30th, 2012
Fuzhou diversifies urban traffic service.

The Guardian, May 30th, 2012
EU greenhouse gas emissions rise despite climate change policies.

The Guardian, May 30th, 2012
Top US companies shelling out to block action on climate change.

The New York Times, May 30th, 2012
U.S. Imposes Duties on Chinese Wind Tower Makers.

CNN Money, May 29th, 2012
China paying billions for oil deals in the Americas.

The Diplomat, May 29th, 2012
China’s Multifaceted Coal Problem.

China Dialogue, May 28th, 2012
Waste Pollution in Paradise in Indian North.

MSNBC, May 25th, 2012
Is China poor? Key question at latest climate talks.

Indian Express, May 25th, 2012
At university chowk, 2-wheelers hit 10,000 per peak hour in Pune.

Shanghaiist, May 25th, 2012
Good, bad and the ugly: Chinese cities ranked by air quality.

Scientific American, May 25th, 2012
Climate Armageddon: How the World's Weather Could Quickly Run Amok.

Environmental Research Web, March 24th, 2012
Short-lived pollutants cause tropical expansion.

CIRES, May 24th, 2012
Ulaanbaatar air pollution under the microscope.

Economic Times, May 24th, 2012
Cities may face collapse due to lack of funds, focus.

NRDC Switchboard, May 24th, 2012
Refinery Air Pollution: Protections for Some Communities, Delay for Many.

Reuters, May 24th, 2012
Global CO2 emissions hit record in 2011 led by China: IEA.

China Dialogue, May 23rd, 2012
Power beats tourism in Nepal.

UNEP, May 22nd, 2012
All G8 Countries Back Action on Black Carbon, Methane and Other Short Lived Climate Pollutants.

Global Times, May 21st, 2012
High PM2.5 linked to deaths.

Wall Street Journal, May 21st, 2012
Why Asia is a Hub for Bikes.

Times of India, May 20th, 2012
Vapi most polluted industrial cluster in India again.

China Daily, May 18th, 2012
New standards for fuel to reduce pollution in city.

China Daily, May 17th, 2012
Trash hill casts shadow on village.

Deccan Chronicle, May 17th, 2012
Carcinogens new parameters for air quality standards.

Today's Zaman, May 17th, 2012
World Bank says air pollution a problem in ─░stanbul, Ankara.

China Daily, May 16th, 2012
Air assessments differ due to separate criteria.

The Atlantic, May 16th, 2012
Your Heart on Air Pollution: An Olympic Case Study.

ESI-Africa, May 16th, 2012
Forget global warming and move up to real climate change.

Nature, May 16th, 2012
Brahmaputra valley pushing 'glacier-melting pollutants' into Himalayas.

BBC, May 15th, 2012
Pollution cuts improve heart health - Beijing study.
US News, May 15th, 2012
Beijing's Olympic Smog Shows Pollution's Effect on Health.

UPI Asia, May 15th, 2012
Most satisfied with air, water quality.

All Africa, May 14th, 2012
Uganda: Deal With Kampala Traffic Jams.

English Eastday News, May 12th, 2012
US consulate to release PM2.5 air-quality readings in Shanghai.

The Jakarta Post, May 12th, 2012
Editorial: Car-free days the best policy?

Times of India, May 11th, 2012
Cities must be designed for people, not vehicles: Centre for Science and Environment.

Yonhap News Agency, May 11th, 2012
Seoul's fine dust level hits record low.

Business Standard, May 11th, 2012
Delhi only Indian city to get average green label.

Daily Times, May 10th, 2012
Detrimental air pollution: another trauma.

Fuel Fix, May 10th, 2012
Carbon capture not growing fast enough to reduce CO2 pollution.

Demotix, May 10th, 2012
Air pollution now costs Tk 124 billion a year in Dhaka city.

Times of India, May 9th, 2012
Citizens' groups uphold merits of underground metro project.

The Nature, May 9th, 2012
Climate forecasting: A break in the clouds.

China Daily, May 9th, 2012
Beijing to eliminate heavy polluters.

India PR Wire, May 8th, 2012
Enterprises & Institutions increase value of their rooftops with "Solid sun-shade Solutions".

Ghana Business News, May 8th, 2012
Ghana likely to be priority country for UN-led Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

Bloomberg, May 8th, 2012
Fine Particles, Black Carbon May Be Added To Controlled Pollutants Under Air Convention.

Washington Post, May 8th, 2012
What cookstoves tell us about the limits of technology.

The Wall Street Journal, May 8th, 2012
Businesses’ Biggest Hong Kong Complaints: Pollution, Schools.

Peking University, May 8th, 2012
PM2.5 exposure associated with increases in total and cardiopulmonary mortality in North China.

Business Council of Mongolia, May 7th, 2012
Curbing Air Pollution in Ulaanbaatar.

Look at Vietnam, April 30th, 2012
Transport Ministry bans use of ‘unsafe” modified trucks.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Air Pollution in India (Tehelka Magazine)

Tehelka Magazine, June 1st Issue, 2012

Urban Air Pollution is a complex issue, fuelled by multiple sources. In December 2010, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in New Delhi released measurement-based source contributions for Delhi, Pune, Chennai, Kanpur, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, highlighting road dust and vehicle exhaust as major sources of the growing particulate pollution, followed by industrial effluents and garbage burning. In 2011, the World Health Organisation studied publicly available air quality data from 1,100 cities, including cities with populations of more than 1 lakh people, and put Delhi in the top 10 cities with the worst air pollution.
Of the critical pollutants, particulate matter is considered the most harmful and known to exacerbate respiratory and cardiovascular health, and in some cases premature death due to aggravated asthma or heart attack among the vulnerable populations. In India, 350 monitoring stations are operated by the CPCB in 120 cities, but the data available to the public is very limited and sporadic. A summary of the annual average PM10 concentrations measured in 2008 is presented here. When compared to the national annual average standard of 60 microgram/m3, more than 60 percent of these cities are experiencing critical levels.

While some initiatives like better fuel standards, emissions standards and pollution under check programmes helped improve the quality of air, they have nevertheless fallen short in keeping up with the growing numbers in transport, industrial, construction and domestic sectors. While everyone is compliant, the overall ambient levels have deteriorated in the cities.

A source that needs immediate attention is garbage burning in the residential areas and along the roads. Considerable knowledge of best practices to improve the waste collection and management exists. The basic problem has been in adapting 52 these practices to specific local conditions. Waste management is highly labour intensive and promises basic employment opportunities for a large number of people, which means we need a consolidated effort between the communities and management to reduce the garbage burning emissions.

Vehicles contribute to the growing pollution problems in two ways — the exhaust emissions and the resuspended dust due to vehicle movement. While the exhaust emissions can be controlled by improving the manufacturing standards, the best solution lies in controlling the use of the vehicles — which means, the cities need to invest and promote public bus transport, cycling and walking, more aggressively.

Controlling dust entails more than just constructing roads and pavements, which includes measures like wet sweeping, promoting vegetation in dry areas, and completing road work that often times result in ditches that are left as is, after the departments concerned (roads, telephone, sewer, electricity and gas) have finished their work.

The construction sector is booming and with that the demand for bricks. The current technology is energy inefficient and predominantly uses coal and agricultural waste as fuel. For most urban areas, while relocation of brick kilns has proved beneficial in the past, with the growing demand and city size, a more promising approach would be to introduce emerging technologies that reduce emission rates, followed by strict enforcement of an inspection and maintenance programme.

In India, economic growth is our priority and factors like overall pollution control and tougher emissions targets only become part of the dialogue at the second stage. To relieve the tension between economic growth, energy savings and emissions reductions, we need to look for potential drivers beyond regulations and orders. While the regulators are working on the limits, we also need to focus on a proven and highly cost-effective measure — openness of environmental information.

From a broader perspective, while the knowledge of pollution sources exists, a wider dissemination of information from the monitors, programmes, and better public awareness can build an effective air quality management plan vital for clean air and better health.