Green move over emissions

New rules could be introduced in Bahrain to cut down on potentially harmful industrial emissions.

A proposal is being spearheaded by the National Action Charter Bloc led by its president and Parliament foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman, MP Mohammed Al Sissi.

Mr Al Sissi’s constituency covers Askar, Awali, Jaw, East Riffa and Halat Umm Al Bayd, home to several major industrial sites such as Bapco Refinery and Alba.

“We are in direct contact with the Supreme Council for The Environment (SCE) to look into setting up new studies on current emission levels and what hazards, if any, they could pose on people’s lives and health,” said Mr Al Sissi.

“People are worried that emissions may have a long-term effect on their health and that’s an issue we have concerns about too.”

Mr Al Sissi said Bahrain should consider introducing new rules on industries and factories. “There should be a focus on fewer emissions, cleaner, treated elements and the possibility of higher chimneys, amongst other technical improvements.

“We will handle the legislative aspect involving any new rules but we need guidance based on scientific facts.

“Our proposal seeks a more environmentally-friendly approach, that’s not to say our local industries and factories are not committed to improving matters, but things could be stepped up.”

He added that local industries should also contribute to green drives in the areas that surround them.

“Bapco and Alba could introduce green parks nearby, to suck up anything emitting from their surroundings,” suggested Mr Al Sissi.

Parliament Speaker Fouzia Zainal is set to refer the proposal to the committee concerned for review.

As reported earlier in the GDN, an urgent proposal to monitor carbon gas emissions from factories in Bahrain was approved by Parliament in February and referred to the Cabinet for implementation.

This followed residents complaining about mysterious yellow particles floating in the air and landing on their homes and cars during that month.

The proposal was made by five MPs and led by Parliament Speaker Fouzia Zainal. It also aims to implement stricter supervision of environmental matters.

The GDN also reported at the time that the Supreme Council for the Environment had launched an investigation into the issue.

“It is not just about yellow particles or blueish or greenish or even colourless odour, it is more about future emissions being cleaner,” said Southern Municipal Council chairman and area councillor Bader Al Tamimi.

“My area MP’s proposal would certainly help clear up a long list of complaints that we are getting from residents who don’t know what kind of smoke is entering into their homes.

“Let’s clarify one thing, any emission could potentially be harmful to people, animals and plants, if not now, then some time in the future.”

Mr Al Tamimi hoped new rules would be welcomed. “The current laws are limited and we need to take into account the well-being of future generations,” he said.

An urgent proposal to stop contract renewals for all industries in Eker last October is still under study. It was spearheaded by five MPs, led by area MP Ammar Al Mukhtar, who called for businesses to be relocated following pollution and health concerns raised by residents living close by.




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