Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Urgently NEED Metropolitan De-Growth in India : POLLUTION SPECIAL ISSUE 017

ISSUE 2017 
Urgently  NEED Metropolitan De-Growth in India 


November 2016 Special Issue:  LINK 

Sunita Narain's interview in today's paper.....
The aim is pollution control, not theatre: Sunita Narain ...



 The great puzzle is the reason for the spikes in PM 2.5 levels in Nov. in Delhi

DATA Link:
Back Home

                                                Data comparison with 2012, 2013 and 2014

DPCC PM2.5 Averages

Why is there only one spike (in Nov. 2012) one year and two in the next year (in Nov. 2013 and Jan. 2014)? Is the first because of stubble-burning and the second because of inversion?  

These sudden spikes are causing any number of cases of wheezing, stroke, heart attack and so on. Our bodies, esp those of children and pregnant women, are esp vulnerable to sudden spikes in poisons.



(The title has 'aircopalypse' instead of 'airpocalypse' )

OPINION  Ashish kothari 13 Nov. 017

Avoiding Airpocalypse: It's Time to Move Beyond Quick Fixes and Tackle the Root Cause of Crisis




Foul air: Thermal power more to blame than crackers

Kanchi Kohli | Manju Menon | Updated: Oct 13, 2017, 08:15

There is a need to generate their acceptance to being regulated, for technological support and financial investment instead of holding them responsible for modernity’s wicked problems

According to an officially recognised study by IIT Kanpur on the air quality in Delhi, emissions from TPPs are responsible for 52 and 90 per cent of NOx and SO2. Coal burning and fly ash within the city and surrounding regions account for over 35 per cent of PM 2.5 throughout the year. PM 2.5 are tiny particles in the air with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or microns (one micron is one thousandth of a millimetre) that can get lodged in the respiratory system, causing grave health risks.



US exports of tar sands waste are fuelling Delhi’s air pollution crisis

Published on 

India has emerged as the world’s largest importer of petroleum coke, an oil byproduct that is now a major cause of pollution in the capital

Come winter and the Indian capital, New Delhi, is preparing to once again struggle beneath the noxious fumes that have become a perennial crisis.

Eight Delhiites die each day from the city’s bad air. In response, the regional government has made efforts to tackle pollution from coal plants and tailpipe exhaust. But any benefits these policies might produce are threatened by skyrocketing imports of a fuel more polluting than coal or diesel.

Petroleum coke – known as petcoke – is a high-carbon residue produced during the refinement of heavy oils. In its raw form, the high-carbon fuel can be used as a cheap substitute for coal.

Delhi’s environmental authorities say petcoke, cut into coal power station feeds around the capital, is now one of the major sources of smog in the city.

In many parts of the world, petcoke is restricted because of its toxicity. In India however, the fuel is unregulated and burned freely. In this regulatory void, demand has soared, rising 23% a year for the last five years. The country imported 20 times more petcoke in 2016 than it did in 2011.

Delhi is in a race against time. The Supreme Court has ordered the use of petcoke to end but the government has failed to ban or regulate the fuel. Activists and public health officials are desperate to convince politicians to act before winter’s still, stagnant weather conditions begin to pool smog above the capital.


When burned, petcoke emits 5-10% more climate change-causing CO2 than coal. But  its true filthiness is revealed in the toxic smog it creates. The key air pollution- causing contaminant is sulphur, which creates oxide gases and particles, both of which are harmful to human health.

In Delhi, a (relatively lax) regulation limits sulphur in coal to 4,000 parts per
million. The National Capital Territory’s environmental agency (EPCA) says petcoke  being burned around the capital contains sulphur up to 72,000ppm. Petcoke emissions also contain significant amounts of toxic heavy metals – particularly vanadium, nickel and iron.

Petcoke’s primary use in India is in cement-making plants, where the process limits pollution. But when it is used in the coal power stations, the pollutants emerge unadulterated.

In February, India’s Supreme Court released a finding that called the sulphur content in petcoke “extremely high” and said the fuel was a “major cause of pollution in Delhi”.

The court directed the national government to either ban petcoke’s use in power generation outright or place restrictions on the sulphur content, which would be a de facto ban.

So far, no action has been taken. The ministry of environment has asked for more time. The court has given the government a final deadline of 24 October to come up with a plan.

This is a problem that begins, in part, in the tar pits of Alberta and the refineries of the US Gulf coast. India produces its own petcoke. But local refineries can’t keep up with demand and the country has emerged from nowhere to become the largest importer of petcoke on earth.

In 2016, 87% of India’s overseas petcoke came from the US, the world’s largest producer.  Its use in US power generation has plummeted due to heavy restrictions. As a result,
 US refiners and traders are looking to markets with looser regulation and, say environmental campaigners at both ends of the supply chain, fuelling India’s airborne public health crisis.

Until 2014, China was the biggest buyer of US petcoke. But Asia’s largest economy has been on a political journey with air pollution. Sulphur restrictions, brought in in 2016, economic downturn and local bans on new power plants combined to stifle US petcoke’s access to the far east powerhouse. Between 2013 and 2014, the trade was cut in half. (Japan also remains a stalwart consumer of US petcoke.)

Global trade in petcoke is dominated by one country, the US (Data:

“India has become the dumping ground of petcoke from countries like USA and  China,” Sunita Narain, who heads the Centre for Science and Environment,  told the Economic Times in February. Narain is not only pushing for a domestic  ban on petcoke’s use in power plants but an import ban as well.

Lorne Stockman, a senior research analyst at Oil Change International, said much of  the US petcoke was left over from the refinement of heavy oil from Canada’s tar  sands. Environmental restrictions in the US prevent it from being burned in most  power stations, unless they are fitted with pollution scrubbing technology.

“The US refiners have invested in this heavy oil refining strategy in order to take  advantage of the cheap dirty feed stock from Canada,” he told Climate Home.  “Then this waste product is dumped into markets that will accept it. It’s a perfect  example of the industry maximising its profits while maximising its pollution.”

It is uncertain how much petcoke is being burned around Delhi, according to an  EPCA report, as refiners do not collect data on how much is being sold into  the capital territory. It is also uncertain what proportion comes from the US, as opposed  to domestic refineries. During site visits, however, EPCA inspectors found industries  were using imported product.

The trade within India is controlled by some of the biggest, most influential and least transparent corporations in the country, including  Adani Enterprises. Adani’s website says it sources petcoke from the US.

Climate Home contacted some of the largest US petcoke exporters. None returned  emails except for Ahmed Jama, CEO and president of Florida-based PermuTrade.
“I cannot speak for other companies,” he said. “But I do know petcoke is being sold into  the power generation industry and steel industry [in India].”

PermuTrade is a relatively small fish. Jama said his company transports between 0.6Mt  and 1.2Mt of petcoke every year, 75% of which goes to the cement industry in India. According to Jacobs Consultancy, Koch Carbon trades more than 20Mt  globally every year. Oxbow, another company owned by the Koch brothers, also ranks  among the largest global traders.

Jama said his company sells only to cement plants to ensure the “environment is  protected”. “We could make a lot more money selling petcoke to many other industries, like the power generation industry and steel industry but we are not all about the money,”  he said, adding that an India-wide ban on petcoke “might not be the greatest idea”.

“Petcoke should be banned or limited for captive power plants but not for cement  plants. There should be clear sulphur emission thresholds in place for companies to  comply with and be held accountable to. If petcoke is cut, the government will  need to provide cheap coal or they won’t have power,” said Jama.

In fact, environment authorities are not pursuing a ban on use in cement. But they are trying to control power plant emissions before Delhi again disappears beneath the smog of industry.

It is uncertain how much petcoke is being burned around Delhi, according to an EPCA report, as refiners do not collect data on how much is being sold into the capital territory. It is also uncertain what proportion comes from the US, as opposed to domestic refineries. During site visits, however, EPCA inspectors found industries were using imported product. The trade within India is controlled by some of the biggest, most influential and least transparent corporations in the country, including Adani Enterprises. Adani’s website says it sources petcoke from the US."



SC bans dirty pet-coke, furnace oil in Haryana, Rajasthan, UP; CSE lauds verdict

Quick Read

  • This order has huge pollution reduction potential as large number of industrial units in the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Haryana are resorting to indiscriminate use of these toxic fuels
  • EPCA investigation has exposed extremely high sulphur level in these fuels ranging from more than 20,000 PPM to 74,000 PPM as opposed to only 50 PPM sulphur in BSIV transport fuels
  • The Environment Ministry has been directed to pay a penalty of Rs 200,000 for delaying the process of setting and notifying emissions standards

The ban was asked for in Feb '17 and the SC only issued the order in Oct '17 and it's not clear as to the degree to which the ban is being observed
If petcoke really is such a big problem, then we should have seen pollution dip by now.
since the opposite is the case,  either it is not such a big problem or 2] the ban has been ignored [in which case its contempt of court, provided someone can prove it - an easy way would be to check import figures?


 Green goals for the Delhi aam aadmi

"The misguided national subsidy on diesel — a subsidy intended to benefit the poor and is instead well-harvested by wealthy automobile owners — should be offset in Delhi by an equivalent tax.”

If strict regulations for capping automobile licenses are followed, Delhi’s citizens can reap triple benefits: cleaner air, quicker and safer transportation, and more money in their pockets 

There is no subsidy on diesel in India any more - the prices have been "freed" and so move with the markets, just as petrol. However, petrol and diesel are taxed differently (diesel is taxed lower) and that is why the price differential between the two fuels at the pump. However, the difference is not enough to induce people to buy diesel cars (as they used to do so earlier) because diesel cars are inherently costlier due to the engine technology. 




The Financial Times
November 13, 2017
Air pollution worsens as India’s political smog thickens
The Washington Post
November 11, 2017
Delhi is blanketed with toxic smog. This is why.
Financial Times
October 19, 2017
Pollution-related deaths exceed 9m per year
The Times of India
October 10, 2017
Understanding Delhi’s bad air in five steps
Business Standard
October 9, 2017
No sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till Nov 1: SC
The Washington Post
October 6, 2017
Air pollution high as India hosts Under-17 World  Cup
The Times of India
October 4, 2017
Will odd-even in Gurgaon work?
The Times of India
October 3, 2017
Gurgaon in no position to roll out odd-even
The New York Times
September 21, 2017
Air Pollution Tied to Kidney Disease
The Times of India
July 11, 2017
8am-8pm is new ‘Delhi rush hour’:CSE study
The New York Times
July 6, 2017
On Your Bike, Watch Out for the AiHr
The Times of India
July 3, 2017
Bad air to blame for Irregular rain
The Times of India
June 28, 2017
Why even early rain has failed to clean Delhi air
Hindustan Times
June 1, 2017
One Gujarat model that Delhi should follow
The Times of India
May 30, 2017
Why Gurugram fails to curb air pollution?
The Economic Times
May 18, 2017
Air pollution: Why and how it kills
The Times of India
May 10, 2017
Okhla plant: Residents in Supreme Court
The Times of India
May 9, 2017
Better air by 2030? Plans need to change
The Times of India
May 5, 2017
Centre questions BS-III ban, EPCA’s authority
The Indian Express
May 4, 2017
NASA images show massive upsurge in crop burning
The Times of India
May 2, 2017
Three-year plan to let Delhi breath
The Financial Express
May 2, 2017
A lot depends on what neighboring states do
The Times of India
May 1, 2017
AAP govt asks schools to install air purifiers
Times of India
April 10, 2017
Depressed? Blame it on air pollutants too
Business Standard
March 29, 2017
How does SC’s Bharat Stage IV ruling affect us
The Indian Express
March 29, 2017
Thank you, FIFA
Business Standard
March 28, 2017
Use the power of the Air Act to fight pollution
The Financial Express
March 19,2017
EPCA drafts mega plan to fight Delhi’s air pollution
The New York Times
March 18, 2017
Despite Pollution: Coal Plant is Cleared to Reopen
The New Republic
March 15, 2017
Air Pollution Denial is the New Climate Denial
The Times of India
March 15, 2017
In past 2 weeks; Delhi air cleaner than Mumbai’s
Times of India
February 28, 2017
Air quality better, Badarpur plant to reopen
The Times of India
February 24, 2017
Delhi students air views on bad air
The Times of India
February 23, 2017
Is Delhi’s air improving?
The Times of India
February 14, 2017
Coal-fired power plants get more time for upgrade
The New York Times
February 6, 2017
Air Pollution May Contribute to Dementia
The Indian Express
January 30, 201755 More Stations to Monitor Pollution
The Times of India
January 28, 2017
You’ve rain to thank for cleaner air
India Today
January 26, 2017
R-day  air Quality Very Poor in Delhi
January 5, 2017
The Times of India
Mumbai gets outdoor air purifying devices
National Geographic
December 27, 2016
Hazardous 9/11 Dust Made Newborn Babies Smaller
NPR (National Public Radio – USA)
December 21, 2016
Air Pollution Forces People Out Of India’s Capital
ET Energy World: The Economic Times
December 10, 2016
Health cost of air pollution in India assessed at 3 per cent of its GDP
The Indian Express
December 2, 2016
Delhi-NCR gets pollution code on lines of Beijing
The Times of India
November 26, 2016
Hourly pollution data from 33 nations at your fingertips
November 17, 2016
Can Big Data help combat Air Pollution?



4 November 2016

What Is Behind Delhi’s Soaring Air Pollution?

India's capital records second worst day in nearly 10 years

Air pollution in India’s capital surged this week, with a haze reducing visibility to 50 meters at  times and prompting calls for government action.
New Delhi on Thursday recorded its second-worst day in nearly 10 years, with the low visibility mostly due to smoke and dust, said the country’s meteorological department.
The level of PM2.5, tiny particles suspended in the air that can lodge in lungs and cause disease, hit a new peak after the country celebrated Diwali
The festival, which took place Sunday, is celebrated with a riot of fireworks and firecrackers across the country. “We saw an increase in pollutants this year because of very low wind speed,” said Dr. Dipankar
Saha, scientist and in-charge of the air laboratory at the Central Pollution Control Board. Mean wind speed dropped to 1.8 meters per second last week compared with 3.4 meter per second around the same time last year, reducing the amount of pollutants that were dispersed.
The problem was also aggravated by a reversal in normal direction of wind, said R. Vishen,  in-charge of the regional weather forecasting center of India Meteorological Department,

New Delhi. “Normally, the wind direction in Delhi is north westerly (west to east). But from October 28 till date, the north north easterly (east to west) component was prevailing, preventing pollutants from dispersing and allowing them to accumulate in the air,” he said.


No comments:

Post a Comment