EPA releases first environmental report in 25 years

LAHORE: The Punjab Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its first comprehensive report entitled State of the Environment Report-2022 in 25 years.

The report details an analysis and action plan in relation to Punjab’s air, water, and soil quality as well as wastewater and solid waste management. It aims to provide a basis on which environmental action plans, policies, and sustainable development goals can be formulated by policymakers and stakeholders. Through its public release it also aims to inform the general public.

According to the report, over the past 30 years (1975–2005), the minimum temperature of Punjab has increased by 0.97°C and the maximum temperature by 1.14°C, putting it on the list of most vulnerable regions to climate change.

The report highlights Pakistan’s air pollution problem, with an emphasis on Lahore’s smog. In monitoring Lahore’s air for 309 days in 2022, only 17 days were measured to have satisfactory AQI (air quality index).

Similarly, the report points out the limited industrial wastewater treatment facilities that are not only causing the deterioration of aquatic ecosystems, but hampering opportunities for trade with other countries.

To curb environmental challenges in 2022, the Environment Protection Department of Pakistan (EPD) launched an anti-smog campaign as a preventive measure to control air pollution levels. Apart from monitoring smog, the campaign resulted in the EPA’s inspection of 2169 public and private hospitals and led to 123 Environmental Protection Orders issued to hospitals that did not comply with the standards of the Punjab Hospital Waste Management Rules (2014).

The EPD is executing 19 Punjab Green Development Programmes to strengthen environmental governance and promote green investments in the province.

Under one of its Program, a network of 30 Air Quality Monitoring Stations (AQMS) and 15 water quality monitoring stations will be installed across the Punjab with a central control room in Environmental Monitoring Centre located in Lahore.

Furthermore, total of 705,650 trees have already been planted under the supervision of EPA field offices across Punjab in collaboration with multiple stakeholders.


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