The special committee formed by the decree of H E Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, to inquire and monitor the causes of a smell similar to that of gas, today announced the findings of the committee in a press conference held at National Command Centre (NCC). The committee disclosed that the smell was resulted by the presence of excessive level of gas burnings from industrial sectors and rundown of exposure to the upper sphere. The unusual lower clouds and slow move of wind for a long time caused the gas to stay stagnant and led to a rush of smell in the atmosphere through the north coast when the winds moved northeast at later.
The members of the committee figured from different authorities spoke on the nature and reasons of the gas. Ahmad Muhammad al Sada, the asst. undersecretary of environmental affairs from Ministry of Environment, Ahmad Abdullah, the Director of Meteorology Department of General Directorate of Civil Aviation, Abdul Aziz al Muftah, the director of Industrial cities affairs of Qatar Petrol attended the press conference. The press conference was chaired by Co. Abdulla Khalif Al Muftah, director of Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Interior.
The committee had sought assist from the experts from different sectors and made scientific studies over the samples to accelerate the mission to find out the real reason.
The spokespersons at the conference said that the information and data were gathered through continuous monitoring of air quality, from a wide network of 19 air monitoring stations. These stations rely on advanced devices and analysis software that work round the clock to monitor and collect all the data related to concentrations of air pollutants from gases and suspended particles in the air, and record them in the database for further reference and periodical analysis.
The study of specialized team revealed that there was an increase in the concentration of some air pollutants for limited period starting from noon time of March 21, 2014. At Ras Laffan area.
The Scientific data and records of monitoring stations confirms that the ratio of pollutants didn’t exceed national safety standards throughout the complaint period. The inquiry commission sees this an important finding given its importance to all authorities of the country as it is concerned with public health.
The committee also stressed that the spread of smell although caused some disturbance it never posed a danger to public health.
His Excellency the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior had ordered the formation of an inquiry committee led by HE Staff Maj. Gen Saad bin Jassim Al-Khulaifi, the Director General of Public Security and President of Permanent Emergency Committee (PEC). The committee consisted of representatives from relevant authorities and bodies in the state such as Ministry of Environment, Qatar Petrol, Ministry of Interior and Civil Aviation Authority. The committee held several sittings and hired the expertise of specialist experts in the filed as well studied the reading and indices of air pollution monitoring and analyzed them. The committee will continue its work to see that its recommendations are followed.
The committee has made a number of recommendations including to reduce the amount and sources of emission from factories and to keep them to the lowest possible, increasing monitoring and inspection drives and establishing a live electronic linking of all air quality monitoring stations in the state in addition to increasing competency and number air quality monitoring stations to cover wider area and enhance emergency response for similar incidents in the future.
The members of the committee mentioned that these actions are taken in the context of comprehensive plans and overall policy of the State that aim at implementing a series of ambitious projects such as the reduction of gas flaring in all industries and emission control through the application of techniques and devices that will reduce the level of emissions and improve systems to extract gas. This experiment proved right action of the State towards big investments in natural resources and technology and experience to ensure the preservation of the environment, health and safety through risk control and prevention of the consequences and activate the appropriate and coordinated response at all levels, the members of the committee stressed.
The Committee also emphasized that the State of Qatar through the formation of this committee and taking scientific and practical efforts as well as following all professional means to collect the information about this topic, it has become a practical model in the aspect of systematic transparency and accountability in presenting facts to the public. In addition to this, it reconfirms its full commitment to protecting the environment and public health as a cornerstone of the pillars of sustainable development, and to ensure the well-being of the people of Qatar in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030. At the same time, it is also keen to develop necessary strategies and plans and building capacities to meet the challenges of energy saving and contribute to the national growth and development.
The Committee also praised the public and their cooperation with the stakeholders through inquiring about these odors and pointed out that this initiative shows the level of awareness among the public at large level and their eagerness to achieve the public health and safety and security in the society.
- ILQ News -
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