Urban air quality management and planning in South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. H.J. Annegarn en_US
dc.contributor.author Scorgie, Yvonne
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-05T14:18:24Z
dc.date.available 2012-11-05T14:18:24Z
dc.date.issued 2012-11-05
dc.date.submitted 2012-09-15
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8090
dc.description Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.abstract Fossil fuel burning within residential, industrial and power generation sectors represents a persistent source of air pollution within many parts of South Africa, with the contribution of road transport emissions becoming increasingly important. Additionally, biomass burning, including agricultural burning and wild fires, represents an intermittent but seasonally significant source of atmospheric emissions. Effective air pollution control was historically hindered by the absence of enabling legislation and cooperative governance. The promulgation of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, Act 39 of 2004 represented a major step forward in the evolution of air quality management within South Africa. The historical debate regarding the practicability of effective air quality management is however ongoing. South Africa‟s continued dependence on coal to support its energy-intensive industrial and mining sectors, continued household fuel burning for space heating and cooking purposes within a number of areas, and the dire need for employment creation and focus on rapid development continue to challenge the realisation of air quality improvements. This study investigates the multiple factors contributing to the degradation of air quality in South Africa, and the consequent human health, environmental and economic effects of this pollution. The study critically examines legal, technical and social measures implementable within a tailored system of air quality management which is compatible with socio-economic growth. This thesis integrates and expands on pertinent components of several individual research projects completed by the author during her tenure as a doctoral candidate. The research projects were completed during the period (2002 – 2009) on behalf of various parties including national and local government, standards setting bodies and private organisations. Quantification of health risks associated with significant anthropogenic sources within several South African conurbations, covering 40% of the national population, and the establishment of cost-optimised air pollution interventions, forms a key component of the thesis. In this externalities study, emissions were estimated and effects and associated costs quantified for household fuel burning, power generation, industrial and commercial fuel burning and road transport. Total direct health costs related to inhalation exposures to fuel burning emissions were estimated to be of the order of 3.5 billion 2002 Rands per annum across health effects, conurbations and source groupings assessed. Household fuel burning was estimated to be responsible for about 68% of the total health costs estimated across all conurbations, vehicle emissions for 13%, industrial and commercial fuel burning for 13%, and power generation for about 6%. Emission reduction opportunities were identified and assessed for residential fuel burning, coalfired power generation, road transport, coal-fired industrial boilers and specific individual industries. It was concluded that significant health effect reductions could cost-effectively be achieved through addressing residential fuel burning as a priority. Lower benefit-cost ratios associated with industrial and vehicular interventions are due, in part, to these fuel burning sources having been more effectively regulated historically. The need for effective management of industrial and vehicle emissions is however supported. Based on international experience and local trends in vehicle activity, the contribution of transport emissions will become increasingly ix significant if not adequately addressed. Industrial process emissions unrelated to fuel burning may include significant emissions of criteria pollutants, in addition to trace releases of a wide range of hazardous air pollutants. Internationally, actions taken to address air pollution problems have met with mixed results. Failure to integrate economic considerations into air quality management planning, and to integrate air quality considerations into development planning represent key weaknesses in the strategies implemented. A contribution is made in this thesis by highlighting such lessons and proposing legal, technical and social measures which, when implemented within a rational system of air quality management, are suited to addressing complex air pollution sources without negatively affecting socio-economic prosperity and equity. Components of an effective, affordable and equitable emissions control policy proposed for adoption within South Africa include phased national standards setting, compliance promotion and self-monitoring, market-based instruments, and the implementation of risk-based enforcement and compliance monitoring strategies. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Fossil fuels en_US
dc.subject Air quality management en_US
dc.title Urban air quality management and planning in South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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