As part of a relentless pursuit in the field of nature and human life preservation, the Sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, came first at reducing the pollution resulting from fixed or mobile sources emissions that contribute at raising the threat to nature in all its elements. The Ministry issued laws and regulations that limit the direct or indirect harm to humans and the environment. It issued the Ministerial Decree No. 118 \ 2004 which is designed to control air pollutants emitted from mobile and immobile sources.
In order to reduce clean air pollution, the Ministry established an organized mechanism as follows:
- Studied environmental planning in coordination with other government agencies competent to allocate industrial zones of environmental specifications far from residential areas, agricultural land or environmentally sensitive places as reserves.
- Technical evaluation of businesses considering the materials used in the manufacturing process, the type of raw materials and their possibility of changing the surrounding air quality characteristics. Moreover, best of modern technologies are used in monitoring emissions from industrial processes in order to control air pollutants. Facilities are asked to comply with environmental standards, basis and requirements that limit the quality and quantity of air pollutants of oxides and hydrocarbons.
- Air and Noise Pollution Control Section in the Department of Inspection and Control is responsible to visit industrial facilities regularly to follow up the commitment of the facilities to the environmental requirements.
- The provision of environmental technical advice for facilities that want to discuss some of the technical matters relating to the selection of the various air pollutants control means.
- Air quality control and monitoring the mobile and immobile sources of pollution by installing air quality monitoring stations and surveillance cameras connected to screens inside the Ministry, and the preparation of technical reports on the levels of pollutants concentrations.
- There are 11 air quality monitoring stations in the Ministry distributed to five governorates as follows:
- Two monitoring stations are to the governorate of Muscat, one in Al Qurum near Mina Al Fahal port and the other in the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, which was moved near Rusayl industrial zone.
- One station is in Wilayat of Salalah near the Raysut industrial zone in Dhofar governorate.
- One station is in Wilayat Sur near Sur industrial zone in the governorate of South Al Sharqiya.
- One station is in Nizwa near Nizwa industrial zone in Ad Dakhiliyah Governorate.
- There are six stations in Al Batinah North Governorate distributed as follows: three stations are in Sohar Industrial Port area, two are in the residential area near Sohar Industrial Port and a station is in the free zone.
- These stations measure seven kinds of pollutants which are:
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Ozone (O3)
- Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
- Hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
- Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
- Non-Methane Hydrocarbons (NMHCs)
- Suspended Particulates PM10 (Appendix 3 gives background about pollutants mentioned).
As for Sohar stations, it measures these pollutants in addition to benzene and toluene with the exception of hydrogen sulfide. It relies on the methodology and the standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency for measuring air quality. Sits of these stations was chosen depending on weather data and the region's topography to measure air quality in different regions.
- It is worth mentioning that the Ministry is currently working to update regulations of the air pollution from immobile sources, and to draft regulation on air quality in the Sultanate as well as the development of monitoring networks by increasing the number of stations to cover most regions of the Sultanate. Additionally, the Ministry is conducting air quality study projects in collaboration with Sultan Qaboos University.
- Monitoring and following-up the monitoring stations of the factories and private companies operating in the Sultanate during inspection visits.
- Following-up companies performing maintenance work on monitoring stations.