II. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN SUVA
C. Waste disposal and pollution
5. Air pollution
Because of relatively rapid urbanization of the Suva region, industries that are sources of pollution have increased faster than the regulating agencies are able to maintain control. The overall qualitative assessment is that the quality of the air in Suva has deteriorated significantly over the past decade. Apart from the cement factory at Lami there are no major industrial polluters. However, the already large and increasing number of small entities, particularly motor vehicles, is contributing to air pollution. Air pollution is strongly suspected to be increasing, but in the absence of regular monitoring that trend cannot be verified.
The atmospheric pollution in Suva can be classified into three types:
There is no regular monitoring of air pollution and even data from spot checks are fragmentary. However, the latter data indicate that dust and particulate levels can become high in certain locations such as the Suva Bus Terminal. However, as far as can be determined in the face of such paucity of data, the dust and particulate levels as well as those of gas pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone and hydrogen sulphide) do not yet appear to have reached concentrations likely to result in adverse health affects. Undoubtedly the situation would be far worse if Suva did not have prevailing Trade Winds to blow these pollutants away.
The problem of air quality management warrants an entire chapter in the Sustainable Development Bill. It provides for the development of a policy on air quality management and for the enforcement of that policy. Under the Act, a person cannot pollute the atmosphere in any manner that will cause the condition of the atmosphere to become, or can be reasonably expected to become:
The Act contains detailed provisions concerning motor vehicles, including the prohibition of leaded petrol.