Jakarta Air Pollution Sources: Bad Government Policy

Jakartans are suffering from another nightmare. Just like two years ago, as Jakarta is entering 2019 dry season, Jakarta Air Quality is declining drastically. This phenomenon triggers numerous talks among the society that a hashtag #SetorFotoPolusi (or #ShowPollutionPics) is popular in social media.

Early July 2019, tens of individuals filed a citizen lawsuit against Indonesian President, Jakarta Governor, and five other state authorities for their negligence to control Jakarta Air Pollution.

As an environmental researcher, I think the cause of Jakarta Air Pollution is problematic Jakarta policies. Existing policies set an inadequate and too lax target to achieve a good air quality in Jakarta.


Target Evaluation

Jakarta Medium Term Development Plan 2017-2022 sets a target for Environmental Quality Index, an index which assesses air, water, and land coverage quality, to achieve 38.27 in 2022, a 36.41 increase from 2017.

To achieve that, Jakarta only has to improve 0.558 of its Air Quality Index so it reaches 54.058 in 2022 which is still categorized as “not good” level.

Ministry of Environment and Forestry determines a good Environmental Quality Index in a range of 70 until 80.

Moreover, Jakarta Government doesn’t include particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) as one of the poor air quality indicators and has strong correlation to human health, such as cardiovascular disease.

PM2.5 is a fine particle with a 2,5 mm in size or smaller than human hair.

Jakarta Air Quality Index only uses carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), 10 micron particulate matter (PM10), and ground level ozone (O3) as indicators.

PM2.5 as one of Jakarta Air Quality Index indicators is essential since PM2.5 concentration has exceeded  Air Quality Standard or usually known as Jakarta Ambient Air Standard. This also means that PM2.5 is a more dominant pollutant than four other pollutants in Jakarta. Thus, it doesn’t make sense not to put PM2.5 to monitor Jakarta Air Quality.

Without PM2.5, Jakarta target from the Jakarta Air Quality Index in order to restore Jakarta Air is most likely too low and is not consistent with the facts happening on the ground. In other words, Jakarta Government doesn’t have any intentions to restore Jakarta Air in 2017-2022 period.


What Can Be Done

Jakarta Government can fix its Jakarta air restoration target by creating a strategy and action plan for Jakarta air restoration.

Air restoration target can be fixed by establishing a target to reduce PM2.5 concentration in the air. Beside that, determining a target to reduce ground level ozone (O3) concentration as a dominant pollutant in Jakarta is also necessary. However, this doesn’t mean that other pollutants will be set aside.

Jakarta air restoration strategy and action plan must include target to reduce other pollutants such as SO2, NO2, and CO because these three pollutants can potentially pollute Jakarta air.

To reduce O3 concentration, we need to reduce NO2 level because O3 is formed from a chemical reaction between nitrogen oxide (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and sunlight.

This means if we want to reduce O3 and PM2.5 concentration, we have to also reduce the concentration of the three other pollutants.

A strategy and action plan will hopefully create a more focused Jakarta air restoration target, rather than using Environmental Quality Index which is a combination of air, water, and land coverage.

Therefore, the Jakarta Government has a special document only for solving Jakarta Air Pollution.

For the next step, Jakarta Governor has to inventorize emissions to know the amount of emissions that must be reduced from each pollutant, both from moveable and immovable sources.

Jakarta air restoration target and emission inventorization are required to create a measured and targeted air pollution control program by Jakarta Government.


Moratorium for Air Polluter Development


Restoring Jakarta air is not only about reducing emissions from pollutants, but also about criticizing development plans that can potentially pollute Jakarta air, such as incinerators plan in Jakarta.

This is because incinerators emit various pollutants, including PM2.5 which can worsen Jakarta air.

Furthermore, plan to build six highways with 69,6 km long in Jakarta contradicts Jakarta air restoration plan. An addition of six highways give incentives for private transportation usage growth which potentially contributes to emissions load increase.

Those two plans are only a part of a bigger development plan which will potentially produce significant emissions to Jakarta air. Hence, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan needs to evaluate his regional development plan.

Plans to build highways and incinerators are part of national strategic projects determined by national government. That is why restoring Jakarta air needs actions from both local and national government.

A moratorium for development plans that potentially emit significant emissions to Jakarta air is a reasonable option to be considered by Jakarta Government and national government.

There is no point in restoring Jakarta air if development plans that potentially contribute to Jakarta air pollution are not cancelled.



Source : https://theconversation.com/sumber-masalah-polusi-jakarta-kebijakan-pemerintah-yang-buruk-120435