Hamriyah Free Zone to install air quality monitoring stations

Updated 22 November 2014
0

Hamriyah Free Zone to install air quality monitoring stations

Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) has decided to install continuous and portable ambient air quality monitoring stations in the Free Zone to monitor the levels of air pollution at all times.
Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, director of Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF ZONE), signed a contract in this regard with BDH Middle East L.L.C which was represented by its Business Development Director, Noveel Pandya.
“This initiative is in line with the directives of Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah,” said Al-Mazrouei.
He thanked the Ruler for his constant support toward environmental conservation and industrial growth in accordance with the standards.
“We are installing this system to assess the extent of pollution, to evaluate our control options and provide data for air quality modeling,” he added.
“These ambient air quality monitoring networks are designed to address environmental & human health objectives and we are committed toward preserving the environment and have established high performance standards for environment, health and safety (EHS) in the free zone as a step toward our objectives,” Al-Mazrouei said.
“We have assigned BDH Middle East for the supplying & commissioning of Ecotech, Australia and Airpointer, Austrian brands of Ambient Air Quality Monitoring stations as a part of this project which is on par with the international and federal environmental standards,” he said.
“We are upgrading our systems with the launch of this ambient air quality monitoring system,” he added.
“Apart from leading to heightened awareness of the importance of EHS across our operations, the new air quality monitoring system — to be managed by the internal environmental protection department — will also help in identifying and managing risk or breach of norms by companies operating in the Free Zone,” he said.
“Ambient Air Quality Monitoring will help to determine the daily trend of air pollutants and to assess the free zone’s compliance with the air quality standards. It will also assist in evaluating the potential impact of the air pollutants on the environment and on the health of the free zone population and the general public. In addition, reliable and updated information on air pollution will be available to the general public,” Al-Mazrouei said.
“Our environmental team keeps a close watch on air quality at different sites within the Hamriyah Free Zone and the priority monitoring is focused on the industrial and other sensitive areas,” he added.


US unveils new veto threat against WTO rulings

Updated 23 June 2018
0

US unveils new veto threat against WTO rulings

  • US tells WTO appeals rulings in trade disputes could be vetoed if they took longer than the allowed 90 days
  • Trump, who has railed against the WTO judges in the past, threatens to levy a 20 percent import tax on European Union cars

GENEVA: The United States ramped up its challenge to the global trading system on Friday, telling the World Trade Organization that appeals rulings in trade disputes could be vetoed if they took longer than the allowed 90 days.
The statement by US Ambassador Dennis Shea threatened to erode a key element of trade enforcement at the 23-year-old WTO: binding dispute settlement, which is widely seen as a major bulwark against protectionism.
It came as US President Donald Trump, who has railed against the WTO judges in the past, threatened to levy a 20 percent import tax on European Union cars, the latest in an unprecedented campaign of threats and tariffs to punish US trading partners.
Shea told the WTO’s dispute settlement body that rulings by the WTO’s Appellate Body, effectively the supreme court of world trade, were invalid if they took too long. Rulings would no longer be governed by “reverse consensus,” whereby they are blocked only if all WTO members oppose them.
“The consequence of the Appellate Body choosing to breach (WTO dispute) rules and issue a report after the 90-day deadline would be that this report no longer qualifies as an Appellate Body report for purposes of the exceptional negative consensus adoption procedure,” Shea said, according to a copy of his remarks provided to Reuters.
An official who attended the meeting said other WTO members agreed that the Appellate Body should stick to the rules, but none supported Shea’s view that late rulings could be vetoed, and many expressed concern about his remarks.
Rulings are routinely late because, the WTO says, disputes are abundant and complex. Things have slowed further because Trump is blocking new judicial appointments, increasing the remaining judges’ already bulging workload.
At Friday’s meeting the United States maintained its opposition to the appointment of judges, effectively signalling a veto of one judge hoping for reappointment to the seven-seat bench in September.
Without him, the Appellate Body will only have three judges, the minimum required for every dispute, putting the system at severe risk of breakdown if any of the three judges cannot work on a case for legal or other reasons.
“Left unaddressed, these challenges can cripple, paralyze, or even extinguish the system,” chief judge Ujal Singh Bhatia said.
Sixty-six WTO member states are backing a petition that asks the United States to allow appointments to go ahead. On Friday, US ally Japan endorsed the petition for the first time, meaning that all the major users of the dispute system were united in opposition to Trump.