Air Pollution In Trinidad And Tobago Environmental Sciences Essay

The taint of the ambiance by any toxic or radioactive gases and particulate affair as a consequence of human activity defines air pollution. ( EMA State of the Environment Report 2000 )

Over the old ages Trinidad and Tobago has focus on industrialisation developing several industrial estates but greater focal point was made to the energy sectors. They current have three major energy based industrial sites. The Point Lisas industrial estate, Point a Pierre crude oil refinery and Liquefied Natural Gas works ( LNG ) located in Point Fortin. Trinidad and Tobago is considered to be one of the most industrialised states in the Commonwealth Caribbean part. We have been blessed with a huge array of natural resources runing from oil, natural gas and asphalt to manufactured petrochemicals. Despite the fact that oil production and refinement is one of our chief industry, petrochemicals and to a lesser extent steel plays great importance in the company economic growing. Trinidad & A ; Tobago is universe ‘s prima exporter of both methyl alcohols and ammonium hydroxide, presently they supply the largest beginning of LNG is exported to the United States.

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Early positions and realisation of Air Pollution

To the general public air pollution was considered to be chemical emanations and that suspension and secondary pollutants will merely disperse with the assistance of the air current and rain. As the state moves into a 2nd moving ridge of industrialisation with several proposed programs of constructing the following economic hot spot in the Caribbean ( Invest in T & A ; T Downstream Energy ) , concerns has been made toward the quality of air what we live and breathe. It was merely old ages subsequently when engineering began to play an of import portion in analysing pollutants and air quality that it was realized that air pollution was merely every bit of import as H2O pollution.

The industrial sector in Trinidad & A ; Tobago is one of the most dynamitic in the Caribbean and this is reflected in the diverse nature of its pollutants. Table 1 illustrates the legion industry categories, trade goods produced, production procedure and ensuing in air pollutants.

Map 1: Existing & A ; Proposed Energy Base Industrial Estates in Trinidad

Table 1: Industry in Trinidad & A ; Tobago and air emanation they emit






Menthol, ammonium hydroxide, urea, ethanol, liquified natural gas

Fossil fuel processing, industrial procedures

Carbon Dioxide, Sulfur dioxide, N oxides, Carbon Monoxide


Metallic elements, cements, consumer merchandises

Fabrication and extraction procedure, stock pile of natural stuffs, fossil fuel combustion

Carbon Dioxide, S dioxide, N dioxide, N oxides, particulate affair PM ( carbon black, dust, asbestos fibres, pesticides and metals ) . Volatile Organic Carbon ( VOC )

Transportation system


Incomplete burning

Carbon Monoxide, particulate affair

Petroleum Refineries

Refined oil, oil base merchandises and sulfur /acids production

Fossil fuel combustion, extraction procedure, transit procedure, storage procedure,

Carbon Dioxide, S dioxide, N dioxide, N oxides, methane, particulate affair ( carbon black, dust, asbestos fibres, pesticides and metals )


Animal waste, works waste

Animal waste disposal/processing, rice Paddies and wetlands, works metamorphosis, land glade

Methane, Carbon monoxide, Carbon Dioxide, particulate affair ( dust ) , VOC

Electrical Power coevals


Fossil fuel combustion,

Particulate affairs, Sulfur dioxide, N dioxide, C dioxide, N oxide, VOC

Mining & A ; Quarrying


Blasting, excavation, rinsing, extraction procedure

Suspended Particulates Matters ( SPM ) ; Total suspended atoms ( TSP ) ; Particulate affairs.

Sweeping and Retail

All consumer merchandises

Service station operations, truck filling Stationss


Locations of Main Industrial Sectors

With industrialisation comes a demand for people to profit with the high degree of employment in these countries. The demographic passage rhythm in Trinidad and Tobago is reasonably prognostic with many of the populated countries following the same waies along the industrialised map. ( Map 2 ) In the initial phases of industrial development focal point was made on set uping industries in sparsely populated countries. The purpose was besides to take advantage of the favourable air current way which would direct most of the air pollutant west ward over ( for the most portion ) about 5 stat mis of uninhabited land infinite and so to the Gulf, with the connotation that the flora would be affected in a minor manner during the dry season and would be assisted by run off during the rainy season.

This thought unwittingly leads to another pollution job. This proved to be a short term imitative, as these countries shortly became an attractive option to the long commute therefore promoting the constitution of make- displacement small towns and shanty towns. This was besides fueled by the fact that the southern and eastern chief route were in close propinquity to these estates.

Over clip these small towns shortly became set up oppositions geting basic public-service corporations and official mailing references. The industries were now faced with a new obstruction. They now had to concentrate their attending to both the environment and the adjacent population. Table 2 identifies the chief industrial pollutants found in Trinidad and Tobago and its effects on both the environment and worlds.

Map 2: Industries and major roadways

Table 2: Main Industrial Pollutants and their Adverse Health and Environment Effectss




Carbon Monoxide- CO

It is absorbed through the lungs cut downing the blood ‘s capacity to transport available O to the tissues. Depending on the exposure degree it produces grippes like symptoms normally non recognized and may consequences in decease

There is minimal consequence on the environment.

Sulphur Dioxides – SO2

Depending on the exposure degree it can do: cause wheezing, thorax stringency and shortness of breath, respiratory unwellness, changes in the lungs, it aggravates bing cardiovascular disease.

When SO2 combines with H2O, it forms sulphuric acid, which is the chief constituent of acerb rain. When acerb rain falls it can do deforestation, sour waterways to the hurt of aquatic life. It besides corrodes edifice stuffs.

Acid rain changes the physical visual aspect of flora “ workss metamorphosis impaired ”

Nitrogen Dioxide ( NO2 ) /Oxides of Nitrogen NOx

At low degrees it has minimum or no effects on human wellness. However high degrees NO2 can do respiratory job, increase a individual ‘s susceptibleness to, and badness of infections and asthma. It can besides impact the centripetal system.

It is harmful to flora, can melt and discolor cloths, cut down visibleness.

Vegetation exposure to high degrees of NOx can be identified by harm to foliage, reduced growing or reduced harvest output.

Volatile Organic Carbon -VOC

There are no general wellness effects of VOC because other gases make up VOC ‘s nevertheless some gases may be toxic and/or carcinogen.

Degrees of exposure and clip exposed can do harm to the liver, kidney and cardinal nervous system.

It is known to do malignant neoplastic disease in animate beings.

Suspended Particulates Matters ( SPM ) ; Total suspended atoms ( TSP ) ; Particulate affairs.

Health effects on SPM in worlds depend on the atom size and concentration can do long term exposure increases the rates of respiratory unwellness and symptoms.

Particulates can speed up impairment of surface and stuff.

It has the possible to do alteration of the clime and contributes to acid deposition.

Control Strategies Physical, Managerial and Legislative to Air Pollution

The visionaries of the early industries focus little on wellness safety and the environment and this was reflected in the degree of controls initiated by the industries. Controls were chiefly one dimensional and neglect to concentrate on the holistic positions of wellness safety and environment. Public sentiment and outburst ensuing from the increasing figure of medical ailments and the lessening quality of agribusiness green goods with allegations indicating towards the emanation from these industries, prompted direction to utilize engineering to help in the constitution of more rigorous controls. This engineering was besides instrumental in nailing the existent inauspicious effects as a consequence of these emanations.

Physical Controls

The physical control represents the procedures responsible for acquisition of natural stuff, storage, fabrication and distribution procedures.

Use of Suppression Techniques

The legion pollutants that emit daily, through smokestacks petrochemical and crude oil industries together with major wellness effects, force industries to cut down the pollutant at the beginning. One of the proved ways of cut downing these pollutants is put ining scrubbers and in other instances bagging houses in the emanation system.

The usage of terminal -of- pipe engineering is being adapted by some industries, it is used to take already formed contaminations in the air nevertheless it is proven to be really expensive and many industries internationally would instead pay the mulcts for higher emanation degrees than usage this technique. In other words it is regarded as “ the lupus erythematosus of two immoralities ” . These techniques force industries to follow generic bar schemes and solutions, merely fall backing to the more expensive techniques when face with desperate effects.

Environmental Friendly Process

With increasing force per unit area from environmental militants naming for industries to be more sensitive towards the environment, many industries have restructured their procedures whereby recycling waste stuff as a new natural stuff to bring forth a 2nd merchandise. This procedure has been adapted by Methanol Holding Trinidad Limited ( MHTL ) were they have constructed an AUM works. This works is the first of its sort in Trinidad and Tobago being the most environmental friendly of the MHTL household. This works comprises a diversified petrochemical composite to fabricate Urea Ammonia Nitrate ( UAN ) and Melamine utilizing feedstock from integrated urea and ammonia workss. ( MHTL )

The local cement mill adopted several controls schemes to cover with the air pollution job within its fabrication procedure. A alteration from blaring to depriving of the chief natural stuff ( limestone ) aided in the decrease of dust emanations that was impacting the adjacent community at their quarrying cardinal Trinidad. The transit of the limestone was besides alteration from dry to wet therefore besides cut downing the possible dust atoms come ining the ambiance during transit from quarrying to the procedure works. At the out skirts of the processing works itself major landscape gardening was done to make hills around the mill adorned by buffer trees with exclusive connotation is to cut down the degree of dust exposure to the adjacent community.

Managerial Controls

Self Regulation

These controls consist of policies, systems and criterions that govern and manage the organisation. The constitutions of the Key Performance Indicators ( KPI ) aid direction maintain focal point in order to prolong constituted marks. Company policies and processs acts as guidelines to keep order and construction within the organisation. The debut of ISO criterions advertises the company ‘s processs to the industrial universe therefore guaranting that whatever steps ab initio introduced are sustained by the enfranchisement audits conducted yearly by an international procedure hearers.

Legislative Controls

Presently in T & A ; T there is no statute law that refers straight to commanding of air pollutant emitted by industries. This is simply due to the fact that early monitoring system by and large concentrate on H2O and land pollution the apprehension of air pollution did non bring forth touchable apparent because of technological short falls. The bing statute law references non specific air pollutants like the Petroleum Act ( rpm. 1980 ) subdivision 29 ( 1 ) ( J ) bar of air pollution and the Public wellness regulation ( 1950 ) , subdivision 70 ( 1 ) ( m ) prohibits inkinesss smoke from chimneys. Even though the EMA was set up and is the state ‘s exclusive environmental organic structure responsible for pull offing, modulating and organizing environmental affairs. The EMA has merely managed to outline the Air Pollution Rules 2001 nevertheless to day of the month 2010 these regulations have non been made jurisprudence.

Trinidad and Tobago being a member of the Commonwealth and the United Nations has benefited from the research and technological promotion from these more developed states ( MDC ) . Enterprises such as the Montreal Protocol ( 1989 the control of CFC ‘s ) and the Kyoto Protocol ( 1997 the decrease of Greenhouse Gases ) assisted the legislative procedure of T & A ; T by association. The lone manner legislative was set up was by hoggish backup on the accomplishment of the more developed states it seems that this was the lone manner the jurisprudence shaper could hold had any impact on defaulters of air pollution in Trinidad. Merely when statute law is pass the state can profit from some effectual control measures where defilers are prosecuted and emanation bounds are set for all industries.


Trinidad and Tobago historically is a state of followings there have been really few cases where we were non promoted or assisted in some manner or the other in accomplishing established ends and the subject of pollution is no exclusion. Have we of all time wonder why the one set up air pollution Torahs stems from a diplomatic dealingss within the commonwealth and the United Nations or why we had to wait until the coming of OSHA to implement bing safety Torahs in our state. The reply is simple we are still waiting to follow no admiration statute law lance headed by locals are treated with scan courtesy. Had these Torahs been set up in some first universe convention they would hold been rooted in the seams of our judicial system old ages ago? Many of the bing pollution Torahs regulating the more develop states were chiefly as a consequence of international force per unit area, unhappily Trinidad and Tobago is non view as a major polluting state because of its geographical location and size. Evidence of pollution consciousness is chiefly seen in the new set up fabrication states whose parent companies originate overseas. It is merely amongst of fellow less develops states and Caribbean members that Trinidad and Tobago is recognize as a fouling state unhappily these states have small impact on planetary position.

Despite our defects, internally there has been an intensified attempt to efficaciously supervise record, control and enforce pollution cut downing systems and schemes. Internationally the over site of Trinidad and Tobago ( a state that can easy suit into the Orinoco River with a population that hardly exceeds big town in the United States ) has non deterred local attempts to pull off the degrees of air emanations.


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