The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-Central Office Air Quality Management Section held its 2022 National Air Quality Workshop at Xenia Hotel, Clark Pampanga. EMB Director Engr. William P. Cuñado began the event by delivering his opening remarks which focuses on the performance of EMB accredited 3rd Party Stack Testing Firms and the target establishments/industries of EMB which requires regular stack sampling. He also highlighted the importance of the workshop which aims to equip the newly promoted and hired employees of EMB Regional Offices with better knowledge, increase competency, and provide updates on the proposed policy interventions of the Bureau. He ended his message by thanking EMB Regional Offices and the Air Quality Management Section for their excellent arrangements for holding the online training workshop.

Moreover, EQMD Chief Engr. Marcelino Rivera, lead the welcoming remarks emphasizing the successful programs of AQMS especially the launching of Air Quality Monitoring Network with the attendance of DENR Secretary and officials. Furthermore, Engr. Jundy Del Socorro, Chief AQMS, explained the Workshop Agenda. He emphasized the efficiency of Air Quality Monitoring in permitting system application and however addressed that the EMB should be more focused on the monitoring. Presentations first began with EMB-Regional Offices for the status of continuous/manual ambient air quality monitoring stations within their jurisdiction, permit issued, Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) and Continuous Opacity Monitoring System (COMS), implementation of Adopt-An-CAAQMS, among others.

Dr. Mylene  Cayetano, Associate Professor at the University of the Philippines – Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology (UP-IESM) presented the proposed new ambient air quality guideline values for Trace Elements, H2S, BTX, PAHs and BC. She presented the comparison of guideline values for the Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAZAP) across different countries. Consecutively, Mr. Arnon Brix Faustino, Monitoring Officer of the AQMS, discussed the Guidelines on Siting and Design of Air Quality Monitoring Stations and emphasized the components of the Manual for Siting Design, which includes general siting criteria guidelines. Followed by Engr. Shaun Jasper Go, Site Engineer of the AQMS, discussing MC 2021-07 Adoption of the Manual on Data Handling Protocols for Critical Air Pollutants. He discussed the assessment of data in comparison with the National Ambient Air Quality Guideline Values, which includes the computation of the Annual Geometric Mean of Particulates (TSP, PM10, and PM2.5) for manual and continuous monitoring, among others.

Moreover, the hands-on operation and calibration of the High-Volume Sampler were conducted by Mr. Joel A. Tugano (SEMS), Mr. Felix Brylle Domingo (Site Engineer), and Engr. Chadbert Nikko Aquino (EMS II). The objective of the presentation is to obtain knowledge on the principle of operation and calibration procedures of High-Volume Sampler, to demonstrate the procedures for the conduct of calibration of High-Volume Sampler, and to be able to perform actual calibration of High-Volume Sampler. They also discussed the different parts of the said equipment as well as its corresponding functions. Lastly, the calibration frequency for the sampler was also included in the presentation.

Furthermore, Engr. Angelo Villegas, Site Engineer, and Mr. Felix Brylle Domingo discussed the Evaluation of Self-Monitoring Report (SMR). Mr. Domingo presented the objectives in the submission of SMR, deadline of submission, composition (Module 0 – Module 6), and the evaluation criteria for evaluating the contents of the SMR. Engr. Villegas proceeded to discuss the basis for SMR Compliance, which includes the Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMoP) for projects/establishments issued with an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), and the Permit to Operate (PTO) for projects with Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC), small-scale projects/establishments. Engr. Villegas then presented a sample of the EMoP, as well as an existing EMoP of an establishment to be used as an example for evaluating the SMRs for the said establishment. Engr. Mae Ann Gatchallan, Site Engineer of the AQMS, discussed the QA/QC procedures of CEMS, CERMS, COMS and PM-CEMS. She discussed the distinction CEMS (measures emission gas concentrations (e.g., O­2, CO2, SO2, ­NOX, and CO) and CERMS (measures emission mass flow rates), types of CEMS (extractive CEMS, dilution CEMS, in-situ CEMS, and Open Path CEMS).

Engr. Paul Nathan Vallar, Engineer II, discussed the different methods of sampling approved by the US-EPA. He discussed Methods 1 & 2, for the determination of traverse points and velocity and volumetric flow, Methods 3 & 4 as well as the conduct of hands-on stack test report assessment. And the workshop ended by undergoing a post-test for the participants to assess their understanding of the topics that were discussed during the workshop as well as the sampling procedures in the different methods. The exam was given at the end of the workshop and is to be submitted on the next day and the results were collected and checked by the EMB Central Office personnel.

EMB Assistant Director Engr. Vizminda A. Osorio delivered the closing remarks and thanked all the attendees in this hybrid virtual platform from different regions and showed her gratitude to all the speakers for giving time in sharing their expertise, latest policies, and fresh new ideas in the wide aspect of Air Quality and Airshed Management. She also gives credit to the academe partner from UP-IESM for sharing expertise that made the Bureau inspired by the overwhelming support from them. Before she closed the program, she pointed out that the action will always begin with ourselves and these new policies and programs could capacitate all technical staffs from ROs that will play vital outcomes in the future of Air Quality Management in the Philippines.