Home » H.H. Hamdan bin Zayed issues resolution on reporting environmental data in Abu Dhabi

H.H. Hamdan bin Zayed issues resolution on reporting environmental data in Abu Dhabi

by Madaline Dunn

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region, and Chairman of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), has issued Decree No. (1) of 2024 on environmental data reporting. 

The decree applies to all establishments and projects operating in the emirate that are licensed by EAD or those required by the agency to comply with the decree. 

It outlines rules, requirements and regulations aimed at protecting the environment from pollution by identifying and monitoring the types and quantities of pollutants discharged into the environment by various facilities and projects. 

The decree will facilitate the creation of a comprehensive, unified environmental database to identify the locations, quantities, and contents of discharges to the environment.

EAD will be responsible for monitoring the decree’s implementation through enforcement procedures, environmental auditing and comprehensive environmental monitoring programmes in coordination with the relevant authorities, it shared. 

The decree requires facilities and projects to prepare an environmental data report, which must be submitted to EAD during the first quarter of each year as per requirements set forth by the EAD. 

Detailed in this report must be data on their consumption of energy and water, in addition to measurements showing pollutants discharged into the environment in a manner that does not conflict with environmental regulations or licensing requirements.

The mandatory reporting includes data on: 

  • The facility or project, 
  • Its applied operational methodologies, and 
  • Any operational processes, equipment and, 
  • Machinery and technology used in the project or facility. 

Additionally, data must be shared on any discharges made, with a statement of comparison against the maximum permissible discharge limits. 

The data should also cover:

  • Raw materials used as production inputs and procedures for controlling discharges, 
  • Measurement mechanisms used and periodicity, 
  • Measurement locations, and
  • Results and accidents that accompanied the measurement operations and corrective measures.

According to the decree, EAD will set standards to determine which facilities or projects must report on their data and discharges, develop mechanisms to monitor and measure discharges, and determine the environmental data that must be reported. 

This will complement joint action with the relevant authorities to enable the facilities or projects to determine means to reduce environmental discharges, identify laboratories, approve measurement mechanisms and devices to be used, and prepare and issue technical measurement guides and tests to be followed in coordination with the competent authorities.

EAD will also determine the mechanisms through which the facility or project must report its data. 

This may include electronic systems, in addition to receiving and reviewing reports, ensuring that they have been prepared in line with the decree’s requirements and EAD’s technical guidelines.

The agency will evaluate facilities and projects based on the reports received, considering their individual and cumulative impact, and request the reporting entity to submit a corrective plan if there is a data deficiency or if the reporting entity does not comply with EAD’s approved requirements. 

Further, the reports must be prepared by an environmental consulting office approved by the EAD to qualify for submission.

The EAD will assign an environmental consulting office to carry out any examinations or measurements related to environmental discharges in case of a complaint against the facility or project or to ensure the accuracy of the data received. 

It will also collect and analyse additional discharge samples from facilities or projects when needed or assign a third party or a representative from its strategic partners to analyse the samples at accredited laboratories.

EAD can also request that the facility or project carry out any additional examinations or other measurements as required and perform any analyses at accredited laboratories. 

This is in addition to creating an integrated discharge database on facilities or projects and sharing this data with the relevant authorities regulating the licence issuance procedures. 

The EAD will also supervise the monitoring process of licensed activities, conduct periodic evaluations to measure the efficiency of corrective measures and the effectiveness of any controls implemented and conduct awareness and educational workshops on environmental data reporting.

Moreover, the decree mandates establishments and projects to provide the devices and requirements specified by EAD to facilitate implementation and to use monitoring techniques compatible with EAD’s requirements. 

Facilities will also train employees and workers on environmental data reporting mechanisms and submit an environmental data report in accordance with the mechanism specified by the EAD, the requirements of this resolution, and its guidelines.

Establishments or projects must also commit to keeping all documents and data related to data reporting for at least five years, in addition to coordinating with EAD and relevant authorities, laboratories and those assigned by EAD and its service providers to facilitate the implementation of all requirements. 

EAD should also be informed within three days of any defect that hinders the reporting process, it said.

Further, the facility or project must commit to developing and implementing a plan to ensure and monitor quality, provided that the plan includes detailed instructions for all operational and corrective procedures. 

Depending on the case, EAD may request that the facility or project appoint an EAD-approved consulting office approved to verify the quality assurance plan, and submit reports on its implementation and compliance.

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