Air Pollution Case

Case Number

SCFR 87/2007

The Environmental Foundation (EFL) as the second petitioner has filed a case in the Supreme Court regarding the high level of air pollution in the Colombo Metropolitan area. The reason identified for the high air pollution is the smoke emitted from vehicles with high toxic gases.

Though the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has begun Ambient Air Quality monitoring in the Colombo area, only one monitoring system is functioning whereas the other fixed monitoring systems do not function as a result of system failure. The court has directed the CEA to upgrade and install monitoring machines in Colombo. The EFL has also requested the CEA to monitor all toxic gases that are being released into the air, without only monitoring the release of sulphur dioxide (SO2) from vehicles.

The Western Provincial Passenger Transport Authority (WPRPTA) has been directed by court to compile bus time tables so that there would be lesser traffic congestion, which will eventually lead to less air pollution. However, to date only four bus routes out of the 480 routes in the Western Province have effective time tables.

The CEA together with the Department of Motor Traffic have begun vehicle Emission Tests (VET) where, in order to obtain an annual license, each vehicle should undergo the VET. However, it has been noted that most buses do not undergo the VET as most of the bus licenses do not need to be renewed each year.

The proceedings of this case was terminated with the tendering of the draft Regulation of Air emission, fuel & vehicle importation standards which was published in Gazette Notification No. 1887/20 dated 05.11.2014 with the corrected Gazette Notification No. 1895/43 dated 02.01.2015.