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Atlas of Jordan

Myriam Ababsa

Chapter ten - Jordan Mega Projects for Water, Energy and Transportation

Air Pollution

Myriam Ababsa

Texte intégral

1The human costs of air pollution are considerable in Jordan. According to a report published in 2000 by the World Bank under the Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Program (METAP), approximately 600 people die prematurely each year in Jordan because of urban pollution. 50-90% of air pollution in Jordanian towns is caused by road traffic. Readings taken in 2007 by Jordanian researchers showed that levels of black carbon particles in the air were higher in urban areas (caused by vehicles and heating) than in industrial areas (Hamashaa, Almomanib, Abu-Allabanc, Arnottd, 2010).

2In 2006 new policies limited industrial emissions into the air and soil and controlled greenhouse gas emissions. The government set acceptable levels of pollutant gas emissions from industry and vehicles, and two types of unleaded petrol (90 and 95 octane) were introduced, significantly limiting lead pollution.

3Maximum levels of pollutant gas emissions from industry were set in 2006: 6,500 mg/m3 sulphur dioxide SO2 for the oil industry, 50 mg/m3 of particles for the cement industry, and 200 mg/m3 nitrogen oxides NOx (NO and NO2) for combustion plants. These levels are lower than those set in Europe. Indeed, Jordan set an acceptable annual limit of 100 μg/m3 (0.04 ppm) for nitrogen oxides NOx (NO and NO2), while the limit in Europe is 40 μg/m3. The limit for sulphur dioxide SO2 is 104 μg/m3 in Jordan compared to 40 μg/m3 in Europe (AQMS 2011).

4For motor vehicles, maximum emission levels were also determined for CO2 (maximum 10%), carbon monoxide CO (max. 5%), unburned hydrocarbons (black smoke) (max. 600 ppm) and the opacity of diesel emissions (max. 70%) (AQMS 2011). Enforcement teams were set up by the Ministry of the Environment and violators are fined up to 500 JD for polluting trucks.

5Regular measurements show that pollution caused by heavy metals and fine particulate matter (PM10) produced by industry has been reduced in Jordan over the past ten years but remains higher in industrial towns (Sahab to the south of Amman, Zarqa and Irbid). The upper limit set by Jordan is 120 μg/m3 of PM10 per day.

6In conjunction with the French Development Agency, the Jordanian Ministry of the Environment has undertaken a project to measure and inform the public of air pollution levels at traffic lights (announced for 2013). In 2009 French experts from BURGEAP measured levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in Amman, Zarqa and Irbid (fig. X.21). In downtown Amman, monitoring stations measured average concentrations of 70 μg/m3 for NO2, which corresponds to 100 μg/m3 NOx, i.e. the national acceptable limit. However, near the Abdali intersection a concentration of 118 μg/m3 was measured (AQMS 2011). Concentrations of sulphur dioxide SO2 are low in Amman (15 μg/m3) but in the south of the city, they are 87.4 μg/m3; double the European norm (AQMS 2011). Regarding small airborne particles PM10, Amman has an average level of 51.8 μg/m3 - better than Zarqa (115.6 μg/m3) and Irbid (96 μg/m3) (AQMS 2011).

Figure X.21 — Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) concentration in various locations in Amman and Zarqa in 2007.

Figure X.21 — Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) concentration in various locations in Amman and Zarqa in 2007.

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure X.21 — Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) concentration in various locations in Amman and Zarqa in 2007.
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