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

The resolution establishes rules, requirements and regulations to protect the environment from pollution by identifying and monitoring the types and quantities of pollutants discharged into the environment by various facilities and projects, and to determine the extent of their commitment. In addition, the resolution facilitates the creation of a comprehensive, unified environmental database to identify the locations, quantities, and contents of the discharges to the environment.

The resolution 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 resolution. EAD will monitor the resolution’s implementation through enforcement procedures, environmental auditing and comprehensive environmental monitoring programmes in coordination with the relevant authorities.

The resolution stipulates that the facility and project, whose activities result in discharges to the environment, must prepare an environmental data report and submit it to EAD during the first quarter of each year as per requirements set forth by the EAD. The report must include data on their consumption of the 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 of the facility or project, its applied operational methodologies, and any operational processes, equipment and machinery and technology used in the project or facility. Additionally, the resolution demands data to 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, as well as results and accidents that accompanied the measurement operations and corrective measures.

According to the resolution, EAD will set standards to determine which facilities or projects must report on their data and discharges, and develop mechanisms to monitor and measure discharges, as well as determine the environmental data that must be reported. This will complement joint action with all 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.

Among the resolution’s tasks assigned to EAD is to 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 accordance with the resolution’s requirements and EAD’s technical guidelines that will be prepared and issued to ensure its implementation.

The agency will also evaluate facilities and projects based on the reports received, taking into account their individual and cumulative impact, and request the reporting entity to submit a corrective plan in the event of any data deficiency provided or in the event that the reporting entity does not comply with EAD’s approved requirements. 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 the event of a complaint against the facility or project, or to ensure the accuracy of the data received. EAD will also collect and analyse additional discharge samples from facilities or projects when needed, or by assigning a third party or a representative from its strategic partners to analyse the samples at accredited laboratories.

The resolution further stipulates that EAD shall request the facility or project to carry out any additional examinations or other measurements as required, and have any analyses performed 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 lisence issuance procedures. The EAD will also supervise the process of monitoring licensed activities, conducting periodic evaluations to measure the efficiency of corrective measures and the effectiveness of any controls implemented, in addition to conducting awareness and educational workshops on environmental data reporting.

The resolution 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 to 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 a period of 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. They must also inform EAD in the event of any defect that hinders the reporting process within a maximum of three days from its occurrence.

The resolution goes on to stipulate that 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.

Without prejudice to the penalties prescribed under the relevant legislation, EAD has the right to take one or more of the administrative penalties stipulated in Law No. 16 of 2005 regarding the reorganisation of EAD, or any amendment thereto, in the event of violations of any of the provisions stipulated in this resolution.

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