DENR requires cleaner fuel, sets new emission standards

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has issued a directive requiring the use of cleaner fuel and imposing stricter emission standards for all vehicles starting this July.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said the requirement for cleaner fuel and stricter emission standards was part of government efforts to improve air quality in the country, particularly Metro Manila.

 DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2015-04 issued by Paje provides the new vehicle emission standards to be complied with by new and in-use vehicles starting July 1. The Order also enjoins the Department of Energy to ensure the availability of Euro 4 fuels by this date.

Considered the cleaner fuel, Euro 4 has sulfur content of only 50 parts per million (ppm) for both diesel and gasoline, compared with 500 ppm for Euro 2. Benzene in Euro 4 gasoline, on the other hand, is only 1% by volume compared to 5% in Euro 2.

As for aromatics, Euro 4 fuel contains only 35% by volume compared to Euro 2 which prescribes no limit.

Paje said the planned shift to EURO 4 was made possible through the support of oil players, car manufacturers and transport groups, who are doing their fair share to curb air pollution and reduce its impacts.

“Low sulfur fuels will lead to reduced emissions of particulate matter. This particulate matter, along with other pollutants, can penetrate deeply into sensitive parts of the lungs and can worsen existing respiratory and heart diseases,” the environment chief explained.

Since 2009, the Philippines has been implementing the Euro 2 fuel standards.

DAO 2015-14 also provides more stringent emission standards for carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbon, oxides of nitrogen, and particulate matter to be complied with by new passenger, and light- and heavy-duty vehicles.

For instance, the Order sets the average CO emission limits of 2.0 grams per kilometer (g/km) for gasoline-fed passenger and light-duty vehicles instead of 2.2 g/km, and 0.9 g/km for those using diesel instead of 1.0 g/km.

It also provides that all new vehicles to be used or introduced into the Philippine market by January 2016 shall be equipped with Euro 4 engine and compliant with Euro 4 emission standards.

The Environmental Management Bureau, a line bureau under the DENR, shall issue Certificates of Conformity (COC) only to new vehicles that complied with the Euro 4 emission standards prescribed by the DENR. It is a requirement for initial registration of vehicles with the Land Transportation Office.

Paje said the implementation of vehicle emission limits was consistent with Republic Act No. 8749, or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999. ###