The National Framework for Air Quality Management in South Africa, 2012, lists vehicle emissions monitoring as a function of a Local Municipality.
Not all municipalities in the Eden district have the capacity and facilities to measure vehicle emissions. It is for this reason that the Air Quality Unit of the Eden District Municipality (Eden DM) is coordinating matters pertaining to air quality in the district and subsequently assisting municipalities with vehicle emissions testing.
Vehicle emission testing is done by making use of the Smoke Check 1667 Opacity Meter. The opacity meter measures diesel smoke in ‘percent opacity’, which is the percentage of light that is blocked when shining through a smoke plume, which can range from 0% to 100% opacity.
During the 3rd quarter of 2017, Eden DM undertook vehicle emission testing in Mossel Bay, Plettenberg Bay and Sedgefield in collaboration with the concerned local municipalities. A total of 112 diesel vehicles were inspected. Each vehicle first underwent a visual inspection of exhaust gas, and if a vehicle emitted excessive dark smoke, further testing by means of the Smoke Check 1667 Opacity Meter was undertaken. The opacity meter gives a printout of the test results and states if the vehicle complies or not. The local municipality may issue a fine or warning, if a vehicle does not comply.
The main objective of this project is to create awareness of vehicle emissions and to minimise the impact it has on ambient air quality in the Eden district. Public awareness plays an important role in protecting the environment for the present and future generations as enshrined in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.