Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) on Tuesday directed the National Institute of Medicine and Rehabilitation to devise a rational monitoring mechanism for the new incinerator to be established at the healthcare facility. Pak-EPA held a public hearing on environmental impact assessment (EIA) for installation and operation of Bio-Medical Waste Incinerator at the National Institute of Medicine and Rehabilitation (NIRM) here at its office. Speaking on the occasion Director EIA Monitoring of Pak-EPA Ahsan Rafi Kiani said the Italian technology based incinerator to replace the older one would need proper maintenance due to its advanced and foreign technology. He advised the NIRM project team to keep the matter into its consideration and ensure proper measures in this regard. Kiani also lauded the NIRM project team for an elaborate presentation on the project and directed to give due consideration to the expert suggestions presented on its project. He also asked the Project Team to elaborate clearly on wet scrubber operation, bottom ash management, dispersion modeling of gaseous particles. Kiani also directed the quarters concerned to hold an inertness test of incinerator bottom ash before executing its dumping into an adjacent facility (waste pit) so that no ecological threat was posed to the environment. Commenting on the emissions dispersion model, he said particulate matter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5) as baseline parameter should have been taken in the dispersion model. The collection mechanism for hazardous waste was very faulty in the public and private sector hospitals where the latter had many reports of poor hazardous waste disposal, he said, adding, “The matter has been taken up with CDA and the Authority is working on it.” He also questioned that as per the international standards the five meters stack height was reasonable for emissions control then it was raised 23 meters. The Project Team expert told the forum that the Italian Authority was contacted to increase stack height of the incinerator to ensure save dispersion of gaseous emissions to prevent damage to local population in the proximity of the incinerator, whereas services contract was also done through expert firm to ensure sustainable maintenance of the incinerator. Environmentalist Farhat Shaheen of the project team gave a detailed briefing on the project. She told that the incinerator would replace the previous one installed in 1996 where the funds were managed through the federal government. The new incinerator was, Exce OS 8 Export version developed by Italian company, built on European working parameters with dual fuel options. She informed that the new incinerator would be running on natural gas as its primary fuel and diesel would be the backup fuel in case of supply shortage of gas. “The incinerator plant has a primary combustion chamber (combustion system), post combustion chamber (secondary chamber), stack, flue gas scrubber (emission control) and electrical control panel,” she added. She said the state-of-the-art technology had built solutions to reduce Dioxin and Furan emissions that were considered hazardous and also had 95% waste reduction due to advanced burning mechanisms. The hearing ended with a detailed question hour session where members of civil society, media and experts gave their suggestions to the Project Team.