Environment and Health Protection – Requirements for Ambient Air Quality and Point Source/Stack Emissions

The publication date of this work could not be ascertained. We used the date 31 December 2019 because the work was published during the course of the year 2019.


Environment and Health Protection – Requirements for Ambient Air Quality and Point Source/Stack Emissions

Standard 1236 of 2019

  • Published on 31 December 2019
  • Commenced
  • [This is the version of this document from 31 December 2019.]
  • [The publication date of this work could not be ascertained. We used the date 31 December 2019 because the work was published during the course of the year 2019.]
0.1Ghana recognizes the need to reduce air pollution from stationary, aerial, mobile and non-point sources to levels which minimize harmful effects on public health, paying particular attention to sensitive populations such as the elderly, children and pregnant women, and the environment.
0.2It is important to control emissions of pollutants at source and to identify and implement the most effective emission reduction measures at national, regional and local levels. Therefore, emissions of harmful air pollutants should be prevented, minimized or controlled through the implementation of relevant standards and guidelines.
0.3Ghana stands to benefit by applying resource-efficient, less polluting and best available technologies and practices.
0.4Clean air is essential to maintaining the delicate balance of life on this planet. Poor air quality is a result of a number of factors, including emissions from various sources, both natural and anthropogenic. Poor air quality occurs when pollutants reach concentrations which may endanger public health and/or the environment. Our everyday lifestyles, such as choices of transportation, open burning of waste, source of energy for industrial, domestic and commercial activities etc. can have significant impacts on air quality and public health.
0.5This first Ghana Ambient Air Quality, Point Source or Stack Emission Standard is derived from data collected by the Ghana Environmental Protection Regulator and research institutions in Ghana.
0.6Standards for clean air are very important instruments for protecting environment and public health. The evidence that regulation of air-quality has the concomitant result of protecting public health is based on a broad range of interdisciplinary research findings. Diseases and disorders associated with exposure to air pollution tend to be widely distributed across populations.
0.7Due to the potential adverse environmental and public health implications of air pollution, Ghana intends in the immediate to long term, to improve the air quality for the entire population.
1.1This Ghana standard specifies the requirements and test methods for ambient air quality.
1.2It also specifies the requirements and test methods for point source or stack emissions based on the sources of energy.
2Normative referencesThe following standards contain provisions which through reference in this text, constitute provisions of this standard.All standards are subject to revision, and parties to agreements based on this standard are encouraged to investigate the possibility of applying the most recent editions of the standards.
2.1AS 3580.4.1, Methods of sampling and analysis of ambient air — Determination of Sulphur Dioxide — Direct reading instrumental method
2.2ASTM D3162-12, Standard test method for carbon monoxide in the atmosphere (continuous measurement by non-dispersive infrared spectrometry)
2.3ASTM D3266-91, Standard test method for automated separation and collection of particulate and acidic gaseous fluoride in the atmosphere (double paper tape sampler method)
2.4ASTM D4096 - 17, Standard Test Method for Determination of Total Suspended Particulate Matter in the Atmosphere (High—Volume Sampler Method)
2.5ASTM D4323 - 15, Standard test method for hydrogen sulphide in the atmosphere by rate of change of reflectance
2.6ASTM D5466 - 15, Standard test method for determination of volatile organic compounds in the atmospheres (canister sampling methodology)
2.7ASTM D6209 - 13, Standard test method for determination of gaseous and particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ambient air (collection on sorbent-backed filters with gas chromatographic/ mass spectrometric analysis)
2.8ASTM D6602 -13(2018), Standard practice for sampling and testing of possible carbon black fugitive emissions or other environmental particulate, or both
2.9ASTM D7773-12, Standard test method for determination of volatile inorganic acids (HCI, HBr and HNO3) using filter sampling and suppressed ion chromatography
2.10California EPA Method 425, Determination of total chromium and hexavalent chromium emissions from stationary sources
2.11ISO 7996, Ambient air — Determination of the mass concentration of nitrogen oxides — Chemiluminescence method
2.12ISO 9096, Stationary source emissions — Manual determination of mass concentration of particulate matter
2.13ISO 9855, Ambient Air — Determination of the particulate lead content of aerosols collected on filters — Atomic absorption method
2.14ISO 10849, Stationary source emissions — Determination of the mass concentration of nitrogen oxides — Performance characteristics of automated measuring systems
2.15ISO 13964, Air Quality — Determination of ozone in ambient air — ultraviolet photometric method
2.16ISO 15713, Stationary Source emissions — Sampling and determination of gaseous fluoride content
2.17ISO 17733, Workplace air — Determination of mercury and inorganic mercury compounds — Method by cold-vapour atomic absorption spectrometry or atomic fluorescence spectrometry
2.18ISO 21438-2, Workplace atmospheres — Determination of inorganic acids by ion chromatography — Part 2: Volatile acids, except hydrofluoric acid (hydrochloric acid, hydrobromic acid and nitric acid)
2.19USEPA Method 10, Determination of carbon monoxide emissions from stationary sources (instrumental analyzer procedure)
2.20USEPA Method 23, Determination of Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-Dioxins and Polychlorinated dibenzofurans from stationary sources
2.21USEPA Method 29, Determination of metals emission from stationary sources
2.22USEPA Method 0050, Isokinetic HCl/Cl2
2.23USEPA Method 0061, Determination of hexavalent chromium emissions from stationary sources
2.24USEPA Method 426, Determination of Cyanide Emissions from Stationary Sources
3DefinitionsFor the purpose of this Ghana standard, the following definitions apply:
3.1regulatorstatutory body responsible for air quality
3.2air pollutioncontamination of indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere
3.3ambient airrefers to outdoor air in our surrounding environment
3.4ambient air qualitythe quality of outdoor air in our surrounding environment
3.5atmospheric emissionany release emanating from a point, non-point or mobile source that changes the composition of the air
3.6black carbonis formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel and biomass, and is emitted as part of anthropogenic and naturally occurring soot. It consists of pure carbon in several linked forms
3.7chimneystack or final exit duct on a stationary system used for the dispersion of residual process gases and particulates
3.8fencelinekey field locations, including along pipelines, at factory perimeters and even along rooflines
3.9gaseous fuelsrefers to any one of a number of fuels that under ordinary conditions are gases. Example liquified petroleum gas (LPG), biogas and natural gas
3.10hoodany device that removes airborne grease, combustion products, fumes, smoke, heat, and steam from the air by evacuation of the air and filtration
3.11incineratoran enclosed device that burns waste materials under controlled temperature until the material is reduced to ash
3.12liquid fuelscan be natural fuels (mainly used in engines, and in boilers and large and slow engines) and manufactured (or artificial) fuels (mainly alcohols, biofuels and products from the synthesis of hydrocarbons and coal)
3.13mobile sourceidentifiable source(s) of air emissions which does not emanate from a fixed location
3.14non-point sourcea source of air emissions which cannot be identified as having emanated from a single identifiable source or fixed location, and includes open fires, industrial and agricultural activities
3.15oxides of nitrogen (NOx)nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide
3.16PM2.5particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre
3.17PM10particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 micrometre
3.18point sourcea single identifiable source and fixed location of air emission and includes stacks, chimneys, hoods among others
3.19stacka shaft for ventilation or passage of smoke
3.20solid fuelsrefers to various types of materials that are used as fuel in the solid state
3.21total suspended particulate matteran airborne particulate matter representing a complex mixture of organic and inorganic substances, covering a wide range of diameters, from <0.1 µm and up to some 100 µm.
3.22undertakingany enterprise, activity, scheme of development, construction, project, structure, building, work, investment, plan, programme and any modification, extension, abandonment, demolition, rehabilitation or decommissioning of such undertaking, the implementation of which may have a significant impact
4.1Requirements for point source/stack emissionsThe maximum limits for the corresponding pollutant based on source of fuel/type of energy used as given in column 2 of Table 1. The point source/stack emissions are measured in accordance with the relevant test methods specified in column 3 of Table 1
Table 1: Requirements for point source/stack emission
#PollutantsMaximum limitsTest method
1.Solid fuels
a.Sulphur Dioxide (mg/Nm3)*200USEPA Method 6C
b.Oxides of Nitrogen (mg/Nm3)200ISO 10849
c.Particulate Matter (mg/m3)50.00ISO 9096
2.Liquid fuels  
a.Sulphur Dioxide (mg/Nm3)500USEPA Method 6C
b.Oxides of Nitrogen (mg/Nm3)400ISO 10849
c.Particulate Matter (mg/m3)50.00ISO 9096
3.Gaseous fuels
a.Sulphur Dioxide (mg/Nm3)100USEPA Method 6C
b.Oxides of Nitrogen (mg/Nm3)320ISO 10849
c.Particulate Matter (mg/m3)20.00ISO 9096
4.Electrical energy
a.Sulphur Dioxide (mg/Nm3)200USEPA Method 6C
b.Oxides of Nitrogen (mg/Nm3)200ISO 10849
c.Particulate Matter (mg/m3)50.00ISO 9096
a.Sulphur Dioxide (mg/Nm3)200USEPA Method 6C
b.Oxides of Nitrogen (mg/Nm3)400ISO 10849
c.Particulate Matter (mg/m3)70.00ISO 9096
6.Other parameters (that may apply
a.Carbon Monoxide (mg/Nm3)100USEPA Method 10
b.Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) (mg/Nm3)60.00USEPA Method 0050
c.Hydrogen Fluoride (mg/Nm3)4.00ISO 15713
d.Mercury and mercury compounds (mg/Nm3)0.03USEPA Method 29
e.Particulate Lead (mg/m3) (expressed as lead)0.50USEPA Method 29
 Note:1)Electrical Energy usage include induction/electric arc furnaces, dryers, oven, kilns, Alumina & iron smelting among others.2)*N represents Normal atmosphere and pressure
4.2Requirements for ambient air qualityFor requirements for ambient concentrations of air pollutants see Table 2.
Table 2 – ambient air pollutants -Maximum limits
#SubstanceMaximum limitsAveraging timeTest method
1Sulphur Dioxide(SO2), µg/m35201 hourAS 3580.4.1
5024 hours
2Nitrogen Oxides (measured as NO2), µg/m32501 hourISO 7996
15024 hours
3Total Suspended Particulate matter, µg/m315024 hoursASTM D4096 - 17
801 year
4PM10, µg/m37024 hoursASTM D4096 - 17
701 year
5PM2.5, µg/m33524 hoursASTM D4096 - 17
6Black Carbon, µg/m32524 hoursASTM D6602 -13
7Benzene, µg/m351 yearASTM D5466 - 15
8Lead, µg/m30.51 yearISO 9855
124 hours
Table 3 – Fenceline air pollutants – Maximum limits
#SubstanceMaximum limitsAveraging timeTest method
1Carbon Monoxide, mg/m310015 minutesASTM D3162-12
6030 minutes
301 hour
108 hours
2Hydrogen Sulphide, µg/m315024 hoursASTM D4323 - 15
3Hydrogen Cyanide, µg/m322024 hoursUSEPA Method 426
4Hydrogen Chloride, µg/m32024 hoursASTM D7773-12 / ISO 21438-2
5Cadmium, ng/m331 yearISO 9855
6Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), µg/m315024 hoursAS 3580.4.1
7 kNitrogen Oxides (measured as NO2), µg/m315024 hoursISO 7996
8Total Suspended Particulate, µg/m315024 hoursASTM D4096 - 17
1001 year
9PM10, µg/m37024 hoursASTM D4096 - 17
701 year
10PM2.5, µg/m33524 hoursASTM D4096 - 17
11Black Carbon, µg/m32524 hoursASTM D6602 -13
12Benzene, µg/m351 yearASTM D5466 - 15
13Lead, µg/m3124 hoursISO 9855
0.51 year
14Mercury (and its derivatives compounds),
1524 hoursISO 17733
11 year
15Cadmium, ng/m351 yearISO 9855
16Manganese, µg/m3124 hoursISO 9855
17Toluene, mg/m3824 hoursASTM D5466 - 15
18Arsenic, ng/m31524 hoursUSEPA Method 29
19Fluoride, µg/m31024 hoursASTM D3266-91
20Ozone, µg/m31208 hoursISO 13964
21Nickel, ng/m3201 yearUSEPA Method 29
22PAH, ng/m311 hourASTM D6209 - 13
23Xylene, µg/m37001 year 
24Dichloromethane (Methylene chloride), mg/m3324 hoursOSHA Method No 80
25Trichloroethane, mg/m30.724 hoursOSHA Method No 14
26Dioxins/Furans, pg TEQ/m30.124 hoursUSEPA 23
0.61 year
27Total PCB, pg TEQ/m30.624 hoursGC-MS
0.0351 year
5.1Equipment used for measurement of all pollutants shall be approved by the regulator.
5.2The testing laboratories shall use the test methods prescribed in this Ghana Standard or any equivalent International Standard test methods or other standard measuring instruments as shall be approved by the regulator for air quality monitoring.
5.3Measuring instruments shall for the purpose of this standard include any approved device to indicate or record air pollution or give warning of excessive air pollution.
6.1Measurements of air quality (ambient and point source) shall take place at any facility as determined by the regulator.
6.2An Owner or Operator of any premises shall provide the regulator or any other officer duly authorized by the regulator every reasonable assistance or facility available at the premises that the officer may require for the purpose of taking an action required to be undertaken under this standard in respect of the premises.
6.3Measurement of fenceline air quality and point source/stack air emission shall be carried out by the undertakings and records kept. The records shall be open for inspection by the officers of the regulator as and when required.
6.4The regulator shall determine:
a.the number of sampling locations;
b.the sampling duration;
c.frequency of monitoring air quality at any undertaking; and
d.frequency of submission of air quality monitoring report.
6.5Every undertaking with a point source shall have an opening approved by the regulator on each stack, chimney, hood etc. for the measurement of air emissions.
6.6The regulator shall establish a network of air quality monitoring stations in Ghana to monitor the trends in ambient air quality for policy formulation.
7ComplianceAn undertaking shall be deemed to have complied with the requirements of this standard if after measurement and monitoring, the results show that emission does not exceed limits presented in tables as prescribed under clause 4.

Annex A


Meaning of units used under clause 4
µg/m3microgram per cubic metre
mg/m3milligram per cubic metre
ng/m3nanogram per cubic metre
mg/Nm3milligram per normal cubic metre
pgTEQ/m3Picogram toxic equivalents per cubic metre
TEQToxic equivalents
Nnormal conditions (standard atmosphere = 101.325kPa)
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History of this document

31 December 2019 this version