DOT Logo

Emissions from Road Transport

Road transport emits noise, harmful gases, unburnt hydrocarbons, particulates and carbon dioxide from engines, brake linings and tyre wear which cause localised disturbance, air pollution, waterway pollution and contribute to global warming. There is legislation against the emission of visible smoke but no other controls on vehicle emissions or on vehicle fuel efficiency.

If PNG is to meet its commitments made at Copenhagen in December 2009, the vehicle fleet will have to become cleaner and more efficient. This will benefit people living in urban areas as well as the climate, as cleaner vehicles will help reduce respiratory and coronary disease and create a more pleasant living environment.

The Government will review the import controls on used road vehicles, with the aim of eliminating vehicles with outdated and unserviceable emission control systems. The Government will also consider the inclusion of pollution related charges as part of the road user charges system. There will be an increased enforcement response to remove smoky vehicles from the road.

Environmental Safeguards for Road Construction and Maintenance

The construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure and the operation of transport vehicles and associated equipment will be subject to practice guidelines and, where necessary, regulations aimed at safeguarding the natural and built environment and minimising adverse environmental and social impacts on people and communities, considering both direct and indirect or consequential effects. DOW will take the lead in developing a strategy and practice guidelines in consultation with other stakeholders. Road network managers will be required to observe environmental laws and regulations enacted by national and provincial Government from time to time and the legal requirements and procedures laid down by the Department of Environment and Conservation.

Carbon Emissions

Carbon emissions from the road vehicle fleet can be reduced by encouraging fuel-efficient vehicles, by good maintenance practice and by substitution of sustainable biofuels for conventional petrol and diesel. DOT will develop proposals for each of these initiatives in conjunction with the RTA and the OCCD.

Climate Change Adaptation

Road infrastructure is potentially threatened by the effects of climate change, including increased rainfall intensities affecting drainage flows for culvert and bridge design and, at the coastal margins, the severity and area of effect of tropical storms and sea level rise. These threats require a response both when designing new roads and bridges and also in retrofitting existing roads to increase their climate change resilience. The DOW, NRA, DOT and the proposed Committee on Engineering Design Standards will take the initial responsibility for considering a response strategy to climate change that balances the risks of infrastructure damage and closures against cost.

HIV/AIDS and other Communicable Diseases

The potential spread of HIV/AIDS through construction camp personnel, and by freight and passenger vehicle drivers and crews will be countered through safeguard conditions in construction contracts and through operator education programmes in cooperation with the Department of Health.

Resettlement Impacts of Road Construction

The Government will compensate legitimate claims of those whose land, property and activities are adversely affected by new road construction and road realignment whether the resettlement is voluntary or involuntary, as required under the Protection of Infrastructure Act.

Impacts of Roads on Areas of Cultural and Ecological Sensitivity

The opening of previously inaccessible areas can provide access for undesirable exploitive and disruptive human activity, such as hunting pressure on wildlife and illegal logging and mining, and adverse effects on the traditional culture of isolated communities. Development of new transport routes through pristine or thinly populated areas will therefore have regard for balancing development advantages with environmental and social costs.