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QUESTION: Can you please add Indonesia to your listing of countries still selling leaded gas [in mid-March 2011]? 15/03/11 Jakarta, Indonesia

Can you please add Indonesia to your listing of countries still selling leaded gas? Their population would put them at the top of your list.

I am an expat living in Jakarta, Indonesia and would like to try to start a campaign to start phasing in unleaded gas sales here. The pollution problem is terrible here and one of my sons is struggling to live here with asthma.

Thanks for any assistance or recommendations you have.

ANSWER: Mar 16 2011 

Dear Sara,

I'm sorry to hear about your son's asthma and the dire-sounding air pollution problems in Jakarta and I'm sure that vehicle emissions are a large contributor to invoking asthma attacks, but according to the Partnership for Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Indonesia has been unleaded-only, since 2006 [Reference: http://www.unep.org/transport/pcfv/PDF/APLeadMatrix-Apr2010.pdf ]

I'm told by my Indonesian colleague and fellow Partner in the PCFV, Puput Ahmad Safrudin, of Indonesian Forum for Environment - Komite Penghapusan Bensin Bertimbel (KPBB), in Jakarta, that one of the problems with the phase-out of leaded gasoline in Indonesia is that gasoline bowsers are not required by law to be labelled as to whether they contain leaded or unleaded gasoline, so it was easy for the petrol suppliers to get away with pretending to comply with government policy to phase-out leaded petrol, while not actually complying.

However, the only company in the world that makes the lead additive that is added to unleaded gasoline to turn it into leaded gasoline, (Innospec), settled the case in which the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that: "From 2000 to 2007, Innospec routinely paid bribes to sell Tetra Ethyl Lead (“TEL”), a fuel additive that boosts the octane value of gasoline, to state owned refineries and oil companies in Iraq and Indonesia." "Innospec has offered to pay $40.2 million as part of a global settlement with the Commission, the Department of Justice, Fraud Section (“DOJ”), the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”)." [Reference: http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2010/lr21454.htm ]

Therefore, the only way to tell whether leaded gasoline is still being sold in Indonesia, or was being sold beyond the official phase-out year of 2006, is to test the gasoline at the bowser, and this is apparently what another Partner of the PCFV, International Fuel Quality Center (IFQC), has done. The test results unfortunately are not web-published so if you are convinced that leaded gasoline is still being sold in Indonesia, then I would recommend that you phone them in Potomac, Maryland, USA on 3013542045.

If they do report to you that leaded gasoline is still being sold in Indonesia, then that would be something worth reporting to the US Securities and Exchange Commission by using the form at https://tts.sec.gov/oiea/QuestionsAndComments.html

If they report to you that leaded gasoline sales occurred in Indonesia since 2006, then that would definitely be worth reporting to the PCFV Secretariat, Mary M'Mukindia on phone Nairobi, Kenya on 254207625035 so that they can change the date of phase-out for Indonesia at http://www.unep.org/transport/pcfv/PDF/APLeadMatrix-Apr2010.pdf

Once that PCFV website changes, our website can change too, at http://www.lead.org.au/fs/fst27.html and we would also add something on the topic to our page of information about Indonesia at http://www.lead.org.au/indonesianindex.html [You may also find the information on lead poisoning in Indonesia at http://www.lead.org.au/Lead_poisoning_in_Indonesia_20100905.pdf useful in your campaign for cleaner air in Jakarta.]

Can I ask: how is it that you have come to believe that leaded gasoline is still being sold in Indonesia? If you already have good evidence for this, then that is something that Puput at KPBB would like to receive. His contact details are: phone 622131906807.

If you are concerned that your children and you are breathing lead in the air or ingesting lead from other sources, the best

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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