Haifa to expand air quality monitoring program

By
August 1, 2015 17:48

At the moment, the Municipal Association monitoring stations examine the presence of 22 pollutants, 17 of which appear on the Clean Air Law's list of 27 contaminants, the city said.

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haifa

haifa air monitoring station. (photo credit: HAIFA DISTRICT MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION)

The Haifa Municipality, in conjunction with the Haifa District Municipal Association for Environmental Protection, will soon publish a tender to expand the city’s air pollution monitoring program.

Aiming to add monitoring stations, the program is expected to cost more than NIS 1 million, the municipality said on Thursday.

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The plan will involve upgrading all monitoring stations operated by the Haifa District Municipal Association, as well as doubling those that target volatile organic compounds that are suspected to be carcinogenic, according to the city. Led by the association’s CEO Dr. Ofer Dressler, the program is slated to occur in cooperation with the municipality and the Environmental Protection Ministry.

“The city of Haifa is the most monitored in the world,” Mayor Yona Yahav said. “But when it comes to the health of our children, when there is a doubt – there can be no doubt. The city of Haifa is experiencing a dramatic increase in recent years in the quality of the air that we breathe. We now have partners in the Environmental Protection Ministry and the Health Ministry, with whom we are currently finalizing a large-scale program for further significant improvement in sustainability and air quality in the city of Haifa.”

At present, the Municipal Association monitoring stations examine the presence of 22 pollutants, 17 of which appear on the Clean Air Law’s list of 27 contaminants, the city said. Other materials are measured by the Environmental Protection Ministry, which constantly monitors 25 of the 27 pollutants and periodically monitors the two others – styrene, which is not emitted from the area’s factories, and total suspended particulate (TSP), which includes particulate matter PM10 and PM2.5, the municipality added.

A giant electronic screen will be on display in Haifa, to alert residents to their around-the-clock pollution levels, the municipality said.

“The monitoring network in the Haifa Bay is one of the most dense in the world and in Israel, beyond what is required in accordance with the European directive,” said Dressler, the Municipal Association CEO. “However, as knowledge expands about materials that may endanger health, technology is developed for measuring these materials, there is a place to become more sophisticated, to expand what is done in the field and receive help from the leading tools in the world.”


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