Oct 29, 2017 / 18:20

Hanoi to install more 70 air monitoring stations

The Hanoitimes - Hanoi authority plans to add more 70 air monitoring stations to improve air quality, according to the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

The department will work with the Consultant-AirParif Agency of France to invest in the installation of the air monitoring stations and to continue implementing the Technical Assistance Project for Assessing the Air Environment Status in Hanoi, signed between the two agencies in 2016.
Department director Nguyen Trong Dong said the department had been operating 10 air monitoring stations funded by the Consultant-AirParif Agency. However, the stations did not entirely reflect the real air quality of the city.
Vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen The Hung said environmental pollution remained a challenge in the city.
Slow implementation of investment projects for environmental protection, together with low public awareness of environmental protection and underdeveloped production technology, affected the environment’s quality, he said.
Besides, rapid urbanisation and massive construction activities across the city, together with increasing number of vehicles, also contributed to air pollution, he said.
Monitoring results show that some districts of Ha Dong, Hoang Mai, Cau Giay and Tu Liem remain high level of air pollution, which is particularly high at craft villages.
To help improve the city’s air quality, apart from installing more air monitoring stations, the department will also increase supervision of environmental protection activities and ask large-scale projects and production establishments that release waste to install automatic monitoring stations and transmit the results to the department for examination and supervision, according to director Dong.
One of the typical projects to improve Hanoi air quality is the "Technical Assistance Project for Assessing the Air Environment Status in Hanoi City" signed between the Consultant-AirParif Agency and Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment in 2016. In which, non-refundable ODA from Funds for Expertise and Capacity-Building (FERC) of the French Development Agency (AFD) enabled  this project in Hanoi with 10 air monitoring stations to be put into operation in 2016.
n September, Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID), a Hanoi-based NGO, released a report on air quality in Vietnam in the first half of this year. It compared air quality in 2017’s first six months and in the same period of 2016.
Based on the report, from January to June, Hanoi suffered 139 days of excessive PM2.5 level, according to international standards.
PM, or particulate matter, is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air. PM2.5 particulates are about a thirtieth as thick as the width of a human hair and can pass through lung tissue and into the blood, harming human health.
The data showed no relation between the concentration of pollutants and peak traffic hours, meaning air quality has been affected by different pollution sources, notably the energy industry.
Nguyen Thi Anh Thu, GreenID’s environment expert, said that though the air quality has improved, millions of Hanoians rarely enjoyed fresh air.
The Hanoi People’s Committee in January launched an online service with information about weather conditions and environment indexes, including air quality index, rainfall and flooding.