Air pollution: Sofia Municipality now wants early warning system

Written by on May 17, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Air pollution: Sofia Municipality now wants early warning system

Sofia Municipality now wants to implement steps which might improve the air quality in the Bulgarian capital. Those include an early warning system and free public transport on days with a lot of pollution. NGOs have asked for steps of this kind for a long time.

The Municipal Council in Sofia will vote on the Municipality’s plans tomorrow.

According to Joanna Hristova, Sofia’s Deputy Mayor for Ecology, the city would be able to predict information regarding air pollution 48 hours in advance if it had an early warning system. It would analyse data from different sources.

On the basis of the information acquired through the system, the Municipality wants to decide on which days public transport will be free for everyone. That way, Mayor Yordanka Fandakova intends to make inhabitants refrain from driving and use trams, buses or the Metro instead.

Deputy Mayor Joanna Hristova told Bulgarian language media, after the implementation of the early warning system “we will be able to take appropriate steps to try to reduce negative effects” on the air quality.

Hristova also wants to tighten checks of vehicles, owners of which have to carry out technical inspections on a regular basis. Apart from old vehicles, she identified heating with wood and coal as one of the main pollution sources. A so-called “energy assistance” is supposed to give the Municipality the ability to decrease negative effects in this regard as well.

Greenpeace Bulgaria has demanded action for the improvement of the air quality in Sofia, including short, mid and long term solutions, for years.

Recent studies on the air quality in Sofia have produced alarming results. One of them came to the conclusion that 18,000 Bulgarians died every year as a result of the air pollution. In another one it said, Sofia was the most polluted capital in all of Europe.

 

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Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.