THE Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has announced the installation of a new Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (AAQMS) in Arima – the EMA's fifth.
Through the national Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network (AAQMN), the EMA monitors ambient air quality and advises on when quality deteriorates.
The network helps to generate the Air Quality Index (AQI) which informs the public on how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is forecasted to become.
The expanded AAQMN is expected to provide the nation with many benefits.
A media release said localised, real-time air quality readings on various air pollutant levels used to determine the extent of air pollution will become available through the additional AAQMS.
It will provide information on air quality trends and indices as well as data for use in air quality models. The AAQMS will also aid the revision of air quality standards pursuant to Schedule I of the Air Pollution Rules 2014, Maximum Permissible Levels for Ambient Air.
The collected data will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of emissions control strategies and conduct impact assessments of source categories. It will also help to evaluate the effectiveness and impacts of land-use planning on air quality. Moreover, real-time air pollution data will be available to the general public, the release said.
TT's five AAQMS are located in the Beetham Wastewater Treatment Plant in Port of Spain, PLIPDECO House in Point Lisas, Signal Hill Secondary School in Tobago, Southern Academy for the Performing Arts in San Fernando and at Holy Cross College in Arima.
The release said pollutants monitored include: particulate matter of diameter, less than or equal to 10 mm and 2.5 mm (PM10 and PM2.5), Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide and Ozone.
This data is beneficial to all, the release said, particularly vulnerable groups, who are encouraged to monitor the readings so that precautionary measures are taken. These include: planning for safe and healthy physical activity and reducing prolonged or heavy exertion, when necessary.
The real-time information is available on the Air Quality Management Information System (AQMIS) at the website https://ei.weblakes.com/RTTPublic/DshBrdAQI.