Government have said it will be providing additional air quality monitoring in the North District and that it follows a commitment made by the Minister for the Environment and is consistent with calls for such monitoring over the years from environmental groups, notably the ESG.
The mobile air quality monitoring units consist of two AQMesh pods. The devices have the option of being supplied with a solar panel and battery to ensure unattended mains-free operation. They are configured for the full range of available pollutants ie PM10, PM2.5, Nitrogen dioxide, Nitric Oxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide and Ozone.
One AQMesh pod has been installed at Europort Road to monitor ambient Air Quality in the North District. "The location has been chosen because of its proximity to shipping, the new power station and to monitor traffic emissions in the area. The automatic data produced will be logged and stored on the instruments and collected hourly using the in-house telemetry system. The devices will be operation by the Environmental Agency (EA), while their consultants Ricardo will apply an appropriate quality control regime to the station data. The data produced from these devices are described as “indicative”."
The other AQMesh pod has been installed at the Frontier to measure occupational air quality exposure levels, and follows discussion between the Department of the Environment and Climate Change, EA, Customs, the GGCA and the ESG.
The AQMesh pods will be incorporated into the data management programme of the wider Gibraltar Air Quality and Climate Change Programme, providing all data collection, processing and reporting, and there will be public access to the data.
Both units are presently undergoing commissioning and useable data will start to be collected as from the end of this week.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change John Cortes commented, “I am very pleased that we will now have more focused information on air quality on the north district. As we work hard to improve air quality with such measures as the new LNG power station, encouraging solar power and the Sustainable Traffic and Transport Plan, it is important that we should have more detailed ￼information on what the problems are and on how the measures are reflected in the quality of our air. These monitors will be important tools in ensuring that our air quality continues to improve”.