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Dubai to beef up air pollution monitoring

Municipality to double monitoring stations, to cooperate with Nasa

Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai is working with Nasa (National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the US) and also expanding its air quality monitoring stations as part of efforts to protect residents from air pollution, Dubai Municipality said on Thursday.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, made the announcement on the occasion of the municipality receiving the prestigious European Standard Compliance certificate for its Air Quality Monitoring Stations Network, making it the first government entity at the national and the regional level to get this high-level certificate.

Lootah said in a press release that the municipality had replaced the existing monitoring stations with the ones certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and have high accuracy and resistance to the extreme climatic conditions prevailing in the region.

Alya Al Harmoudi, director of the Environment Department, said

that the current expansion project includes doubling the number of the existing air pollution monitoring stations from 13 to 26 by 2021, in addition to upgrading the current network of stations by adding new sensors.

“The expansion will cover all new urban development areas in New Dubai, including the Expo 2020 site.”

The choice of geographic locations for new stations has been based on the outputs of a detailed technical study, which included digital simulation and modelling to determine the stations’ locations and the priority to accurately installing them, according to the future needs up to the year 2021. The technical study had taken into account the population density of various areas in the emirate and its proximity to the various sources of emissions, she explained.

Lootah said Dubai Municipality had been communicating and coordinating with Nasa to provide it with information on concentrations of different air pollutants found with the upper layers of the atmosphere in the emirate captured by Nasa’s satellites.

Regarding the European Standard Compliance certificate, Al Harmoudi said it was obtained through the German Environmental Inspection Agency (TUV) after its evaluation committee visited the emirate and conducted on-site inspections of all monitoring stations continuously for a month.

Al Harmoudi said efforts are on to install computers and other modern technologies on vehicles to measure the concentration of elements causing odour, and submitting the captured data in the form of digital contour maps.

She added that such efforts aim to make Dubai one of the best cities in the world with air purity in accordance with the goals and objectives of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021.