The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the City Government of Valenzuela through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) formally inaugurated yesterday the fully-automated Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) to collect real-time air quality data in the Northern part of Metro Manila.
In support of the implementation of the Clean Air Act of 1999 and in support of DENR’s continuing campaign to improve air quality in Metro Manila, City Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian, a known advocate of sustainable clean energy with his sponsorship of several solar school projects, agreed on the installation of the station at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela (PLV) grounds.
“We are glad of the supports extended by Valenzuela City to the project. When I asked Mayor Gatchalian if we can installed one here, he immediately agreed on it,” DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) Director Atty. Juan Miguel T. Cuna said.
The equipment is capable of measuring in real time air pollutants and total suspended particulate (TSP) matters, such as, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead, and benzene, toluene, and xylene (known as BTX), as well as measuring meteorological data, such as, wind speed and direction, with the data to become available online.
Air pollution data that the station will collect will be used by DENR and other concerned agencies, such as the Local Government Units (LGUs) as the basis for planning and drafting air quality management programs and policies.
The Valenzuela station is one of four AQMSs acquired this year. The other two are installed at the De La Salle University in Taft Avenue, Manila and along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and another one at the Department of Public Works and Highways compound along EDSA is yet to be installed.
The sites were identified and considered because these areas are either, highly-industrialized, commercial, residential, or has high traffic density. “Engr. Jean N. Rosete, Officer-in-Charge of the Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) who lead the launching said that “vehicles contribute to about 80 per cent of pollutants.”
Aside from these four new stations, the DENR has nine other manual monitoring stations scattered throughout Metro Manila.
Joining the launch were Valenzuela City Administrator Teresita R. Capacillo, representing City Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian, PLV President Nedeña C. Torralba and Valenzuela CENRO Officer-in-Charge Engr. Rommel I. Pondevida .
The EMB reported that air quality in Metro Manila has improved as evidenced by the declining level of total suspended particulate (TSP) matters, which significantly dropped from an average of 166 micrograms per normal cubic meter (µg/Ncm) by the end of the second quarter of 2010, to 116µg/Ncm as of the third quarter of 2011.