Air Quality Monitoring Station commissioned in Arima

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    An additional Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station was installed and commissioned in 2022.

    The new station is at Holy Cross College in Arima.

    It joins stations previously in operation at the Beetham Wastewater Treatment Plant near Port-of-Spain, PLIPDECO House in Point Lisas, SAPA in San Fernando, and Signal Hill Secondary School in Tobago.

    These stations provide certain benefits such as:

    • Availability of localised, real-time air quality readings on the various air pollutant levels that can be used to assess the extent of air pollution and make informed decisions to best manage and improve ambient air quality
    • Provide information on air quality trends and air quality indices
    • Provide data for use in air quality models
    • Support the revision of air quality standards (Schedule 1 of the Air Pollution Rules 2014, Maximum Permissible Levels for Ambient Air)
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of emissions control strategies
    • Conduct impact assessments of source(s) categories
    • Evaluate the effectiveness/impacts of land-use planning on air quality
    • Provide real-time air pollution data to the general public

    The EMA says the location in Arima was selected in accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Siting Criteria, and considered factors such as population density, the number and location of sensitive receptors (hospitals and schools), emission sources (e.g. the Guanapo Landfill), ease of accessibility and security.

    Pollutants monitored include: Particulate Matter of diameter ≤10 mm and ≤2.5 mm (PM10 and PM2.5), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), and Ozone (O3), in accordance with approved USEPA Federal Reference Methods and Federal Equivalent Methods.

    The EMA says the national Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network also aligns with T&T’s National Development Strategy – Vision 2030 – which focuses on the ‘environment being at the center of social and economic development’ and aims to fulfill T&T’s commitment to the global Sustainable Development Goals and the National Environmental Policy 2018.