Air quality monitoring network to be implemented in Tijuana

It will be a binational project that will contribute to the care of the environment

Photo by: Archivo

The care of the environment and the protection of the population's health is a priority for the XXIII Tijuana City Hall, which is why they will lay the groundwork so that, for the first time in the history of the municipality, an air quality monitoring network system will be established.

The initiative will be part of a binational project, as announced by the Mayor, Karla Patricia Ruiz Macfarland during her Second Government Report.

The project consists of the installation of 50 sensors that measure suspended particulate matter (PM) at different points in the city, which will be donated by the California Air Resources Board(CARB), said the director of Environmental Protection, José Armando Navarro de Unanue.

The increase in open air pollutant emitting sources, caused by the natural growth of the city and the scarce tools to determine the level of air pollution, prompted the XXIII City Council of Tijuana to develop the Air Quality Monitoring Network program, as well as to seek the linkage with CARB for monitor management.

"We are working on the installation of an air quality monitoring network, through a binational project that will benefit the community. It will be beneficial because the records will allow us to collect information in real time, which we can use to mitigate the air pollution generated in the city," said Navarro de Unanue.

The official indicated that the project will be developed in conjunction with the California Air Resources Board, with the purpose of reducing pollutant emissions on both sides of the border, due to the existence of data indicating the health effects caused by polluted air.

About this, recent research shows that, during 2018, in California and Baja California there was a higher exposure to air pollution, which could increase the risks of different ailments, such as asthma, heart disease, cancer, premature birth, neurological conditions and premature mortality, according to information provided by Tracking California.

So far, there are only two monitoring stations in Tijuana, one in Otay Centenario and the other in La Mesa, which are in charge of the Air Quality Laboratory of the Secretariat of Sustainable Development of the State Government. However, these are not sufficient to obtain accurate information regarding pollution levels in the municipality.

The importance of the collaboration agreement with the State of California is the donation of 50 sensors. The plan for their installation consists of two phases: in the first one, 25 will be distributed in delegations, sub-delegations and fire stations; the remaining 25 will be placed, in coordination with the State Government, inside universities and non-profit organizations, only after verifying the operation of the first ones.

With the information obtained from the monitoring, which is low cost and easy to install, citizens will be informed in real time about air quality, information will be generated for decision making, and people will be made aware of the importance of the emissions we release into the atmosphere.

Likewise, the data will allow, for the first time, a historical record of air quality in the municipality to be generated and used for the development and implementation of prevention programs to help remedy the air pollution problem.

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