More Hourly Air Quality Readings to be Collected
Starting January first real time air quality updates will be mandated in 74 cities as environmental experts are stepping forward towards improving transparency in keeping the promises of cleaning up the air. Several pilot programs in several cities that started Friday already provide hourly readings data.
The readings will be released more frequently and will also cover three more pollutants than the present readings including ozone and smog causing particles. Tougher standards will be implemented for the existing pollutants that are being measured namely large particle matter, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection that collected data from more than 400 collecting sites announced the changes. Experts are saying that the tougher standards might lead to a decline in the air quality ratings of several cities and it will be harder for officials to achieve a blue day sky a rating that designates that the air quality is good.
The current air quality appraisal system requires 12 hourly readings in calculating the daily average. The new system needs 20 hourly readings to get a more accurate daily average and prevents manipulation.