Govt testing stations to sample polluted Vaal air

Six air-quality monitoring stations were opened in the Vaal Triangle on Wednesday, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism said.

“The launch of the first government-owned air-quality monitoring network for the Vaal Triangle marks a new chapter in our quest to liberate communities from breathing air that has been polluted by harmful substances,” Deputy Environmental Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi said at the launch.

The stations will provide scientific air-quality data to be used as a basis when air-quality management decisions are taken in priority areas.

“Since the area has been declared a priority area, significant progress has been achieved in terms of developing an air-quality management plan,” she said.

The stations are installed within various municipalities in the area. Four are located at schools.

“The placing of monitoring stations in schools demonstrates that the department’s focus is not only to measure the amount of air pollution in the area but also as a gesture to instil environmental knowledge and interest amongst the youth and communities at large,” Mabudafhasi said.

She warned industries that do not cooperate—by providing the necessary information about their emissions—that the government will exercise its “legal powers” to ensure compliance at all times.—Sapa

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