Of the three air quality measuring stations in the Michoacan capital, only two are still working, but they have not updated their data for months.
Morelia, Michoacán. Morelia’s air quality monitoring stations are out of service. Despite the urgency of measuring the quality of the air that Michoacans breathe, the three stations located in the city of Morelia are not calibrated, they do not update the measurement data, nor do they have active systems for two and a half months, including one of They have been deleted from the system and there is no news on whether it is still working or has already been dismantled by the authorized agency.
The station located in the Municipal Palace of Morelia shows its last update as of October 21, 2020. Since then it has not registered any changes to the air quality indicators in the Historic Center, one of the areas with the highest concentration of polluting gases due to vehicular traffic and that has had a significant presence of vehicles due to the increase in mobility that occurred at the end of last year.
In the case of the station on the campus of the University City of the Michoacana University of San Nicolás de Hidalgo, although the system is updated, the digital platform does not report data on the measurement of air quality, atmospheric pressure, or suspended particles.
Despite the growth of the state capital, measurements are only available from both monitoring stations in the state’s largest city and both are completely out of service.
In this regard, the Michoacán Environmental Attorney, Juan Carlos Vega Solórzano, head of the Michoacán Environmental Prosecutor’s Office (PROAM) warned that “although it is not the responsibility of the agency, the fact that both stations are out of service or at least not reporting information is not a good sign ”. It should be remembered that December and January are part of the months of greatest pollution for the city of Morelia. January 25 and 1 are considered high levels of emissions due to the bonfires and fireplaces that are lit by thousands of people at the end of the year parties. On this occasion, there were no such measurements and the impact of traditional bonfires is unknown in this regard, a measurement that may even have served to compare with the activity compared to other years,
INCREASES POOR QUALITY
Due to the geographical composition of Morelia, more systems must be available at different points that allow detailing the air quality at different times and in different areas to have better and more precise indicators. The foregoing is part of the agreement with the environmental authorities for transporters and civil society.
Last winter season, the airborne fine particulate and pollution indicators were marked in orange, one degree before red that would indicate dangerous levels for the health of Morelians. It has transpired that one of the points where more pollution is concentrated in the Historic Center of this city. The burning of wood fuels, coal, petroleum derivatives, and other rudimentary heating systems have in previous years triggered the levels of pollutants in the Michoacan capital, including rural areas and the urban area of the municipality.
Months later, during the dry season, from February to May, the large number of forest fires caused serious effects on air quality. For several days, the pollution indices of Morelia even exceeded the indices of Mexico City and the Megalopolis, although this was related to the gases generated by the burning of forests in southern Morelia, authorities warned a significant increase in the pollution levels and long-term health impacts.
Morelia is the only city in the state of Michoacán that has systems for monitoring air quality and detecting suspended particles, despite the above, the systems are not in the best conditions.
Despite the urgency of improving air quality in the Morelia metropolitan area, the project that sought to expand the quality monitoring network was rejected by the Federation in April 2020. By environmental authorities in the state, it will become to rethink, as it cannot be postponed.
In total, there were at least three monitoring stations that sought to join Morelia, where three stations operate that, although they provide information regarding the conditions of emissions and the presence of suspended particles, it is necessary to know the concentrations of gases with greater accuracy. in the urban area.
Ricardo Luna García, head of the Secretariat for the Environment, Climate Change and Territorial Development (Semaccdet) recognized the importance of the project for the capital of Michoacán and the surrounding areas, for which he will insist on continuing with this management before the Federation in future opportunities. The window has not closed, he assured, so the option will not be ruled out in 2021.