|Smog in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuấn Đức
HÀ NỘI — Environmental pollution authorities have urged Hà Nội and other localities to act quickly to address the worsening air pollution situation.
The Department of Environmental Pollution Control (under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment), in a document addressed to local authorities, says that the air quality in Hà Nội and localities is worsening, negatively impacting people’s health and health economic activities.
Compounding this, the current weather conditions are disadvantageous for the diffusion of air pollutants, which makes dust stay longer in the air.
Satellite images show that air pollution has badly affected many areas across the country.
A lot of new open burning sites were identified in the northeast (Quảng Ninh, Lạng Sơn, Cao Bằng, Hà Giang, Tuyên Quang), north-west (Lai Châu, Điện Biên, Sơn La), the Central Highlands, the south-central and southern region.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Hà Nội, HCMC City and Thái Nguyên, in particular, are at either an 'unhealthy' and 'very unhealthy' level.
The Department of Environmental Pollution Control urges local authorities to take prompt action.
Provincial and municipal environment departments must increase the frequency of air monitoring programmes and place more automatic monitoring stations across their jurisdictions.
Local authorities need to focus on inspecting and supervising industrial production companies to control emissions, and ensure companies install emission monitoring systems.
District and commune-level people’s committees need to caution people in their area not to burn waste after harvest to lower the emissions.
Those who violate the law around burning domestic solid waste will be prosecuted.
Local officials have been called upon to closely monitor and oversee building sites to ensure compliance with regulations aimed at curbing and mitigating harmful air emissions stemming from construction-related activities.
Such measures include the establishment of protective barriers surrounding these sites, as well as the utilisation of techniques like road misting and vehicle spraying to minimise airborne pollutants. — VNS