Air pollution is becoming more and more serious. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Võ Tuấn Nhân has called for sources of severe air pollution to be identified a soon as possible.
Nhân was speaking at a conference on pollution management and improving air quality in big cities yesterday in Hà Nội.
Experts from the Vietnam Environment Administration said that air pollution was more critical in big cities such as Hà Nội and HCM City.
The air quality index (AQI) in different localities often exceeds safe levels that can be harmful to human health, especially fine dust known as PM2.5, single particles which have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres.
From September to December last year, AQI in many places exceeded even 300 – the most harmful level for people’s health.
From February 14 to 21 this year, PM2.5 levels continued to increase, sometimes surpassing norms by three times.
To improve air quality and ensure community health, Deputy Minister Nhân asked for improvements to forecasting, measurement and the use of official date sources to supply correct information to the public via multimedia.
The main reason for air pollution was exhaust fumes from vehicles, so Hà Nội, HCM City and other big cities were at high risk and should conduct research and then propose plans to limit the number of vehicles, said Nhân.
Big cities should also develop public transport and take old vehicles off the road.
More trees should also be planted and water should be sprayed along main streets, especially during dry weather.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for completing regulations and laws on environmental protection. Clauses related to air protection, air supervision and assessment should be added to the amended Law on Environment Protection, which should be completed this year.
The ministry should also promulgate technological norms about exhaust fumes and air quality which are in accordance with other developed countries.
The Ministry of Transport should build a strategy to develop environmentally friendly public transport, while construction sites in urban areas take measures to limit dust and punish projects that do not.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade needs to instruct the use of natural resources properly, and protect the environment from industrial production and trade. Projects and plants which were likely to cause environmental pollution such as coal, petroleum, chemicals, steel, fertiliser and mining should be put under close supervision.
The Ministry of Construction should promulgate a circular about environmental protection in construction work, and regularly check construction sites. — VNS