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Hanoi, Saigon to Ramp Up Environmental Quality Monitoring

In an effort to tackle the country’s severe air pollution, municipal authorities in Hanoi and Saigon are upgrading their monitoring game.

In October last year, Hanoi’s air quality was the poorest in years, as US-based environment indicator AirNow ranked its atmosphere the second-worst in the world.

Recently, Hanoi officials announced that by 2020 the capital will set up as many as 349 more air monitoring stations in addition to the city’s current 10, allowing environmental agencies to obtain a complete picture of the metropolis’ pollution problem.

The new proposal states that seven of the facilities will be active year-round while the other 352 will be operated intermittently during different periods of the year. According to Tuoi Tre, the current 10 stations, whose initial cost was funded by the French government, have been in place for years.

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung shared with the newspaper that the existing 10 can only provide readings in certain areas in the city. A complete system of 359 stations will be a big step in the city’s effort to combat pollution.

Saigon authorities have also been working on improving the city’s environment facilities. According to Dan Tri, later this month the Department of Natural Resources and Environment will begin publishing air and water quality readings on 48 informational screens citywide.

Department officials told the news source that the readings will be collected at 16 automatic monitoring stations at industrial parks, export processing zones and other locations in the city.

The data will be released monthly on these displays, as well as on the department’s website. Included in the air quality readings are concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and dust. The water quality panel will feature levels of pH, dissolved oxygen, chemical oxygen demand and biochemical oxygen demand.

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