Mayo investment in monitoring the air we breathe

Ambient air quality monitoring is set to become more sophisticated in Mayo, it has been revealed.

The Minister for Climate Action, Richard Bruton, confirmed that upgrading works have been carried out at the EPA offices in Castlebar to carry out the works.

Under new directives, EU member states must designate "zones" for the purpose of managing air quality.

Four zones have been designated in Ireland and and a nationwide network of 33 monitoring stations which measure levels of air pollutants in these zones.

Mayo is located in the Rural West region where current air quality is deemed to be level 2 (good), which is of a better quality than the east of the country.

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Following a review by the Environmental Protection Agency, a decision was taken to develop a new ambient air quality monitoring programme (AAMP) which aims to enhance and build on current arrangements.

According to the minister, the AAMP will more than double the capacity of ambient air quality monitoring in Ireland by 2022, and enhance the provision of real time air quality data to the public. “My department has committed funding of some €5 million over the lifetime of the programme,” he added.