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Ceturtdiena 02.04.2020 | Name days: Imgarde, Irmgarde
LatviaLatvia

Air quality in port city of Ventspils meets all requirements, municipality confirms

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In the Latvian port city of Ventspils, the data of air quality monitoring meet all requirements, BNN learnt from the City Council’s chief expert of Environmental Monitoring, Tatjana Valdmane.

The expert noted that in Ventspils, there are three stations of air quality monitoring: one operated by the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre, one by the Freeport of Ventspils and one by the Regional Environment Administration (RVP) of the State Environmental Service, which only measures dust in the territory of the port.

According to Valdmane, in these stations, the requirements of air quality have not been exceeded.

«Manipulation with data and fooling of people,» said the administrative and legal director of the Ventspils Commercial Port, Alīna Rugine, characterising information in some media about bad air in Venstpils, where port companies are often blamed for this.

«The fact that the amount of hard particles changes from day to day, is a normal phenomenon, since both the direction of wind and the sources change,» highlighted Rugine.

«One has to understand that the monitoring stations do not record coal dust, but any hard particles. Trees are blooming, a road is repaired, a stove is heated – all this is recorded.»

For example, during wintertime, you can pinpoint the time, when people return home from work and start heating their homes, and this is also visible in the monitoring. In addition, many major construction projects are currently carried out in Ventspils such as road repair works and also the demolition of a house in Jānis street near a monitoring point.

Importantly, the municipality annually receives from the Ventspils Commercial Port several tens of thousands of euros. In natural resource tax, the company pays around 80 000 to 100 000 euros depending of the amount of operations. The state receives 40% of this money, while the municipality receives 60%.

Rugine noted that the Ventspils Commercial Port looks every year for additional solutions and the municipality should also look for them as part of its efforts to care for the population of the city. «A question to the municipality: where does this money collected in taxes go? Aside from routine cleaning works and the planting of trees, which is a normal thing to every city, the municipality of a port city should set itself more ambitious tasks.»

Valdmane, the environmental expert of the Ventspils City Council, said, when commenting on the involvement of the municipality in ensuring air quality in Ventspils, that although permits for carrying out polluting operations are issued by the RVP, the municipality also reads applications and provides its comments.

In addition, the local government has included in its territorial plan conditions for the development of the operation of enterprises to reduce effects of business operations on air quality. Also, green spaces are maintained, streets are cleaned and the local government works on reducing the effects of heating utilities on air quality.

Meanwhile, the representative of the Ventspils Commercial Port sees a problem in the approach: «If the climate conditions are changing, then the approach to city cleaning should also be changed».


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