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IU-Verdes asks the Plenary for Yecla to control the quality of the air we breathe (09/01/2020)

Improving the air quality of the municipalities of our country is one of the most important challenges that we will face in the coming years.

This is because, according to the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR), air pollution is the cause of more than 10,000 deaths a year in Spain.

Thus, this figure represents a greater mortality than, for example, that caused annually by traffic accidents.

In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that pollution is the fourth leading cause of deaths in the world with approximately seven million deaths annually.

The WHO also estimates that 9 out of 10 people on the planet breathe polluted air.

The data of our country regarding air quality are not positive.

Thus, according to the Ministry of Ecological Transition in its latest Air Quality Assessment Report in Spain: “there are numerous studies on the Spanish population that attribute a wide range of diseases and adverse effects to population exposure to poor air quality .

Therefore, it is necessary both to reduce the concentration of air pollutants and the dangerous exposure to it by the population. ”

And what are the data of the Region of Murcia?

Well, the average pollution in the rest of Spain gets worse.

Thus, the European Space Agency (ESA), through its Copernicus program, has recently established that the air quality of our Autonomous Community is the worst in Spain and the worst in Europe, only comparable to the pollution in cities such as Milan and Turin.

In this context, to try to improve pollution parameters, the Autonomous Community carried out the 2016-2018 Air Quality Improvement Plan.

However, according to Ecologists in Action in

the conclusions of its Air Quality Report in the Region of Murcia 2018: “the Air Quality Improvement Plan has not been a useful and effective instrument to solve the problem of air pollution in the region.

(…) An in-depth reform of the Plan is needed that produces a radical change in measures with concrete preventive and precautionary measures. ”

In addition, the Regional Improvement Plan has been lacking in economic, technical and human resources.

Thus, Ecologists in Action points out that the Plan did not have adequate budgetary allocations and that the measures had no practical development by the government of the Region.

In this regard, the environmental organization recommends in its Report a list of measures to reduce pollution, among which are literally the following:

-The reduction of motorized traffic in metropolitan areas, reducing the need for mobility with a proximity urbanization and promoting public transport (especially electric) in cities and non-motorized means such as bicycle or pedestrian traffic.

-The ecological reconversion of interurban transport from the road to an improved and socially accessible conventional railway.

-Saving and energy efficiency.

-Recovery of the stimuli for renewable electricity generation, replacing thermoelectric plants from fossil fuels.

-The widespread adoption of the best industrial techniques available for pollution reduction.

-An environmental taxation that immediately corrects the favorable treatment granted for years to diesel vehicles, which cause 90% of the pollutant emissions of urban and interurban traffic.

In the list of recommendations of Ecologists in Action, as can be seen, there are issues of regional competence and others of municipal competence.

Therefore, both municipalities and autonomous communities must approve measures to alleviate the problem of pollution.

And what is Yecla?

Well, in Yecla there is no fixed unit for measuring pollutants and the measurements made by the mobile units carried out in our city shine due to their absence or, at least, they stand out for the difficulty of obtaining the resulting data.

So the unity

fixed belonging to the Network of Surveillance of the Region of Murcia that is dedicated to monitor the contamination of Yecla is in Caravaca de la Cruz, population that is about 85 km away in a straight line.

Therefore, at present there is no reliable periodic monitoring of the quality of the air we breathe and we do not know if in Yecla healthy levels of pollutants are exceeded.

Although, it is known that the Caravaca station periodically exceeds atmospheric levels of ozone pollution with a risk to human health.

So, probably in Yecla, contaminant levels are also being exceeded.

The types of hazardous pollutants for human health that are not being monitored in Yecla are diverse: tropospheric ozone, PM10 particles, PM2.5 microparticles, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, benzene, toluene, xylene, arsenic, cadmium, nickel, benzopyrene and carbon monoxide.

None of these contaminants are monitored regularly in Yecla.

In this sense, the causes of emissions are diverse.

Thus, the main causes of it, but not the only ones, are traffic, industrial activity and the burning of agricultural waste.

Therefore, our town is not free to suffer episodes of pollutants, since, although Yecla is a city of about 34,000 inhabitants, we have a strong industry that multiplies the emission sources.

And in addition, our town has a large mobile park encrypted in about 25,000 vehicles, which means that for every 10 people, there are about 7 vehicles.

Likewise, the absence of measurements evidently causes that the citizens of Yeclana lack information on the quality of the air we breathe or that, for example, the population cannot be notified about episodes of exceeding healthy thresholds.

Therefore, there are also no measures, recommendations or protocols to reduce pollution and health risks that these episodes may pose.

For all the above, the United Left-Green Municipal Group has proposed to the Plenary of the month of January that the following measures be taken:

1º That the Government of the Autonomous Community be urged to install a fixed unit for measuring pollutants in Yecla, which also belongs to the Surveillance Network of the Region of Murcia.

2º- That the technical services elaborate a proposal of anti-pollution protocol that includes measures and recommendations to alleviate the possible episodes of air pollution in our city.

3º- That from the website of the City Council, and from the media that are deemed appropriate, the pollutant measurements are reported in real time and the appropriate recommendations and measures are disseminated at all times to preserve the health of people.

Source: Agencias

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