5.8 million Swiss francs for better air quality

Article, 29.04.2013

During the annual meeting on 12 March 2013 to mark the Swiss enlargement contribution to Hungary, an environmental project that aims to improve the measurement of environmental quality in Hungary was launched in the presence of the Swiss Ambassador, Jean-François Paroz, and the Hungarian State Secretary for the Environment, Zoltán Illés. By 2015, regional laboratories and two mobile monitoring stations are to receive financing totalling CHF 5.8 million. The Hungarian government has also earmarked an additional CHF 1 million, bringing the total cost of the project to CHF 6.8 million.

Annual meeting to mark the Swiss enlargement contribution to Hungary
Jean-François Paroz, Ambassador of Switzerland to Hungary, Zoltán Illés dr, Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Balázs Simó, Head of Department, National Development Agency © SECO

In line with European directives and national legislation, the project aims to modernise the network of manual air quality monitoring stations, to update maps with information on air quality, and to identify air pollutants and their locations. The automatic and manual sampling points of the air quality network will cover the entire country. "To be able to preserve the air quality, we must first know the conditions. This is possible through the continuous monitoring of air quality with a government-run monitoring system," explains Dr Andrea Zay, Director of the Central Transdanubia Environmental, Conservation and Water Management Directorate.

The current network has been in operation for almost 40 years. Despite investments by the Inspectorate and the modernisation of measurement methods, measuring stations and operations, the network no longer meets national requirements. A modernisation of the network is, therefore, necessary to ensure sufficient data quality. Smog warnings are based on highly accurate measurement results, which are also needed for other measures taken by the authorities as well as for emergency procedures for immediate action. The modernised network will also provide information about air quality in regions where there are no automatic measuring stations. In addition, the new system will assure the continuous measurement of environmentally damaging particulate matter, which is not possible with automatic measurement methods. The financial contribution will support the development of a network to measure air quality as well as the modernisation of labs connected to the network. This will reduce harmful air pollution, strengthen environmental monitoring capacities, and contribute to sustainable development.

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