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Carrigaline To Be Included As Part Of Air Monitor Strategy

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Carrigaline is to become a part of an air quality monitoring strategy in an attempt to raise awareness about pollution in the town. The news comes following a recent request made by Cllr Seámus McGrath (FF), who called on Carrigaline to be included, and to receive its own monitoring station.

At the time, Cllr McGrath argued that given Carrigaline’s status as the biggest town in the County of Cork, they should have access to an air quality monitor. He also noted that particularly in the winter months in parts of built-up urban areas, there is an increase of smoke and air pollution, which is very noticeable when walking around the town.

In recent years increased attention has been drawn the quality of the air that we breathe in during our day-to-day lives in town centres and villages. Efforts have been made to reduce harmful polluting factors such as the burning of smoky coal, however this has lacked local authority enforcement and as a result air pollution continues to be a cause for concern.

Cork City Council has established a network of monitors in partnership with the EPA and their National Ambient Air Quality Network. There are four stations across the authority which help to track air quality, located in Heatherton Park, South Link Road, UCC and MTU. In addition to this, there are two further stations in Cobh, one in Carrignafoy and one in the Harbour. Information collected from the stations is accessible through a Cork City Council website.

As part of a recent environmental report from the Council, it announced that Carrigaline would now become part of the strategy. The report states; “to increase the number of representative air quality monitoring sites in the county, we are planning to install a particulate matter (PM) monitoring device in Carrigaline in the near future.”

Specific details on where the device will be located remain to be seen, with the Council working on the matter in conjunction with the EPA. However when it does become active, the device will be connected to the EPA’s national air quality network and will provide data on PM 10 and PM 2.5 emissions, which will be accessible by the public in real-time.

Speaking to The Carrigdhoun Newspaper about the purpose of the device and what impact it may have, Cllr McGrath said, “firstly we need to get the facts on the quality of the air in Carrigaline, which might be different during certain periods of the day or year and once we have those facts it could lead to impact future policies for the area or result in information campaigns around something like solid fuel burning or promoting active travel. I’d be hoping that the air quality will be okay in the area, but if it did pick up high readings in a particular location, we’d have to respond to that in terms of promoting cleaner living.”

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