Toxic Air, now Delhi’s year-round problem
High 24-hour average PM2.5 levels have been recorded across National Capital Region (NCR) between March and May, analysis of CPCB data shows. Experts say this proves that poor air quality is a year-round problem affecting the region, beyond winter episodes and individual weather events.
Environmental approval time slashed? Activists alarmed
India is set to reduce deadline for environmental clearances for power plants and coal mines to 170 days, from 600 days. Campaigners say construction and coal plants are major contributors to India’s toxic air. Centre has exempted public hearing for important sectors. This year environment ministry cleared 38% of total projects within 100 days, (compared with 16% a year ago).
Why does India’s air look different from space?
Europe’s new Sentinel-5P satellite, tracking air quality worldwide, captured worrying layers of formaldehyde over India. Formaldehyde is a colourless gas released by vegetation and a number of polluting activities such as burning wood. Together with nitrogen dioxide from fossil fuel and sunlight, it produces ground-level ozone, a severe respiratory irritant that can damage health.
Ozone level spikes four times in a week
As Delhi baked at 44C on Sunday, Noida and Ghaziabad witnessed a spike in ozone at least four times in the past week. Ozone, a composite pollutant, is generated when polluting emissions react with sunlight. The Indian permissible limit for ozone levels is 100 Âµg/m3 over eight hours.
China, S Korea, Japan fight dust pollution
China, Japan and S Korea pledged to fight air pollution together. China promised to reduce fine dust pollution amid S Korea’s growing concerns over trans-border pollution. The three will release the results next year of joint research on the long-range air pollutants in Northeast Asia.
War on pollution: China to protect 25% of its land
Extending war on air pollution to 2020, China will protect 25% of its land by the country’s new “ecological red line”, and keep it off-limits for development by 2020. China will increase forest coverage to over 23% of its total landmass.