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Fighting air pollution: TENT AIR project promotes green planting and awareness

The TENT AIR project addresses the issue of clean air in the D8 corridor and is now entering its final year of existence. The project focuses on collecting data on air quality in the section from the outskirts of Prague to the border with Germany, covering the cities of Ústí nad Labem, Mělník and the municipality of Zdiby. At this stage, almost all data have been collected. These are large volumes of data and samples from sensors and filters that will capture any air pollution, regardless of its source.

Samples from a total of 14 sites go to the laboratories of the University of Mining and Metallurgy - Technical University of Ostrava, where they are analysed to identify the different types of air pollution sources. Mgr. Jiří Bílek, Ph.D., the project guarantor says "In our work we also have to take into account the weather and evaluate temperatures, wind, humidity. How important it is to work with data from weather stations, but also to monitor current events in the region, is shown, for example, by last August's fire in the Czech Switzerland National Park near the village of Hřensko, when fumes spread tens of kilometers away and, of course, the measured concentrations from those days were affected." The air dispersion model is being developed by Norwegian partners with Norsk Energi.

Although the complete data from Zdiby will not be available until June, it is already possible to assess the impact of D8 on the surrounding towns in general. The results show that local heating plants, which people often resort to in the current financial crisis, have a greater negative impact on the citizens of Ústí and Mělník than transit traffic. Local traffic comes in second place in both cities. Zdiby, on the other hand, is most affected by immissions from the adjacent motorway.

At the end of 2022, the Norwegian Funds, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, announced the "Svalbard" and "Stavanger" calls, which respond to environmental issues. The first grant incentive allows cities and municipalities to monitor air quality through sensors, with a focus on local home heating issues. A total of 22 municipalities and towns located in the D8 corridor have benefited from it, showing that air quality is an issue that municipalities are addressing. The valid data obtained from the measurements will enable the mayors to take follow-up measures.

Zdiby and Mělník also participated in the "Stavanger" challenge and received funding for planting green areas worth over 30 million crowns. This should start this year.

After consultation with representatives of Mělník and Ústí, we agreed on the importance of educating people about proper heating. You do not have to buy a new boiler or stove right away, just follow a few simple principles and the amount of immissions from chimneys will be reduced. In May we are going to organise public events together with the cities to discuss the upcoming action plans aimed at improving clean air and heating issues. We also have plans to open a discussion on air quality in Zdiby, with an emphasis on transport and the planned construction of the Prague ring road.


On behalf of the TENT AIR project team Jana Panáčková, project coordinator

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