BLISTT air quality still good to fair

BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) reported that the air quality within the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) areas is good to fair based on the 2016 second quarter air quality sampling done in ten sampling stations within the said localities.

Reynaldo S. Digamo, EMB-CAR regional director, said that the ambient air monitoring and technical services section of the agency’s environmental monitoring and enforcement division conducted 24-hour air quality sampling and monitoring at the established air sampling stations within the BLISTT areas. He added there were six sampling stations which recorded air quality within the good air quality index, to wit: Tublay, Sablan, Tuba, Itogon, all in Benguet; the Mile Hi Center and the Ayala Techno Hub, both in Camp John Hay.

Likewise, Digamo noted there were four sampling stations that recorded fair air quality index, particularly in Lower Session road Plaza Garden, EMB-CAR Compound, both in Baguio city and Km. 5 and Km. 6, both in La Trinidad.

Digamo said the sampling stations were collected for Particulate Matter (PM 10) using the BGI PQ100 high volume samplers.

However, the EMB-CAR official disclosed the data collection within the Burnham Lake from the continuous air ambient quality monitoring station was temporarily discontinued due to the malfunctioning of the machine during the current monitoring and preventive maintenance schedule but the machine was later repaired.

The EMB-CAR reported there were construction activities within the compound and dry weather conditions contributed to the air quality during the sampling period also helped in particulate matter suspension, thus, the construction firm must strictly implement the effective measures to reduce the particulate matter volume.

It was also observed that suspended particulate matter was due to irregular rain particularly during the afternoon or during the sampling hours.

Digamo recommended that there should be continuous sampling within the established sampling areas to establish the trend of air quality within the designated areas and be able to provide accurate results to guide concerned groups.

Further, he recommended continuous reconditioning of the ambient air quality monitoring stations installed along Lower Session road and particulate matter station installed at Burnham Lake to ensure accurate results related to air quality in the said areas during the prescribed sampling periods.

It was noted there was an increase in the suspended particulate matter in the air in the sampling stations compared to the data gathered last year but the latest ambient air quality in the said areas remain to be good to fair.

The EMB-CAR report was furnished the different local governments comprising the BLISTT area and the management of the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC) for their information and action. /By Dexter A. See


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