Restrictions may be put in place for movement of vehicles during days when high air pollution is expected, according to the Programme for Ambient Air Quality in Sofia adopted almost unanimously by the Sofia City Hall on Thursday. The programme was developed by experts of the University of Chemical Technologies and Metallurgy in Sofia.
The aim of the programme is the reduction of pollutant levels in the ambient air in Sofia, reduction of the health hazard, and control of the activities aimed at reducing pollution from transport, household heating and construction.
Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova told reporters in the Sofia City Hall that for her, this is the most important document for the future development of the city. Fandakova said that the programme gives the direction of the further work on improving ambient air quality which she said "has not stopped in the recent years".
Among the efforts of the City Hall to improve air quality the Mayor listed the construction of the metro, replacement of the rolling stock of the urban transport, management of parks, and further work on the waste management system. Fandakova said that the programme includes "all feasible, known and working measures currently used in other big cities".
She said that a contract has already been awarded on developing an early warning system for air pollution. The Mayor said that she expects the system to be ready in the autumn, so that other measures are defined that concern restriction of movement of vehicles during days when high air pollution is expected, having free public transport - partially or fully - during days with greater air pollution. Another measure, which is in the hands of the legislature, is having stickers on cars stating the noxious emissions released thereby. Big European cities limit the movement of cars with the highest such emissions during days with high air pollution, Fandakova said.
She said that she will meet with the new Environment and Waters Minister to discuss the programme and the measures.