Media Release: Ambient Air Quality Monitoring conducted in Louis Fourie Road Mossel Bay
For immediate release
25 January 2021
The stretch of the Louis Fourie Road between Hartenbos and Mossel Bay was identified as an Air Quality hotspot in the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) 3rd Generation Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP), as a result of mobile emissions. This declaration was made based on estimate emissions, making use of traffic counts and international-based emission factors from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).
According to Dr Schoeman, GRDM Manager: Air Quality: “Based on the traffic counts obtained from the South African National Roads Agency Ltd (SANRAL), the highest traffic density in the Garden Route district is most probably experienced along the R102 provincial road between Hartenbos and Mossel Bay through the Voorbaai area. A total number of 9.5 million vehicles were counted during 2018”.
It is recommended in the AQMP that ambient air quality monitoring be undertaken to verify the estimated emissions and compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
From 5 January 2021 to 11 January 2021, the GRDM District Air Quality Unit commissioned its Zephyr mobile Air Quality monitoring station on Louis Fourie Road in Mossel Bay to verify the estimated emissions in the AQMP. Monitoring work was also intended to determine whether the stretch of road is indeed a hotspot.
“The results indicated periods of exceedances of the 24-hour average concentrations for both Sulphur dioxide (SO2) as well as Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), 24-hour average concentrations as specified in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” said Dr Schoeman. According to Dr Schoeman, the Zephyr monitoring station does not make use of reference methods for sampling, hence it is calibrated, and the results are highly accurate and therefore the perfect tool for screening purposes. The Zephyr was imported from the UK, who is using it extensively for more than five years to determine the impact of vehicle emissions in the greater Londen.
The exercise helps in creating awareness and to demonstrate that non-industrial activities also have an impact on ambient air quality. The results will be discussed with Mossel Bay local municipality, which can be used as supplementary motivation to improve traffic flow along Louis Fourie road with the Provincial Roads directorate.