Air quality in Sofia improved last year compared to 2017. Exceedances of fine particulate matter standards were 17% lower in 2018 compared to the previous year. The reason for that was the measures of Sofia Municipality against the problem – replacement of the vehicles of the public transport, the extension of the metro, including the introduction of cheap urban transport on days of serious pollution.
This was made clear by a statement by Deputy Mayor of the Environment of Sofia, Yoana Hristova, on Monday before the Bulgarian National Television.
Hristova also explained that over the weekend excessive particulate matter pollution was registered on Saturday. Such was not reported on Sunday, although according to the European Environment Agency, there was also an overrun on the thresholds on that day. Hristova explained the discrepancy with the fact that the data of the European Agency is also accumulated for different pollutants, not just for fine particulate matter.
Information on the reported values from the stations of the Executive Environment Agency is published on the site of the municipality on a time basis. On Sunday they did not report an excessive concentration of dust in Sofia. This is also what the 24-hour aggregated data of the agency released on Monday. According to them, excessive pollution occurred in Blagoevgrad, Smolyan, Plovdiv, Pernik, Kardzhali, Lovech and Gorna Oryahovitsa.
A day before excessive concentration of fine particulate matter was reported in more places. The most serious was the pollution detected by the station in Sofia’s Nadezhda district – almost 4 times above the norm. Exceedances have been recorded for the remaining four city stations in the capital, although according to the forecast prepared by the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology for the municipality, air problems at the weekend should not have been. Hristova, however, explained that there were expectations of tampering, and the municipality had begun an “intensive washout” on streets and boulevards on 17 and 18 January. The cleaning of the roadways is one of the municipal measures against the smog. From the words of Christ, it became clear that despite the efforts of the municipality, there were problems with the pollution, because the wind had blown in the capital later than expected.