Air pollution (Cyprus)
The state and impacts
- Air pollution
The Department of Labour Inspection (DLI) of the Ministry of Labour & Social Insurance (1), as the responsible Authority for the Monitoring, Assessment and Management of Air Quality in Cyprus, operates a network of nine monitoring stations, all over Cyprus. The stations are fully equipped with automatic analysers for the measurement of Ozone, Nitric Oxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Sulphur Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, BTEX, Particulate Matter, and meteorological parameters. The network will be expanded with four more stations in 2010. The measurement results are given to the public on-line, together with other useful information on air quality, through a dedicated air quality website (2), information indoor /outdoor panels and the mass media (i.e. TV, Radio).
The assessment of air quality measurements, shows a continuous improvement of air quality in Cyprus. Most of the air pollutants do not exceed the limits, with the exception of Ozone and PM10.
The Ozone exceedances of the 8-hour target value, observed mainly in non-urban areas, are primarily due to transboudary pollution and due to climate conditions prevailing in the Mediterranean area (high temperatures, extended sunshine periods).
PM10 exceed both the annual and the daily limit value all over Cyprus. These exceedances are due to natural sources (sea salt), transboundary pollution (i.e. Sahara dust storms) and anthropogenic sources, as well as traffic, central heating and industrial emissions.
To address the anthropogenic contribution, Cyprus has prepared the National Action Plan (3) with specific measures to limit PM emissions. For this purpose the Department of Labour Inspection completed, in 2008, a project for a detailed (1kmX1km) emission inventory and prepared maps with spatial distribution of pollutants.
In parallel, the Department of Labour Inspection uses a model with scenario analysis for the development of the proper strategy for the abatement of air pollution and the improvement of air quality.
Such emission inventory proved to be also very useful for the now casting and forecasting of air quality.
Regarding the emissions of pollutants in Cyprus, the main contributors are road transport and industrial sources. For the reduction of air pollution in Cyprus, several measures have been established taking into consideration mainly the provisions of Directive 1996/61/EC in relation to emission limit values and the use of Best Available Techniques that can be applied in Cyprus. Furthermore, the provisions of other relevant Directives for emissions control (2001/80/EC, 1999/13/EC, 1994/63/EC, etc), were also taken into consideration.
Regarding emissions inventories, according to the provisions of the NEC Directive and the LRTAP Convention, Cyprus submits each year the national emission inventory to the European Commission, through a web tool (4), and to the CLRTAP secretariat/EMEP Protocol (5).
As far as reduction of emissions of persistent organic pollutants (i.e. the pollutants emitted from unintentional production), an Action Plan was prepared in 2007 and submitted to the Stockholm Convention secretariat (6).
In addition, in 2009, Cyprus has provided an update of the national critical load data for the steady-state mass balance approach and for the application of the Very Simple Dynamic (VSD) model. Critical loads are calculated in accordance to the call for data (CCE 2008) and following the methods described in the Mapping Manual (ICP Modeling & Mapping 2008). The model VSD was used to calculate the geochemical dynamic and the Critical Loads for all receptor sites. About 40.5 % of the area of Cyprus is covered by forests and other (semi-) natural vegetation for which critical loads of acidity and nutrient nitrogen are computed.