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Latino Daily News

Wednesday February 9, 2011

Spaniards Living in a Pollution Fog and Officials Appear to be Doing NADA

The contamination indexes, which measure pollution levels, in Spain’s most important cities—Madrid and Barcelona, are at an all time high. What are the authorities doing to purify the air?

Madrid’s city council called on commuters to take public transportation as part of a “day without car” initiative in more than 200 Spanish cities.  But cars in Madrid are seen as necessities, something commuters can’t give up, and so the “day without a car” saw as many cars in transit as any other day.

Government as well as environmental initiatives are all on the table, but the City Council as well as the mayor refuse to take enact measures, seeing the issue as “an issue much too important to be tackled by a government ending its term in office”.

Madrid’s city council is already under scrutiny for failing to tackle air pollution, and apparently distorting data; city council officials reportedly moved air pollution sensors from heavy traffic areas, to parks, where the readings were significantly “purer,” throwing the average off, but still not under 40 micrograms of NO2 (Nitrogen dioxide) per cubic meter, the EU suggested average annual level.

Levels of NO2 in Madrid - mainly the result of car exhausts - are consistently over the EU hourly limit of 200 micrograms per cubic meter.

Proposals include creating more “Taxi Cab Stops” so as to reduce the number of empty cabs in transit, to reduce the emissions from boats docked in the city’s port, and making the loading and unloading of cargo in the city to be performed with electrical vehicles.

No measure will be implemented however, until after municipal elections since these are “important issues, not to be approved in the last days of an administration”.