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The Sofia Municipal Council approved the air pollution response mechanism

Sofia Municipal Council approved the mechanism of action for the Sofia Municipality response in case of real or projected exceedances of particulate matter in the atmosphere. The measures were introduced immediately as on January 26 were expected excess levels of PM10.

The mechanism is one of the over 100 measures set out in the Programme for Improving Ambient Air Quality of Sofia Municipality, approved in May 2017.

The mechanism addresses various cases of exceedances of particulate matter emissions, proposing the introduction of an appropriate set of measures: (additionally) increase washing, spraying and mechanized sweeping of streets under the right atmospheric conditions; referral to the authorities of Sofia Metropolitan MoI Directorate for extraordinary inspections of vehicles’ technical condition; conducting extraordinary inspections by the Sofia Inspectorate and the Regional Inspectorates of Environment and Water (RIEW) at secondary raw materials collection points and auto-repair shops; setting up buffer zones for car park in the right lanes of central access routes near public transport stops; restricting access to areas and blocks of the central part of the city; restricting parking in parts of the blue and green areas; introducing an all-day travel pass for all public transport lines - Green ticket for the price of BGN 1.00.

Given the expected exceedances of PM10 levels for January 26, Sofia Municipality calls on residents and guests of Sofia to refrain from driving their private cars and to use the public transport, and calls on households that use wood and coal for heating to use electric appliances or other type of environmental friendly heating. The Sofia Metropolitan MoI Directorate is assigned to start extraordinary vehicles’ inspections for harmful emission levels. The Sofia Inspectorate, together with RIEW, will carry out extraordinary inspections at secondary raw materials collection points of the secondary raw materials and auto-repair shops for unregulated waste incineration.