HCMC needs new policies to clean up its air

The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that on the average day, air pollution is three times higher than the level recommended by the organization. On average the PM 2.5 fine dust concentration in Hanoi is 28 mg per cubic meter, and in HCMC it averages 10 mg per cubic meter.

Because of these high pollution levels, HCMC experts believe that the government needs to apply a special policy that will allow it to amend existing regulations, that will allow it to provide better management of the city’s air quality.

The WHO’s report pointed out that weather conditions, including climate change and the greenhouse effect have led to increased air pollution, especially at the end of the year in both Hanoi and HCMC.

Meanwhile, a report of the Institute for Natural Resources and the Environment, under the HCMC National University, showed that motor vehicles produce 18% of PM 2.5 dust, while waste from households contributed 14% and that the textile and garment industry contribute another 13%

Experts said the increase in number of private transport vehicles means, emissions from substandard waste treatment areas, and rapid urbanization and construction has caused HCMC’s air pollution to become worse every year.

Nguyen The Dong, former deputy general director of the Vietnam General Directorate of Environment, warned that if HCM City doesn’t have reasonable policies, set specific goals and take timely action, the air pollution will become even more serious.

Nguyen said that the city government needs to set policies on environmental zoning in environment protection planning; assess the air environment load capacity and discharge quotas; set regulations on state management responsibilities by increasing the decentralization of rights/responsibilities to localities/direct management establishments; set regulations on odor control and sanctions on acts of causing air pollution.

He also said that HCMC authorities have been urged to cut 60 ~ 70% of the current emissions volume to improve the city’s air quality and ensure people’s health.