The UB Post
NATIONAL AIR POLLUTION REDUCTION PROGRAM APPROVED BY CABINET
During their March 20 meeting, Cabinet approved plans for the National Air Pollution Reduction Program.
The program will be implemented in two stages, a short-term phase from 2017-2018 and a long-term phase from 2018-2021.
The program includes 59 actions to reduce air pollution, including a permanent ban on the raw coal used by ger district households, enterprises, and organizations. The program's authors believe that the program's implementation will result in an 80 percent reduction in air pollution, and that the presence of particulate matter and sulfur dioxide will be brought down to less than 50 percent.
In order to introduce the public to the advanced technology that will be used in the National Air Pollution Reduction Program, the Bayanzurkh, Songinokhairkhan, and Chingeltei districts will establish information centers for environmentally friendly technology.
By decree of the Prime Minister, in addition to establishing an anti-air pollution fund, amendments will be made to laws concerning environmental protection, reducing air and environmental pollution, rehabilitation measures, responsibilities for rehabilitation and conservation, public inspection, and increased participation in pollution reduction efforts.
In order to reach the program's targets, households will be given low interest loans for the purchase of fuel, electric radiators, and lower nighttime electricity tariffs. In order to reduce and eliminate air and environmental pollution, taxes will be lowered for equipment used to manufacture items that will have a positive impact on pollution reduction.
Due to high air and environmental pollution levels, the contraction of respiratory dis- eases has drastically increased in Mongolia. In 2005, 679 out of every 10,000 people contracted respiratory diseases, but in 2014, that number more than doubled to reach 1,730 people.
During this week's Cabinet meeting, ministers discussed research that has proven the risks air pollution poses for pregnant women, such as low fetal oxygen levels, miscarriage, premature births, and low birth weight in infants.
ULAANBAATAR’S AIR POLLUTION
Eighty percent of Ulaanbaatar's air pollution is said to come from ger district household stoves, enterprises, and the furnaces of approximately 3,200 factories; 10 percent is caused by exhaust from over 400,000 cars and vehicles; five to six percent comes from thermal power plant emissions; and four percent can be attributed to environmental dust, ash, and waste materials.
To improve air quality, highly polluted areas of the city that needed attention were divided into four zones: Zone 1: Songinokhairkhan, Bayanzurkh, Sukhbaatar, and Chingeltei District’s khoroo 51
Zone 2: Songinokhairkhan, Bayanzurkh, and Khan-Uul District’s khoroo 21
Zone 3: Bayangol District’s khoroo 8 Zone 4: Songinokhairkhan, Bayanzurkh, Sukhbaatar, Chingeltei, Bayangol, and Khan-Uul District’s khoroo 49
The government instituted a waiver for nighttime electricity tariffs for ger district households starting in January 2017. The free nighttime electricity scheme, which has been carried out at a cost of 2 billion MNT, has eliminated electricity bills for 108,000 households and cut bills in half for approximately 39,000 households.
Although the free nighttime electricity scheme has yielded positive results by reportedly reducing the use of coal and promoting the use of clean burning stoves, the program is set to conclude in November.