Sensors to be installed to monitor air quality?
SENSORS which measure air pollution could be installed in areas of the Island with high volumes of traffic in the coming weeks if initial testing goes to plan, the director of Environmental Health has said.
Devices are currently being tested to ensure they are calibrated properly, and the department hopes to begin attaching the monitors to lampposts in areas such as the Central Market, Beaumont and Georgetown.
Sensors could also be fixed to the front of buses by the end of October, which would collect data from across Jersey as the vehicles make their way around the Island.
It is also hoped that the public will be able to access real-time data provided by the sensors on a dedicated website in 2019.
Stewart Petrie, director of Environmental Health, said: ‘There is currently a pair of them above the Central Market, as there is another very accurate sensor there which costs tens of thousands of pounds. We are currently calibrating the new sensors against that.’
He added: ‘We know that in the north of the Island there are not really any issues but in places like Georgetown, around the Central Market and Beaumont, wherever there is standing traffic, we can have a few issues.’
Mr Petrie also said that the devices would provide the States with data they could use to make decisions on issues regarding pollution.
He also said that the devices measured the levels of nitrogen oxide as well as levels of particulate matter.
In June, a UK company was brought to the Island by the Environment Department to measure air pollution levels in the Tunnel – something which is not thought to have been done since 1994.
The company found that air quality was poor at peak times and the department later issued advice to motorists to turn off their engines and close windows and vents while stationary in the Tunnel.
Mr Petrie added: ‘I would hope, all being well, that we are able to test the sensors on buses at the end of the third quarter, around September or October time, provided that things are working well. That is not set in stone but we do want to get them out as soon as possible.
‘We do not want to produce ridiculous data and leave ourselves open to ridicule. We will roll it out as soon as it works.’