The Ministry of Environment under the Ministry of Tourism and Environment explained that the most important problem during the year of air quality in Northern Cyprus is the dust concentration in the air.
In the “2017 Annual Air Quality Report”, the agency announced that in past years, centralized sulphur dioxide emissions, which are among the threats to public health, are in statute standards as a result of restrictions imposed on fuel imports under the Environmental Law.
The Ministry of Environment announced that air quality measurements were carried out in Nicosia, Famagusta, Girne, Guzelyurt, Teknecik, Kalecik and Alevkayası and the air quality in the year 2017 was assessed.
In 2010, a national monitoring network was established throughout the country. Fikri Ataoglu, Minister of Tourism and Environment, emphasized that the measurements were made at 9 stations throughout the year. Ataoğlu stated that their targets are to create a liveable and sustainable environmental policy and stated that their work continues to increase in this context.
Minister Ataoglu emphasized that the purpose of the studies carried out is to define air quality targets to prevent or reduce the harmful effects of air pollution on the environment and human health, to evaluate air quality based on defined methods and to obtain sufficient information about air quality.
In 2017, daily and annual dust concentrations exceeded the limit values established for the protection of human health, according to the results of the report on the quality of air evaluated in comparison with the Air Quality Assessment and Management Regulation harmonized with the European Union directives.
The maximum dust was measured at the Girne station. While the average annual limit value for dust concentration is 40μg/m3, the annual average values of dust are 57.3μg/m3 in Girne, 48μg/m3 in Bedrettin Demirel Street, 42.3μg/m3 in Famagusta, 48.5μg/m3 in Nicosia Küçükkaymaklı. In other stations, the annual average was determined as 19μg/m3 in Alevkayası, 38μg/m3 in Kalecik and 26μg/m3 in Teknecik.
The daily mean limit value of 50 μg/m3 for the dust concentration was in excess of the number of permissible days in 4 stations where it exceeded the maximum in 2017. In these regions the limit value has been exceeded in 180 days – 49% of the year. 109 days in Nicosia Traffic Station, 72 days in Famagusta and 48 days in Nicosia Küçükkaymaklı.
In past years, concentrations of Sulphur Dioxide in areas where Teknecik and Kalecik Power Plants are located sometimes exceeded air quality targets. However, due to the prohibition of use of fuel oil containing more than 1% sulphur by weight in power plants since 2016, sulphur dioxide concentrations in 2017 did not exceed the limit values at any measurement point. Nitrogen dioxide, Carbon monoxide and Benzene pollutants stayed at normal levels throughout the year at regulation standards.