Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kazakhstan cleans Almaty air for Asian Games

Thursday, January 13, 2011 - Almaty residents face month-long driving and auto restrictions as the region tries to clear the skies of air pollution while hosting the 7th Asian Winter Games.
Among the new restrictions that went into effect on Wednesday is a regulation forbidding non-Almaty residents from entering the city if their vehicle doesn’t meet environmental safety regulations, Kazakhstan Today (KT) reported on Thursday.
Also, extensive checks will be undertaken to ensure that Almaty residents’ vehicles are in compliance with environmental regulations. Public transport vehicles will also be subjected to checks.
Almaty residents will also not be able to burn oil, rubber or various wastes, according to the temporary regulations.
Almaty’s air contains high lead levels, Kazakhstan National Medical University professor Boris Nemenko told KT.
“The pilot area is seven times higher than the maximum possible concentration (MPC), Boris Nemenko said.
 “Therefore, residents are exposed to daily concentrations of lead exceeding permissible standards.”
Nemenko believes automobile pollution is to blame.
“The main source in our opinion is road transport. Today in Almaty, there are more than 500,000 units of motor transport, and adding in transport cars, that number amounts to 800,000 … this directly affects the state of atmospheric air,” he said.
The Asian Games will run from January 30 to February 6. The restrictions will be lifted February 12.

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