Ukrainian civic network. Different industrial cities - similar issues
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    Petition "Clean Air in Ukraine"

    Before signing this petition, try to hold your breath for 5 minutes. Have you tried? Easy?

    Addressees of the petition:
    Parliament of Ukraine Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management
    Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources
    Ministry of Health
    Regional state administrations, regional councils, local governments

    Atmospheric air remained the only free natural resource. The composition of any product and information about its manufacturer is provided on the packaging of this product. So you can quickly understand what you are planning to put in your mouth. We consume air every minute, but we have no idea about its composition. We are forced to consume it as it is in our cities.

    We do not have the ability to choose air quality, we are limited in this choice, although we have the right to know about its composition, because it directly affects our health and life.
    Humans are different from other living beings on planet Earth because they have a choice. Air quality depends on our choice today.

    Air pollution is one of the key threats to the environment and human health of present and future generations. According to the World Health Organization, polluted air can lead to premature death and cause birth defects in infants.

    The main source of air pollution is outdated technologies used in heavy industry - coal-fired power plants, metallurgical or chemical plants. The example of the EU shows that change is possible and that the economy can be greener and more accountable to citizens. At present, we are forced to pay for the profits of several industrial oligarchs for the health of millions of people.

    Don't choose between air pollution and health, choose clean air and demand with us:

    1. Develop and implement an updated independent, reliable system of integrated state air monitoring.
      Concentrate monitoring management in the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources with adequate funding. The results of monitoring should be published in the public space (Internet) in the form of primary data, as well as averaged over observation stations, zones and agglomerations. Develop and implement a system of operational warning, warning and regulation of smog.
    2. Introduce an open register of permits.
      The current procedure for obtaining permits for pollutant emissions is outdated compared to the current procedure for environmental impact assessment and access to related information. At present, the procedure for placing information contained in emission permits by enterprises is not legally established and regulated. Such a gap significantly restricts everyone's right to free access to environmental information, as required by the Aarhus Convention, and limits the opportunities for citizens to participate in environmental decision-making.
    3. Update environmental decision-making procedures
      The results of air monitoring should be the basis for issuing emission permits, reviewing and revoking permits and developing air quality control measures.

    Petition authors:
    Clean air for Ukraine www.cleanair.org.ua
    Anna Ambrosova - Stop poisoning Kryvyi Rih
    Iryna Pirohova - All-Ukrainian Ecological League, Zaporizhia
    Maksym Soroka - expert on air pollution, Dnipro
    Olesya Kramarenko - Dzyga, Zaporizhia
    Olena Shafranova - PravoE, Kryvyi Rih

    Help us collect handwritten signatures - they are more valuable! You can download the signature sheet here: Download petition








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      10 tips for health

      The most crucial thing when staying in areas with polluted air is to protect one's health. In the event of a smog situation, reduce outdoor activities. It is a matter of course to exclude any sport or outdoor games for kids. Do not ventilate excessively. Wearing a mask can protect you against fine particles.

      But how can one recognize a critical smog situation? That's a problem here.

      In European Union countries, the state provides continuous air quality measurement, whereas in Ukraine, responsibility is scattered across different authorities, and the information is usually unavailable to the general public. Ask at your municipality and demand that the city ensures air monitoring.

      Along with access to information, it is essential to enforce progressive legal rules and demand that industrial companies invest part of their profits in the modernization of obsolete technologies and observe the limitations in force. This is exactly what public organizations do in almost every industrial city. And you can support the initiative in your municipality.

      1) Regularly follow the quality of air in your city on the website cleanair.org.ua.

      2) In the event of severe air pollution, reduce outdoor activities to a minimum.

      3) Reduce airing and the opening of windows. Ventilate for just a short time.

      4) If you feel any health problems, do not postpone visiting your doctor and asking for a medical report.

      5) Consider installing an AirFreshMax station. The more stations that are utilized, the more accurate the data on air quality will be.

      6) Don't burn grass and leaves. Do not light an open fire.

      7) Do not use poor-quality coal for heating, and do not incinerate waste in a heater.

      8) Join the petition "Clean Air in Ukraine".

      9) Ask the municipality of your city to inform the citizens and solve the problem.

      10) Support environmental non-governmental organizations based in your city.

        Check your air with AirFreshMax monitoring station:

        AirFreshMax is a new generation air pollution monitoring station based on the "citizen science" concept, which is becoming popular all over the world. Where the state doesn't fulfil its responsibilities, citizens assume responsibility and do what needs to be done.

        The AirFreshMax air quality monitoring station is a device that allows monitoring and recording of the state of the ambient air, namely indicators of temperature, humidity and dust concentration PM2.5 and PM10 in real time. In addition to dust microparticles (PM2.5 and PM10), AirFreshMax monitors the concentration of carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ammonia (NH3), ground-level ozone (O3) and volatile organic compounds (TVOC, VVOC).

        The AirFreshMax monitoring station was developed by experts from Ukrainian NGOs and is manufactured directly in Ukraine as part of social entrepreneurship. The AirFreshMax monitoring station is an improved version of the Oxygen station and provides an opportunity for every citizen to assess the content of the most common substances dangerous to human health in the air.

        The functionality of the device will allow not only to obtain real-time data on air quality, but also to accumulate large data for assessment and forecasting of pollution indices and risks to public health, using a personal account on the site eco-city.org.ua.

        This and other air quality monitoring devices are manufactured and tested by EcoCity experts in their own workshop. Production time is on average 1 week from the moment of the order (production, testing, calibration). After receiving, you can activate and configure the device using the manual on the site eco-city.org.ua. The station is powered by a standard USB adapter (5V 2A) that comes with the device. The length of the power cable is 7 meters.

        Use this form to order the equipment. The message will be sent to both the Clean Air team and the EcoCity team. We will then contact you by e-mail to confirm the order.

        *By filling out and sending this form, you consent to the storage and processing of your personal data in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. We promise that the data provided will not be passed on to "third parties" and will not be used for purposes other than the implementation of the Clean Air Coalition and its partners.

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          *By filling out and sending this form, you consent to the storage and processing of your personal data in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. We promise that the data provided will not be passed on to "third parties" and will not be used for purposes other than the implementation of the Clean Air Coalition and its partners.

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            Let us know what is happening in your city!

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            *By filling out and sending this form, you consent to the storage and processing of your personal data in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. We promise that the data provided will not be passed on to "third parties" and will not be used for purposes other than the implementation of the Clean Air Coalition and its partners.

            Technical support for public air monitoring: from quantity to quality

            7. 5. 2021,

            For the first time in Ukraine, the international project “Clean Air for Ukraine” has created an opportunity for owners of public air quality monitoring stations to apply for free technical support, setup and maintenance of equipment. What does it mean for owners of the stations? Read on.

            “The state system of environmental monitoring in Ukraine, which meets the standards common in the EU, is just beginning to be created. There is no sufficient regulatory framework and appropriate technical and resource support for this. For Ukrainians, the only source of relevant information on environmental safety remains the independent public monitoring,” said Martin Skalsky, an expert on public participation from Arnika (Prague, Czechia) focusing on industrial air pollution in Ukraine and other countries.

            “Over the last three years, the network of public monitoring of air pollution in Ukraine has achieved incredible results. To this moment, more than 1000 public monitoring stations have been installed throughout Ukraine. The network is actively developing, becoming more technologically advanced and perfect,” said Maksym Soroka, an expert on environmental safety and environmental monitoring, scientific and technical advisor of the Clean Air for Ukraine project.

            The EcoCity project team, together with the Clean Air for Ukraine project and regional partners, has already installed more than 500 monitoring stations. The EcoCity network leads among other public initiatives that form a public network for monitoring the air quality in Ukraine, in the number of stations, the amount of monitored pollutants and prevalence in various regions of Ukraine.

            In his report, Maksym Soroka drew attention to the problem faced by the Ukrainian Network of Public Air Quality Monitoring: “The development of the network has approached the transition from the amount of accumulated data to their quality. Currently, the analysis of the data shows an alarming trend of increasing the number of stations that have been installed, but after some time stopped working and providing data on air quality. Forecasting and assessing the risks associated with air pollution requires constant monitoring and comparison of results at different times of the year.”

            After interviewing the owners of public air monitoring stations, as well as coordinators of environmental initiatives that take care of this issue, the expert found out that the main reason for most cases of station inactivity are technical problems that station owners and environmental activists cannot repair on their own.

            “Like any other technical system used in different weather conditions, monitoring stations can also fail, and the sensors in the stations themselves become dirty or degraded over time. As a developer of such stations, I can say with confidence that there are one hundred and one reasons why your station stopped working, disappeared from the map, or why its values ​​seem strange,” said Oleksiy Trelevsky, curator of the network of public monitoring stations EcoCity.

            Quite often environmental activists face problems with setting up stations or with various critical malfunctions – resulting in strange, distorted and sometimes inadequate results.

            Maksym Soroka explains: “Users facing such problems simply do not know how to solve them. Environmental activists have questions about the data quality of this station and, as a result, the station is deliberately disconnected from the network, losing interest in public monitoring – as a socio-environmental phenomenon. In this sense, initiatives that disseminate public air monitoring practices should have extended responsibilities. To paraphrase Saint-Exupery, we are responsible for the system we have created and the people who have been given hope for clean air in Ukraine.”

            To help volunteers and environmental activists who run public monitoring stations, the Clean Air for Ukraine project, together with the EcoCity team, launched the Customer Technical Support Program for the first time in Ukraine. This program is based on methodological recommendations and international experience of the EU and the US.

            “If the user knew that his station could be restored to factory settings, we might not have had so many disconnected stations in the recent years. The EcoCity team has the experience and technical capabilities to do this. Thus, together we can return to the active network of public air monitoring most of the stations that are not currently active,” said Oleksiy Trelevsky.

             

            What does the Technical Support Program of the Clean Air for Ukraine project envisage?

            In general, the Technical Support Program has four main objectives:

            1 – Technical support for volunteers and activists who already have monitoring stations (consulting, maintenance, cleaning, repair, modernization, calibration or restoration or replacement of sensors);

            2 – Support and counseling of volunteers, activists or public initiatives wishing to join the Ukrainian network of public air monitoring;

            3 – Global inventory of the public monitoring network;

            4 – Preparation and conducting the “Great Metrological Experiment”.

             

            For which types of stations is the technical support provided?

            Oleksiy Trelevsky emphasizes that they offer technical support to all users of public monitoring stations in Ukraine: EcoCity, SaveDnipro, Luftdaten or 7-bit AirPol.

            “Our technical support team has enough experience to help and give advice to all users of existing stations, regardless of the manufacturer. In this way, we make it easier for users to operate their stations,” emphasizes Oleksiy Trelevsky. “Preferably the stations measure the fine dust of two or three fractions. There are also more functional stations from EcoCity, which use different types of sensors to measure up to 19 pollutants in the air.”

            The experience of EcoCity specialists has shown that over time, the base station (approximately 80 % of the active network) is damaged by the timer and begins to show inappropriate values: “We have learned to repair damaged timers, return them to factory settings. The cost of restoring such a station is at least 5 times cheaper than the cost of a new station. Such a recovery is economically feasible for users and can tip the scales in favor of public monitoring and even improve the quality of the accumulated data,” said Oleksiy Trelevsky.

            The main tasks of technical support:

            1. Facilitate the operation of air monitoring stations;
            2. Increase the number of active stations, not only by attracting new citizens to the monitoring network, but also by restoring old stations and returning old users.
            3. Change the approach to the formation of the public monitoring network: from the number of stations to the quality of the received data.

             

            Under what conditions is technical support provided?

            Anyone who has a public air quality monitoring station from any manufacturer can get advice on its maintenance.

            Anyone can fill out the online form or ask questions by phone on 066-203-64-72 or 097-690-22-96  or write in Viber, Telegram at any time.

            The service is provided free of charge by specialists from EcoCity (Ivano-Frankivsk) with the support of the international Czech-Ukrainian project “Clean Air for Ukraine”, which is implemented in industrial cities by NGOs “Arnika” (Czechia) and ”FreeArduino” with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic within the Transition Promotion Program and the National Endowment for Democracy (USA).

            Clean Air for Ukraine

            This project is led by a non-governmental organization Arnika (Czech Republic) in cooperation with local civic initiatives in industrial towns of Ukraine with financial support from the Transition Promotion Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the National Endowment for Democracy (USA). You can find more information about our activities and possibilities of involvement or share your thoughts with us by sending a message to info@cleanair.org.ua.

            Coordinators:

            Project partners:

            Donors: