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CFE's power plant in Tula, Hidalgo. CFE's power plant in Tula, Hidalgo.

Environmental commission asks CFE to reduce fuel oil use to ease air pollution

Many motorists were forbidden to drive Thursday in Valley of Mexico due to air quality

Due to high levels of contamination in Mexico City and surrounding areas, the Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis (CAMe) asked the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to reduce the use of fuel oil at its power plant in Tula, Hidalgo.

The commission requested Thursday that the CFE cut by 30% its use of fuel oil, a highly contaminating energy source.

CAMe also asked Pemex to reduce activities at its oil refinery in Tula due to the high levels of pollution in the Valley of Mexico, which triggered the first atmospheric emergency alert of 2021.

A lack of rain and wind has created favorable conditions for the accumulation of pollution in the metropolitan area.

The quality of air at a testing station in Tultitlán, a México state municipality that is part of that area, was deemed to be extremely poor on Wednesday night due to the high levels of ozone and small particles.

Horacio Riojas, a researcher at the National Institute of Public Health, warned that the contamination can trigger flare-ups of respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

CAMe ordered that the circulation of many vehicles be suspended between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Thursday in the Valley of Mexico due to the air pollution. It also advised people not to exercise or carry out vigorous activities from 1:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

In addition, CAMe advised citizens to continue to work from home to reduce traffic, to avoid the use of aerosols and to reduce the use of fuels such as gas at home.

According to Mexico City authorities, the quality of air in Mexico City and the broader metropolitan area ranged from acceptable to bad at 11:00 a.m. Thursday. Air pollution posed a moderate-to-high risk to health, they said.

Source: Reforma (sp), Animal Político (sp) 

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