Environmental commission chief Páramo announces lifting of the Environmental Contingency. Environmental commission chief Páramo announces lifting of the contingency.

High-pressure system abates, Mexico City lifts Environmental Contingency

Weather conditions will change over the weekend, allowing pollution to be dispersed

The Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis (Came) lifted the Extraordinary Environmental Contingency on Friday because of falling levels of ozone and PM2.5 pollution.

At 9:00am Saturday, Imeca air quality index levels were at a maximum of 90 points in Mexico City, which is considered regular.

The commission had been operating without a director until this week, when the city appointed Víctor Hugo Páramo to the position.

At an event to mark the start of his new job, Páramo noted that weather conditions will be favorable for the dispersal of pollution over the weekend.

He said the high-pressure system that has been preventing the dispersal of pollution in central Mexico for several days has lost intensity and moved towards the south coast.

“We predict that on Saturday and Sunday, instead of having winds coming from the Guerrero coast, we’ll have winds from the north, which means the wind won’t be pushing smoke from the Guerrero coast,” he said. “It’s very likely that conditions will be more favorable and that we will be finished with this heavy pollution episode.”

“Hoy no Circula” will be applied normally starting Saturday, although 16 municipalities in the Valley of Toluca are still under an Environmental Contingency.

Mexico City has been suffering under high levels of PM2.5 pollution since last Saturday because of a series of forest fires and the high-pressure system. Came declared the Extraordinary Environmental Contingency on Tuesday.

During the four days of the contingency, 800,000 vehicles were taken off the road, representing 23% of the four million vehicles that circulate in the Valley of Mexico.

The Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA) said in a press release that reducing the average age of vehicles used in Mexico City would help improve the air quality situation, because older vehicles contribute significantly to air pollution. The average age of vehicles used in the Mexico City area is 17 years.

Source: El Universal (sp), El Financiero (sp)

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