FG Govt failing to take city air pollution health risks seriously – Dooley

Responding to today’s EPA findings that parts of Dublin city centre are exceeding safe air pollution limits, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action & Environment Timmy Dooley TD has called on the government to immediately support the rollout of permanent air quality monitoring not only in Dublin but also other city centres. 

He has also recommended that a national Clean Air Strategy, along with local authority action plans be produced.

Deputy Dooley explained, „Thanks to the EPA’s immediate alert, we have an insight into the damaging levels of air pollution in Dublin. Traffic volumes are only going one way and these disturbing findings are likely to be replicated in other cities. The government needs to immediately equip local authorities with the necessary equipment to monitor air quality so that people are aware of the pollution levels in their areas.

„Ministers Bruton and Ross have pointed to initiatives in the new government Climate Plan. However, if they are so concerned by the EPA’s alert, why have they not promised to immediately publish the long-promised national Clean Air Strategy? 

„This policy was first announced in 2017 but since then both the Minister and his predecessor have failed to explain the repeated delays in finalising it. Given the EPA warning issued today any further delay in the publication of the strategy is unacceptable.

„I am also at odds with Minister Bruton’s assertion that today’s EPA report amounts to an endorsement of certain actions listed in the Climate Plan. Electric vehicle targets and establishment of a cycling project office are not going to rapidly solve the air pollution problem.  We need immediate concerted measures to reduce pollution, such as increased investment in zero emission public transport and in cycling infrastructure.

„Further EPA testing is only likely to confirm the scale the problem. Given the severe health impacts on public health, the government should direct local authorities now to produce air quality action plans and not simply wait for the EPA’s end of year data.

„Fine Gael’s record on climate and air pollution is particularly poor.  It’s new Climate Plan fails to include any commitment to introduce a nationwide ban on smoky coal, notwithstanding the major health repercussions we are facing”, concluded Deputy Dooley.

Fianna Fáil
Timmy Dooley TD
Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action & Environment

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