The environmental protection authorities already use the first new units purchased under the HUF 1.2 billion Swiss contribution to this project
After over two years of preparation, the implementation of the project “Development of the Hungarian air quality network (OLM) and laboratory background” funded under the Swiss Contribution has been launched at the Ministry of Rural Development a year ago on 12 March 2013. On today’s press conference the Department provided information about the results to-date.
Dr. Zoltán Illés, Minister of State for Environmental Affairs and Jean-Francois Paroz, Ambassador of Switzerland to Hungary held the press conference that Dr. Andrea Zay, Director of the Central Transdanubian Inspectorate for Environment and Nature, Székesfehérvár hosted. Also attended the representatives of the Swiss Contribution Office, the Széchenyi Program Office as National Co-ordination Unit and VÁTI Nonprofit Kft. as Intermediate Body. Within the framework of the project modern sampling and laboratory equipment for measuring have been purchased, and part of them are already operating. Mobile monitoring stations will be purchased during the second half of the year. This new equipment enables air quality monitoring in accordance with EU standards. The HUF 1.4 billion project is financed by Switzerland (85%) and Hungary (15%), in the framework of the Swiss-Hungarian Cooperation Programme.
The project aims to upgrade the manual air quality monitoring network of Hungary so that air quality monitoring can be carried out in accordance with the latest EU requirements. For this reason, laboratory equipment needs to be modernised, air pollution maps upgraded and pollution as well as areas with polluted air localised.
The open public procurement procedure started last year. Since then, the majority of the supply contracts have been concluded. Following successful contracting, shipments of the devices began in January 2014. At the end of February, the test runs of 77 new units were completed, these pieces of equipment are already used in the daily work of the environment protection authorities. Another 73 units’ test runs will be completed with a view to start daily operations by the end of March. The mobile monitoring stations are planned to be deployed by the end of September.
As part of the project, the Ministry of Rural Development will purchase 144 modern sampling units, 31 measuring devices and two mobile measurement stations by the end of October 2014. Some of them will replace outdated equipment. More detailed information can be found on the project's website (http://svajcalevegoert.hu/en/Home/
The HUF 1.4 billion HUF equipment purchase aimed at reaching appropriate data quality and reliability was financed by the HUF 1.2 billion grant of Switzerland and Hungary’s own contribution in the amount of HUF 215 million. With these improvements, air quality information will also be available for sub-regions without verified automatic measuring station, as well as about any polluting components that cannot be measured continuously by any automatic method.
In 2006 Swiss voters approved the so-called enlargement contribution in the amount of CHF 1 billion (HUF 210 billion) to assist the ten new member states that joined the European Union in 2004 in reducing the economic and social disparities in the enlarged EU. By June 2012 the full Swiss Contribution for Hungary, HUF 31 billion, was committed in support of 37 projects, programs and funds. For more information about the Swiss Contribution, please visit http://swiss-contribution.admin.ch/hungary