THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources is set to use drones to monitor emission levels in industrial areas to curb air pollution from stationary sources.
The proposal resulted from the agency’s partnership with the Clean Air Philippines Movement Inc. (CAPMI) for the deployment of drones capable of detecting air pollution.
Each drone has mapping capabilities and night and thermal vision that can detect source of heat and temperature, enabling it to identify the source of air pollutants.
The drone has a range of two to six kilometers from source.
Initially, three drones will be operated over Metro Manila on a weekly basis.
The use of drones and their operation will be at no cost to the government, according to the DENR.
CAPMI president Michael Aragon said the program will not only focus on mobile sources like motor vehicles, but on stationary sources as well, including factories, open burning and construction sites.
“There are other sources of air pollution. We want now to complete the whole picture and look at these other sources,” Mr. Aragon said.
Under the program, industries will be informed about the results of monitoring.
In case of adverse findings, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) will issue a reminder to the concerned industry, which will also be required to submit a compliance plan complete with a timetable for the violator to resolve the issues raised.
The EMB will then monitor the commitment of erring industries in their respective compliance plans
“These equipment (drones) will help us ensure we do our mandated task of monitoring emissions and factories violating our environmental laws,” Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones was quoted in the statement.
“It will augment the efforts of the EMB to monitor the 20,000 industries nationwide,” he said, noting that rolling out the project nationwide will depend on its success in Metro Manila. — Janina C. Lim