Air pollution in Georgia ‘higher than permissible’

2 May 2017
Environment activists protest construction in recreation zone. Archive (Mari Nikuradze/OC Media)

The volume of harmful substances in the air in cities and towns in Georgia in 2016 was higher than permissible, according to Georgia’s Ministry of Environment.

A report released by the ministry describes air pollution in five cities of Georgia, including Tbilisi, where they conducted atmospheric air monitoring. It says that the major causes of air pollution are transport, energy, industry, agriculture, and waste.

Minister of Environment Gigla Agulashvili, who introduced the report to parliament last week, said that while Georgia is not among the worst countries in the world in terms of air pollution, it is not among the top countries either.

‘This is a situation which should not be satisfactory for us, and we are working to improve the situation’, he told parliament.

(Ministry of Environment)

In every city where monitoring was conducted, the amount of dust in the air was higher than the limit specified in EU regulations. The highest rate was recorded in Kutaisi, where the amount of dust was almost five times the limit; the least dust was observed in Zestaponi, although this was still over the limit.

Levels of lead in the air were lower than the limit in each of the monitored cities. The report says that compared to the studies in earlier years, the amount of lead reduced in every city, except for Kutaisi, where it remained the same .

Nitrogen dioxide levels exceeded the limit in every city, with the highest rate observed in Batumi, where it has increased every year. The lowest levels were observed in Zestaponi, where the rate has not changed for the past 5 years.

Carbon monoxide only exceeds permissible levels in Tbilisi.

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