Monitoring of emission levels in industrial areas in Metro Manila will soon become hi-tech with the deployment of drones in an effort to curb air pollution from stationary sources.
This was learned after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Clean Air Philippines Movement Inc. (CAMI) teamed up for the deployment of drones capable of detecting air pollution under the newly- launched program Clean Air Patrol.
The move is part of the DENR’s program to strictly implement environmental laws, particularly Republic Act No. 8749 or the Clean Air Act of 1999.
DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas Leones said the program will enable the DENR -- particularly its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) -- to identify the factories, refineries and power plants that are polluting the environment.
“These equipment (drones) will help us ensure we do our mandated task of monitoring emissions and factories violating our environmental laws,” Leones said.
Leones added that the program will be piloted in Metro Manila and eventually replicated in other urban areas across the country.
“It will augment the efforts of the EMB to monitor the 20,000 industries nationwide,” he said.
The Clean Air Patrol will use unmanned aircraft, popularly known as drones, to track down sources of pollution in identified pollution hotspots.
Each drone has mapping capabilities and night thermal vision that can detect source of heat and temperature. It can also identify air pollutants based on how the data are taken.
The drone has a range of two to six kilometers from source. Initially, three drones will be operated by licensed pilots over Metro Manila on a weekly basis.
EMB Director Metodio Turbella said the DENR-CAMPI partnership complies with the requirements of the Clean Air Act.