AQI reading of ‘UNHEALTHY’, taken from EMA’s Port of Spain Monitoring Station at 10 a.m. on 13th April 2022. (Image courtesy EMA)

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) says there has been some improvement in the air quality levels at the Beetham Landfill and in Port of Spain, and that air quality has been recorded at UNHEALTHY levels for sensitive groups.

The most recent reading—from the EMA’s Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station located at Beetham, Port of Spain— is 135 points, recorded at 11 a.m. today. 

During the morning period today, the air quality in Tobago had registered as UNHEALTHY for sensitive groups in the 147-point range which is due to moderate to high concentrations of Saharan Dust in the atmosphere.

Notwithstanding the improvement, the EMA is still advising extreme caution:

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has noted an improvement in the Air Quality Levels around the Beetham Landfill.  The current Air Quality Index (AQI), as of 11:00 am on 13 April 2022, as recorded at the EMA’s Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station located at Beetham, Port of Spain, is now Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (135). We note that this is an improvement over yesterday’s reading which reached Hazardous levels.  The high readings recorded were primarily due to the smoke and particulate matter associated with the fire at the Beetham landfill which has been contained.

It is noted that the Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station located at Signal Hill, Tobago is also reflecting an AQI of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (147), which is due to moderate to high concentrations of Saharan Dust in the atmosphere.

AQI reading of ‘UNHEALTHY’, taken from EMA’s Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station, Signal Hill, Tobago 10 a.m. on 13th April 2022. (Image courtesy EMA)

These readings mean that individuals in sensitive categories, such as persons with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, and people with respiratory ailments and allergies, should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion and minimize outdoor activity.  We urge all to take the necessary precautions. 

Members of the public are advised to visit the following link to access additional information https://ei.weblakes.com/RTTPublic/DshBrdAQI.