Air monitoring

The purpose of air monitoring is to watch transboundary air pollution, which the Estonian government has taken on its responsibilities when joining the 2000 Geneva Convention.

The Geneva Convention, the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution, was signed in Geneva in November 1979 and is the first international agreement on air pollution issues. The Convention defines several obligations of the parties, including: protecting people and the environment from air pollution, limiting and reducing air pollution (including long-range air pollution), exchange of information and technology, etc.

EMEP. The European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) was launched under the special program of the Economic Commission for Europe in 1977. Its main task is to provide governments and the Convention’s departments with information on atmospheric pollution, concentrations, emissions and long-range transport. The EMEP long-term financing protocol was drawn up in 1984 in Geneva, which Estonia joined in 2001. The purpose of the protocol is to ensure the long-term financing of EMEP’s remote monitoring programme.

Monitoring in Estonia. The EMEP monitoring network consists of more than 100 monitoring stations in European countries. From the stations in Estonia there are Lahemaa and Vilsandi monitoring stations, which measure the precipitation of chemicals and the concentration of pollutants in the ground-level air layer.

The Vilsandi monitoring station is located far from local sources of pollution, which is why it is very suitable for background emissions from long-range air pollution. The station started its work in 1989 and since 1994 has fully-automatic, continuous analyzers and data collection systems. The Vilsandi monitoring station identifies the next pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ozone, small particulate matter (PM2.5), and meteorological measurements.

Data transmission. Ambient air monitoring data is transmitted to the European Commission or EMEP. Data on the Estonian outdoor air quality is available in real-time on our website.

Arrangement. Air survey in Vilsandi is organized by Estonian Environmental Research Centre. Monitoring information and reporting is also available on the Environment Agency and the Environmental Monitoring websites, as well as on the EMEP website.