Env Ministry: Findings by NKU No Surprise, We’re Working on Remedy

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Environment Minister Laszlo Solymos (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, April 3 (TASR) – The findings reported by the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) on the shortcomings in air quality and its recommendations pose no surprise for the Environment Ministry, TASR was told by ministry spokesman Tomas Ferencak on Tuesday.

“On the contrary, the findings signal that we’re continuing in the direction we set out two years ago,” said Ferencak.

“We’ve already made first steps. With the amendment to the Act on Air Quality in the past year, the ministry expanded responsibilities of the Slovak Hydrometeorological Office in providing information to public, including updates on smog situation. We also created the leeway for setting up the so-called low-emission zones,” stated Ferencak.

The ministry pointed to the monitoring results, which established that air quality has seen improvement in many aspects, with the number of inhabitants living in areas with lower air quality reduced by more than 50 percent since 2004.

Ferencak claimed that the Environment Ministry is currently drafting the Air Protection Strategy, designed to support more eco friendly transport and the curbing of household heating emissions.

NKU criticised the ministry mostly for lacking a comprehensive strategy for emission and pollutant reduction and recommended the adoption of new measures aimed to introduce more eco-friendly transport and to bolster cooperation with municipalities and regions.