DENR to use drones to monitor industrial air pollution

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THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has teamed up with the Clean Air Philippines Movement Inc. (CAMPI) for the deployment of drones capable of detecting air pollution under the newly launched program Clean Air Patrol. DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas Leones said the program will enable the agency— particularly its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)— to identify the factories, refineries and power plants that are polluting the environment. “The program will be piloted in Metro Manila and eventually replicated in other urban areas across the country. It will augment the EMB’s efforts to monitor the 20,000 industries nationwide,” he said. The Clean Air Patrol will use unmanned aircrafts, popularly known as drones, to track down sources of pollution in identified pollution hotspots. Each drone has mapping capabilities and night and thermal vision that can detect the 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, licensed pilots will operate drones 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.

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