Wednesday, March 16, 2016

More cars banned in Mexico City after pollution alert

More cars were ordered off Mexico City's streets on Wednesday after a surge in pollution prompted authorities to issue the first air quality alert in 14 years.

President Enrique Pena Nieto convened a meeting of an anti-pollution commission after the city's government declared an "environmental contingency" on Monday due to high levels of ozone.

"The goal (of the meeting) is for them to find stricter measures to improve air quality and protect the health of more than 20 million Mexicans," Pena Nieto wrote on Twitter.

After older vehicles were kept off the streets on Monday and Tuesday, the Environmental Commission of the megalopolis decided to expand the ban on Wednesday to include all cars with license plates that have red stickers and end in the numbers three and four.

The commission, which was formed in 2013 to coordinate anti-pollution policies between the federal government, the capital and several surrounding states, said the ban was needed because vehicles produce 87 percent of nitrogen oxide and 32 percent of volatile organic compounds, both of which are ozone precursors.

The panel also agreed on a plan to improve the verification of vehicle emissions.

The extraordinary measures were imposed following an increase in ozone concentration, which can cause respiratory and heart ailments........

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