2. Atmospheric Air
Natalja Kohv, Valentina Laius, Siiri Liiv, Ott Roots, Reet Talkop
Estonian National Environmental Strategy (NES) proceeds from the main traditional goal of environmental protection which is to provide people with a healthy environment and natural resources necessary to promote economic development without causing significant damage to nature, to preserve diversity of landscapes and biodiversity while taking into account the level of economic development.
Estonian air pollution problems on regional level are connected with North-East Estonia, as the peculiarity of Estonian industry of energy production and chemistry is oil shale based production. On global level Estonian air pollution problems are connected with islands of South Estonia and West Estonia, to where air pollution is carried from Middle and West Europe through long-range transportation of air pollution.
Air pollution is causing several problems, more important of which are following:
1. Climate change (caused by greenhouse gases).
2. Acidification and eutrophication (substances causing acidification and eutrophication).
3. Problems caused by transboundary pollution of hazardous/toxic compounds (caused by heavy metals and persistent organic compounds).
Proceeding of the above mentioned, also this chapter has been compiled.
In order to get overview of the condition of air environment in Estonia, monitoring system for the whole republic should be developed simultaneously with measurement of local air pollution emissions from point sources as well as from transport, which would give constantly overview of the effect of air pollution (critical loads) on living nature (figure 2.1). At the same time condition in neighboring countries should be observed, taking account of the impact of air pollution over borders. Thereby, regional is connected with global in the evaluation process of the whole air environment.
Estonia is participating in programmes of the European Environmental Agency, UN/European Economic Committee, Helsinki Commission etc., in order to get better overview about internal environmental condition and monitor the condition of air environment in Europe as well as in global extent.
Figure 2.1. Air monitoring stations of state environmental monitoring programme in 1998.