29 May, 2017. Chennai: City-based activists said they strongly suspect that the EIA prepared for TANGEDCO’s 660MW coal power expansion project in Ennore uses falsified and potentially fraudulent air quality data to justify the location of the polluting project in a heavily polluted area. Not one of the 216 samples taken by TANGEDCO’s consultant, Ramky Enviro Engineers, registers PM2.5 levels that deviate from a narrow range of 19.3 to 36.8 µg/m3; none exceeds the national annual ambient air quality standard of 40 µg/m3. If the EIA data is to be believed, air in the Ennore Manali industrial cluster is cleaner than in any other part of the city, including IIT, Poes Garden and Boat Club.
PM2.5 refers to highly toxic respirable dust measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter. High PM2.5 levels are indicative of dangerous air pollution. Every 10 µg/m3 increase in PM 2.5, increases death rates by 3 to 26%, chances of childhood asthma by 16%, chances of lung cancer by 36% and of heart attack by 44%. In 2012, WHO declared that air pollution claimed 7 million lives – or one in eight global deaths. Continue reading