Poznań City Hall’s archive, photo. M. Forecki
In September 2017, Poznań City Council adopted “Environmental Protection Programme for the City of Poznań for 2017-2020 with a view to 2024.”
“Environmental Protection Programme for the City of Poznań for 2017-2020 with a view to 2024.”
“Environmental Protection Programme for the City of Poznań for 2017-2020 with a view to 2024” (EPP) aims to improve the quality of life of the city’s residents in conditions of sustainable development with high environmental quality and important natural assets that underpin the city’s economic development. The programme provides for measures aimed at improving the quality of atmospheric air, reducing the impact of transport on the environment, rational water management, waste management, protecting natural resources along with increasing the volume of natural resources subject to legal protection, implementing innovations for environmental protection, successive asbestos removal, actions supporting the program of bird protection in the city, enhancing and rational use of forest resources, reclamation of degraded areas, as well as building ecological awareness. As part of the EPP, the “Jerzyki” (Swifts) municipal programme was continued. In 2017, an online monitoring system, installed in breeding booths of swifts on the building of the Board of Surveying and City Cadastre (GEOPOZ), was launched.
The analysis of environmental problems of the city of Poznań allowed for establishing the hierarchy of priorities:
- accomplishment of the required air quality standards, promotion of energy efficiency strategies
- sustainable development of transport
- enhancement of the society’s ecological awareness
- improved quality of surface water and the protection of groundwater
- taking advantage of nature potential, preservation and restoration of greenery in the existing layout for improving the comfort of the residents’ lives, increasing the attractiveness of the city and its sustainable development
- enhancement of the waste management system – increasing the level of segregation, recovery and recycling, treatment and disposal
- reducing the nuisance of traffic noise.
Poznań ranks 16th among Polish cities in terms of water consumption for industrial and municipal purposes, and 9th in terms of environmental hazards due to industrial and municipal sewage. The condition of the Warta River water in Poznań is improving year by year. Currently, the status of the class of chemical elements is good, but the class of physicochemical elements has a potential below good.
In 2017, the most important measures related to the protection of surface water (including lakes) and groundwater in Poznań included:
- reclamation, improvement and stabilization of the quality of the waters of Strzeszyńskie and Rusałka lakes – mobile phosphorus inactivation treatments in the waters of the lakes and their tributaries, as well as iron salt treatments using a mobile device were carried out, exploitation of pulverising aeration with phosphorus inactivation in the near-bottom water layers was continued, curly pondweed was cut and charophyte was reintroduced in Strzeszyńskie lake, which resulted in a reduction of phosphorus content in water, limitation of planktonic algae and cyanobacteria blooms, and maintenance of the oxygen content in the near-bottom layer above 3 mg/l
- biological renewal of the Bogdanka River – Sołacki Pond No. 2 was renovated, silt (1,835 m3) was extracted and utilised, the pond edge was repaired and supplemented, waste from the canopy, bottom and side of the pond was collected, as a result of which the quality of waters in the ponds and the Bogdanka River improved and the reservoir retention was increased
- continuous additional water treatment system for the Cybina River – the last stage of a comprehensive inventory of the Cybina River catchment was performed due to frequent illegal discharges
- maintenance of ditches, watercourses, water reservoirs as well as small retention and hydrotechnical constructions – the following tasks were performed as part of this project: maintenance of 17 sections of watercourses and ditches (31 km of watercourses were desludged in total), reconstruction of dolomite dams at Rów Złotnicki (watercourse); to determine the quality of water in Rów Złotnicki tests were carried out for the content of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, phosphates, E. coli bacteria, and cleaning of the banks of the following lakes: Strzeszyńskie, Kierskie and Rusałka (9 tonnes of mixed municipal waste were collected); the aforementioned measures resulted in proper water runoff, protection against local floods, maintenance of or improvement in the cleanliness of waters and banks of the watercourses and reservoirs, phosphate ion binding to forms not assimilable by living organisms.
In 2017, 171 entities generating industrial sewage and introducing it to sewage systems or rainwater and snowmelt discharged to waters or ground were inspected. As a result of the inspection, 13 water and legal permits were withdrawn.
The City of Poznań verified and updated the status of documented underground water intakes and groundwater resources in the city, their use, and the records of the legal as well as the technical and geological status of the groundwater intakes. In 2017, the quality of groundwater was inspected in 21 different facilities that could potentially contaminate groundwater. No case of any groundwater contamination as a result of the activity carried out in a given area was found. A local groundwater quality monitoring system was designed or installed for six facilities. Permits for 67 boreholes in the city were granted for the purpose of installing heat pumps to heat 10 buildings, including 8 single-family houses and 2 commercial facilities. To ensure protection of the quality and quantity of disposable resources of groundwater, abstracted groundwater was controlled at 4 intakes. Groundwater abstraction took place there in accordance with the conditions specified in the water and legal permits.
In 2017, systematic monitoring of water in the bathing areas as well as the condition of the Warta River was continued.
Emissions of pollutants from industrial plants
In 2016 (the latest available data), an improvement as regards the air quality in Poznań was observed. There was a decrease in emissions of gaseous substances (by 3.1%) and particulate matter (by one third) from Poznań industrial plants. Lower emissions were recorded as regards other gaseous pollutants, e.g. sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide. According to the Central Statistical Office (GUS), Poznań was ranked 21st among Polish cities with a large scale of air pollution emission hazards. By applying devices to reduce the volume of substances generated in Poznań, their significant part is not released into the air. In 2016, installations retained 99.8% of particulate matter and nearly 28% of gaseous substances (excluding CO2).
The analysis of the 2016 annual air quality assessment (the annual assessment of air quality for 2017 will be published in 2018) for the Poznań agglomeration, carried out by the Provincial Environmental Protection Inspectorate (Wojewódzki Inspektorat Ochrony Środowiska – WIOŚ) as part of state environmental monitoring, shows that normative concentrations of particular types of substances, taking into account criteria set for health protection, with the exception of the permissible number of days when the daily maximum concentration of PM10 and the target level of benzo(a)pyrene are exceeded, were not exceeded in Poznań. Therefore, the Poznań agglomeration zone was classified as Class A in terms of substances whose concentrations did not exceed the permissible limits and as Class C due to exceedances of maximum permissible concentrations of PM10 (for 24 hours) and the target level of benzo(a)pyrene.
The reason why the permissible limits are exceeded is the so-called low emission, mainly from the combustion of solid fuels in home heating systems. Nonetheless, in the last 20 years, the average annual concentration of PM10 has not been exceeded in the city. The highest mean annual concentration of PM10 recorded in 2016 at one of the measurement points was 33 μg/m3 (the maximum permissible concentration is 40 μg/m3). As for the largest number of days on which the permissible 24-hour PM10 concentration was exceeded, at one of the measurement points this was 51 days, compared to the permissible limit of 35 days.
The time distribution of the cases when the 24-hour maximum permissible concentration of PM10 was exceeded indicates that during the heating season (October to March), the concentration of particulate pollutants is elevated. Particulate matter is emitted mainly when solid fuels are combusted (which applies also to the combustion of wood in fireplaces and the combustion of biomass, where the PM10 load introduced into the environment is greater than that from the combustion of coal).
Air quality assessments account also for PM2.5, with an annual limit value of 25 μg/m3. In 2016, this level in Poznań was not exceeded, and the annual concentration was 24 μg/m3.
The air quality depends to a great extent on meteorological conditions that determine the rate of pollution spread. Unfavourable meteorological scenarios can lead to the long-term prevalence of substances in a given area and cause their accumulation. The least favourable conditions result from low air temperature, which leads to increased emissions from heating systems, low wind speed – preventing the dispersion of pollutants, low mixing heights and a stable equilibrium level, which means stagnation or only slight air mass movement.
Low-carbon Economy Plan
The Low-carbon Economy Plan for the municipalities of the Metropolitan Area of Poznań provides for a 30% reduction in emissions of harmful greenhouse gases by 2040. This objective will be achieved by reducing consumption of energy from conventional sources as well as increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy balance.
Measures taken by the City
In 2017, the level of pollution in the city was tracked via an online service “Atmosfera dla Poznania” (Atmosphere for Poznań). The service provides daily forecasts and analysis of the actual condition of air in Poznań.
Officers of the City Guard’s Eco Patrol carried out systematic checks of the legality of fuel used in home furnaces.
The City implemented measures to reduce emissions from vehicles by introducing an organisation that promotes maximum traffic flow (e.g. expanding the 30 km/h zone, rearranging roads) and eliminating public transport vehicles that did not comply with particulate matter and gas emission standards. In 2017, the bicycle-sharing system was expanded to comprise 89 docks with 987 bicycles.
The most recent acoustic measurements in the city have shown that the recorded values of the equivalent noise level are being constantly reduced, despite the fact that the standards happen to be exceeded at some points, especially due to road and air traffic. Road traffic increased especially on the urban section of the A2 motorway, where at almost all measurement points the permissible noise levels were exceeded at night, and occasionally also in the daytime.
This trend has been confirmed by the latest 2017 acoustic map for Poznań. The map shows that in 2016, compared to previous measurements carried out in 2012, there was a decrease in the number of residents exposed to road noise (the average daily decrease by approx. 17%), tram noise (the average daily decrease by approx. 10% and 24% in the case of night noise) and rail noise (a decrease by 10% at night).
Residents living in the following streets: Bukowska, Bułgarska, Polska (in the vicinity of the Poznań – Ławica Airport) and in and around Marlewo, Minikowo and Świerczewo (in the vicinity of the military airport in Krzesiny) are exposed to loud airport noise.
Residents living in the restricted use area around the Poznań – Ławica Airport file claims against the airport for the loss of the value of their real properties and the nuisance caused by excessive noise. In 2016 (the latest available data), relatively small exceedances of the permissible noise levels, both in the daytime and at night, were recorded at the fixed airport noise measurement point located west of the Ławica Airport (in Przeźmierowo). There is, however, an increase in the number of residents exposed to airport noise, especially at night. Measures taken to reduce this noise include a lower number of flights at night and changes in the take-off procedures.
Measures taken by the City
A number of measures were taken to reduce noise emissions, including:
- the designation and then extension of a 30 km/h zone
- improvement in the technical condition of vehicles and road surfaces (e.g. through the use of quiet colsoft road surface coating)
- ensuring proper vibration isolation and rubber housing of tram tracks
- reduction in the number of heavy vehicles in the city centre
- introduction of a new type of urban rolling stock
- construction and modernisation of acoustic screens
- extension of the bicycle-sharing system and bicycle paths – at the end of 2017, their length increased by 18 km, to 175 km.