Action Plan for 2012 will provide further subsidies for new “green” heating units

The working group addressing poor air quality in the Moravian-Silesian Region has approved the “2012 MSR Action Plan” in Bohumín. Based on the positive response to the ongoing pilot project of “heating-unit subsidies”, it is anticipated that a maximum of 100 million crowns will be allocated over the next two years, of which 40 % should be allocated this year. The working group also commissioned an analysis of further continuation of the project, which will also include the issue of potential subsidising of biomass furnaces.

Further money will be provided to improve air quality in the Moravian-Silesian Region (MSR). “A call for applications will be announced in April 2012 that will increase the current allocation by a further 3 billion to the final 5 billion crowns from the Cohesion Funds for projects utilising the 90% regime of preferential public aid. The invitation will be intended for major non-combustion sources in the districts of Karviná, Frýdek-Místek and Ostrava-City”, says Minister Chalupa.

Another call, within which 1 billion crowns will be allocated for the entire area of the MSR, will be announced in May 2012 for all areas falling within priority axis 2 of the Operational Programme “Environment”. The call will be intended for both public and private sectors.

The 35th call within priority axis 3 will be announced by the end of February 2012; this call will be concerned with insulation of public buildings. The amount of CZK 2.5 billion from the Cohesion Fund will be allocated within the call. Projects implemented in the most-affected areas of the Moravian-Silesian Region will be credited with 10 % of the points obtained in technical-environmental evaluation.

The working group was also informed of the fact that the Ministry of Health would carry out an independent feasibility analysis of the effect of purchase of air filters for kindergartens and elementary schools in the Moravian-Silesian Region. Strategic partners from industrial enterprises, with whom the MoE has signed or intends to sign voluntary agreements or memoranda of co-operation, should be involved in the entire project within a pilot programme that would be based on a positive result of this analysis.

Similar to last year, one of the activities within the Action Plan will be concerned with financing convalescence holidays for children living in the Moravian-Silesian Region from the State Environmental Fund. The amount allocated for 2012 is 5 million crowns.

In the sphere of international co-operation, this year the MoE and Poland will together propose the content of an international project to reduce emissions from important sources on both sides of the border. The working group also acknowledged a feasibility study of low-emission zones (LEZ) in the territory of the Moravian-Silesian Region that was commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment in relation to amendment to Act No. 86/2002 Coll., which had introduced this new instrument for air protection into the Czech legislation.

The study assessed the possibility of delimiting low-emission zones in 16 towns and cities of the region, i.e. in all settlements with more than 10 thousand inhabitants (pollution limits are exceeded in the long term in the territories of all these towns and cities, except for Bruntál). In terms of the urban arrangement of the cities and towns and the configuration of the highway network, it appears to be suitable to implement the project of low-emission zones in Ostrava (the wider city centre and city wards of Svinov and Poruba), Opava, Český Těšín, Třinec, Orlová and Studénka.

The next meeting of the working group addressing poor air quality in the Moravian-Silesian Region should take place on 2 April 2012 in Český Těšín.

Michaela Jendeková, tiskové oddělení MŽP