Cold weather sets off smog alerts

Bookmark and Share

Both Bergen and Oslo were reporting unusually high levels of air pollution again this week, as freezing temperatures and a lack of wind trapped everything from exhaust particles to chimney smoke. In Oslo, police were summoned to demand that parked trucks used by the crew filming The Snowman movie turn off their engines.

“We were caught unawares that there would be so many trucks and trailers parked here,” the leader of a children’s day care center adjacent to Oslo’s Frogner Park told newspaper Aftenposten. The park has been used over the past few days as a location for the film version of Norwegian author Jo Nesbø’s crime novel The Snowman.

Police and firetrucks responded to complaints about the film crew’s trucks idling near the day care center, and making the already-polluted air worse. “We were able to talk with the production company and they turned off the engines on the trucks,” Elin Kindem of the day care center Tørtberg Kanvas Barnehage told Aftenposten. “They also said they’d soon be finished with their filming (in the park, near its famed Monolith). We decided to keep the children indoors because of the polluted air.”

Smog levels in Oslo haven’t been as high as they’ve been this week for five years, according to city authorities. They’ve been urging commuters to leave their cars at home and use public transport instead, to reduce exhaust emissions. Bergen has been making similar pleas, also regulating who’s allowed to drive into the center of the city based on car license plate numbers.

Bergen has also considered banning the use of diesel-fueled vehicles. Wednesday was the smoggiest day in Bergen for many years, with nitrogen oxide levels well over allowed levels. Norwegian Broadcastig (NRK) reported that politicians were calling for another round of restricted driving, with only those with even-numbered plates allowed to drive on even-numbered days, for example.

In Oslo, the highest levels of air pollution were measured by equipment at Hjortnes near the Color Line terminal at Frognerkilen, alongside the busy E18 highway. Other high levels were recorded at Alnabru and along the E6, Ring 3 and Ring 2 highways.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund