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Environmental Monitoring

Environmental quality supervision within the territory of the Freeport of Riga is ensured by monitoring air, groundwater, seabed sediments of the sea dump, as well as waterfowl.

Air Quality Control

The main sources of air pollution within the territory of the Port of Riga are the processes of bulk and liquid cargo handling, as well as the storage of bulk cargo in open areas. As a result of these activities, various odour-causing chemical compounds and suspended particulate matter (dust), which affects the port and adjacent territories, are emitted into the atmosphere.

Air quality requirements are set forth in Cabinet Regulation No. 1290 of 3 November 2009 “Regulations Regarding Ambient Air Quality” and Cabinet Regulation No. 724 of 25 November 2014 “Regulations Regarding the Methods for Determination of Odours Caused by Polluting Activity, as well as the Procedures for Restricting the Spread of such Odours”.

The assessment of offensive odours is carried out by the State Environmental Service. A complaint regarding offensive odours is considered to be justified if the presence of odours is confirmed by results of an inspection carried out by the State Environmental Service.

“Regulations Regarding the Methods for Determination of Odours Caused by Polluting Activity, as well as the Procedures for Restricting the Spread of such Odours” determine the following:

Description of odour guideline value Period of determination Numeric values of thresholds
Air quality standard for odours in the outdoors troposphere (excluding the work environment), which causes or may cause permanent or periodic odour nuisance and which is expressed as odour concentration (ouE/m3) at standard conditions as the average odour concentration in an hour One hour 5 ouE/m3(cannot exceed 168 hours in a calendar year)

“Regulations Regarding Ambient Air Quality” set the threshold for suspended particulate matter: PM10 (dust).

Type of threshold Period of determination Numeric values of thresholds
Daily limit for the protection of human health 24 hours 50µg/m3(cannot exceed 35 hours in a calendar year)

The Freeport of Riga Authority ensures air quality control within its territory with five air monitoring stations:

  • two suspended particulate matter PM10 (dust) monitoring stations at Voleru iela 4 and Gāles iela 2;
  • three volatile organic compound (benzene, NO2, SO2) monitoring stations at Audupes iela 15/17, Tvaika iela 35 and Kundziņsalas 16.šķērslīnija 4.

Measurements at monitoring stations are performed on a continuous basis.

Air Quality in Freeport of Riga

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icon Average annual concentration of benzene in Riga - Port area 2008., 2009. un 2010 Year (LV)

Air quality measurements in the Freeport of Riga (LV)

Groundwater Monitoring

The goal of groundwater monitoring is to identify the potential sources of pollution in a timely manner, as well as to assess the dynamics of the degree of pollution changes in historically polluted territories. The main reasons for the occurrence of historical pollution are related to the industrial activities of Soviet and earlier periods, the inappropriate storage of dangerous products and oil products, as well as former territories used for military needs within the current borders of the Port of Riga.

The first groundwater survey works in the port territory were commenced in 2001. Currently, the groundwater monitoring network includes approximately 300 wells, covering practically the entire administrative territory of the port.

Monitoring of the Disposal Site in the Sea

An integral task of the port authority is to ensure the safety of navigation. For these purposes, the deepening of the Daugava riverbed is carried out on a regular basis. The soil excavated during deepening works is moved to a disposal site in the sea. Prior to placing the soil, quality control of seabed sediments is carried out.

In accordance with Cabinet Regulation No. 475 of 13 June 2006 “Procedures regarding the Cleaning and Deepening of Surface Water Bodies and Port Basins”, the Freeport of Riga Authority carries out regular disposal site monitoring.

The goal of monitoring is to obtain information about changes in the hydrological and hydro-biological condition of the sea environment, which can be caused by the storage of soil excavated during deepening works and its displacement to the disposal site in the sea.

Monitoring of Waterfowl

Two specially protected nature territories are located in the territory of the Freeport of Riga: the Krēmeri Nature Reserve and Love Island, which is a part of the Seaside Nature Park, which are important nesting places for birds. Understanding the effects of the port’s economic activities on bird populations, in 2007 the Freeport of Riga commenced monitoring of nesting water fowl in the specially protected territories “Love Island” and “Krēmeri”.

The goal of monitoring is to follow the population conditions of nesting birds. Despite the biotechnical measures taken, they have failed to ensure the planned results on Love Island. The small lakes of Love Island have failed to attract waterfowl as nesting places. On the contrary, measures taken in the Krēmeri Nature Reserve, i.e., regular mowing of reeds along the water reservoir located in the reserve, have had a positive impact. After a longer period, a nesting colony of black-headed gulls was once again spotted in 2010.