Grupa LOTOS operates one of the largest industrial sites in Gdańsk. It is no secret that crude oil processing involves a significant level of atmospheric emissions, which may affect the air quality beyond the site boundaries. The obligation to measure pollutant emissions is imposed by the applicable regulations of Polish law.
In 1976, we were the first in Poland to install and launch a professional, fully automated air quality monitoring system. Back then, air monitoring in Poland was at a rudimentary stage and relied on manual measurements, which delivered highly uncertain results. When it was placed in service, ours was the most advanced atmosphere monitoring system, not only in Poland but also in Europe. It was designed to comprise 18 monitoring stations located throughout the city of Gdańsk. It consisted of:
- nine stations used to measure hydrocarbon content, located within 1 km−3 km from the refinery,
- nine stations used to measure sulphur dioxide content, located throughout the city at a distance of 5 km−10 km from the refinery, and
- a meteorological station located within the refinery, designed to measure temperature, atmospheric pressure, relative humidity, insolation, as well as the speed and direction of wind.
In 1995, the Agency of Regional Air Quality Monitoring in the Gdańsk metropolitan area (ARMAAG Foundation) was established as a professional institution whose sole objective was to monitor the condition of air within the Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot agglomeration. Its establishment made it necessary to reorganise the monitoring system we had developed earlier. Accordingly, we adapted our system to interoperate with the regional air quality monitoring within the Gdańsk agglomeration, measuring chiefly the level of pollutants from fuel combustion across the agglomeration. When deciding where to site the new air monitoring points, we focused only on pollutants specific to crude oil refining. We also bought two stations, to be included in the city's regional air quality monitoring system, with analysers designed to measure fuel combustion pollutants.
Currently, our air monitoring system comprises six stations located in the near vicinity of the refinery or within its premises. Five of them measure the concentrations of non-methane hydrocarbons, total hydrocarbons and methane, while three of them monitor, since February 2006, the levels of BTEX (standing for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes). It should be noted, though, than only non-methane hydrocarbons and BTEX are indicators of the refinery's environmental impact. As for methane, natural processes are the main source of this compound in the air. Additionally, one station located in the central part of the refinery is used to measure meteorological conditions. The picture below shows the locations of our stations, while the table details the parameters measured by each of them.
Station no / measurement conducted