It was announced yesterday: After hovering around 110 points since the last ordinance, we hit 150 again and the environmental ordinance is back in action.... for the fourth time this year.
There aren’t any easily accesible numbers about environmental ordinances, but something is clear: our new mayor is heading into murky territory, and she might find herself enforcing a policy that both herself and her party are against: hoy no circula.
Spring is a “high ozone” season for Mexico City. The lack of rain, and the strong southbound winds allow particulate matter from the north to travel southwards. Once here, it hits a bottleneck with the Ajusco, Popocatepetl, and Tepozteco ranges blocking the way further south.
It reminds me of the environmental disaster in 2016, where the index did not go below 150 for numerous days, even hitting 200 at the very beginning. That triggered the second phase of the ordinance: the phase in which half of the vehicles in the city, regardless of their emissions sticker, had to stay in, gas stations without vapor recovery systems had to shut down, cargo trucks were not allowed into the city from 9AM to 5PM, and most industrial areas had to reduce output. Our then mayor Miguel Angel Mancera had to act accordingly, and together with the feds they designed new environmental guidelines. He took significant hits on his popularity during the ordinance.
One could argue that it would be up to her to actually hit the button and she could avoid the popularity hit, but the environmental ordinances are handled by the independent air quality commission.