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December 2011 Issue 68

Epuk. End of an era

Environmental Protection UK is to close. All staff are to be made redundant from the Brighton based organisation, the UK’s oldest environmental charity (113 years old).

Healthy Air Campaign to carry on?

There are strong signs that the Healthy Air Campaign – promoted by Epuk – will survive the failure of its main parent.

Councils to share £2m grant (since increased to £3m)

Air quality grant for 2011 has finally been announced. Councils share £2m which is slightly less than in previous years – but some had feared the grant would be scrapped altogether (AQB May p1).

Full table ranked by value    alphabetically

MPs see little progress

MPs have revisited air quality policy in a bid to see if the Government took its advice. It hasn’t, finds Jack Pease

NOx coatings. Do they work?

A glitzy event in London was used to trumpet the benefits of NOx eating coatings. Do they work?

Adverse impact on AQMA ignored

A planning appeal for a community health and sports centre has focussed on significance definitions contained in Epuk’s development guidelines for air quality.

Turbine interference

Air quality has been cited as a reason not to install wind turbines at Frodsham, near Runcorn.

Smog alerts proliferate

Recent still, calm conditions have prompted a string of air quality alerts.

Ozone and PM remain a problem

The European Environment Agency (EEA) reports that many EU countries are expected to exceed the emissions ceilings in 2010 for at least one pollutant. Concentrations of ground-level ozone and particulate matter have remained stable over recent years despite efforts to improve air quality.

Solvent release leads to £40,000 penalty

A Midlands firm has been fined £40,000 for too much odour.

Market falls 8.4% in 2010

A yearly survey of environmental consulting has shown a continued fall.

Scotland gains emergency capability

Air quality and health impacts of fires and other unforeseen events can now be monitored in Scotland. An emergency team is in place and was immediately put to work following release of hydrogen sulphide from spilled oil ballast water in the Firth of Forth.

Filter warning from Air Monitors

Non-standard filters could be behind the long running saga of why some Teom-FDMS instruments have been misbehaving.

UK reports exceedences to Europe

The UK has formally reported exceedences of air quality directives across its 43 zones in 2010.

Herts switch

Geoff Broughton’s Air Quality Data Management (AQDM) and Envitech Europe has won the contract to run the Herts & Beds air quality network, formerly run by ERG. Broughton, formerly with AEA, claims this means his firm is now equal with Casella and behind King’s College and AEA in terms of running networks.

Retrofit plea

Retrofitting firm Greenurban says the Environmental Audit Committee’s report into air quality shows how important it is for the transport industry to clean up its act.

PhD sponsorship

Air Monitors is sponsoring a PhD student at Kings College for the next four years. The work will be focussed on black carbon.

Localism now an Act

The Localism Act has been passed.

Black carbon monitor

Air quality monitoring specialist Enviro Technology is now supplying the PAX (Photoacoustic Extinctiometer) System for carbon particle sensing.

£3,000 odour fine

The Foyle Food Group Ltd (FFG) was fined £3,000 plus costs at Londonderry Magistrates’ court for breaching odour conditions of its Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Permit.

Gardiner in

Enviro Technology has appointed Alan Gardiner as regional manager in Scotland.

Sniffer reveals habitat protection tool ...

Sniffer – the Scottish and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research – has proposed an improved tool for assessing habitat sensitivity to air pollution.

.. and tracking method

Sniffer has also finished a project that aims to set up a methodology and set of indicators to identify and summarise the impacts of air pollutants on ecosystems.

November 2011 issue 67

Do not ignore 2010 NO2 blip

Cardiff City Council has been forced into 11 detailed assessments this year because of a widespread pollution spike in 2010. It had hoped to wait and see whether 2010 was a freak year for high pollution.

Court case prompts U-turn on consultation

The Government is now consulting on PM10 plans having initially refused to do so.

Grant out

As AQB went to press, Defra air quality grants were announced. More details next month.

Speed limit helps

A speed limit being put on a motorway in Wales may be enough to allow compliance with EU NO2 objectives.

Birkett steps indoors

Simon Birkett’s Clean Air in London campaign has gained a key sponsor – and is to stretch its remit to include indoor air.

WHO tots up global air quality cost

The World Health Organisation says over two million people die each year from indoor and outdoor air pollution.

Welch move to PBA completes swap-around

Denise Welch has joined Peter Brett Associates as a principal consultant in its air quality team, operating from the Bristol office.

IAQM critical of NO2 plans

The Institute of Air Quality Management is critical of plans to meet NO2 objectives, its response released last month reveals.

CIEH voices fears over planning changes

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health says that short sighted planning changes are putting public health at risk (AQB August p4).

Fairmode: technical guide

The European Fairmode grouping has released a technical guide to the use of air quality modelling for EU directive purposes.

CMAQ update

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new version of its Community Multi-scale Air Quality model (CMAQ) for use on a more local scale.

Autumn ozone unusual

Unseasonably warm and sunny weather brought about unusually elevated levels of ozone, PM10 and nitrogen dioxide across London and the south east from 29th September to 3rd October, reports ERG.

ERG goes Android and Chrome

A new version of the LondonAir mobile app is available now as a free download from the Android Marketplace. It has previously proved popular for the Iphone.

Chatham pong

Wood chips are causing bad smells near Chatham Docks.

Shape of LAQM review outed

Defra is launching a £30,000 research project to support a rushed review of action planning and LAQM.

Mills: back to black

Jim Mills of Air Monitors – perhaps the person most associated with particle monitoring in the UK – is advocating a move to black carbon.

Epuk goes black

Epuk is soon to launch a national black carbon campaign.

Enviro launches fast tube samplers

Enviro Technology has launched a new range of rapid diffusion samplers.

Railways in court

US groups are taking railroad firms to court for excess diesel pollution.

Iapsc date

Iapsc’s December 6th conference will focus on NO2 limits, local authority case studies on traffic emissions and greener options for heavy duty vehicles. l www.iapsc.org.uk

Temple again

Rapidly-growing consultant Temple has announced a further appointment.

Monitoring rate falls

There has been a slight fall in monitoring network capture rates.

Regional SEAs

The Government has carried out environmental assessments of its plans to abolish regional plans.

Big Aecom win

Consultant Aecom has been awarded an air quality monitoring, carbon management, and regulatory development project in Kuwait.

Heathrow quizzed on air efforts

With London airports talking about expansion again, the issue of air pollution is becoming news again. The London assembly quizzed experts.

City of London tackles air

The City of London has launched its CityAir-branded campaign to get businesses involved in helping air quality.

Low emissions guide

The Low Emission Strategies (LES) Partnership is consulting on draft guidance aimed to provide practical advice and best practice examples in the use of procurement to reduce road transport emissions in the public sector.

Nanomaterial defined

The European Commission has agreed a common definition for a nanomaterial. The lack of an agreed definition was hampering efforts to control releases of nanoparticles into the environment.

Low sulphur cuts shipping emissions

A US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study says that air pollution plummets if ships use low sulphur fuels.

Shipping speeds

European NGO T&E has proposed use of speed limits for ships to cut emissions.

LAPC fees freeze

Despite rising staff and material costs, Defra is proposing to freeze LAPC charges.

Progress discussed

Despite it being ten years since the air quality daughter directives were introduced, pollution concentrations are not falling as fast as expected.

Carbon collaboration

Consultant Mouchel has teamed up with Bournemouth Borough Council and launched a new Carbon Management Centre of Excellence (CMCoE).

Wigan Win

Wigan Council and the LES Partnership have been given initial approval for award funding from Defra to assess the air quality and health benefits arising from emission reductions achieved through local transport measures.

Renewables shift

Subsidies for renewable energy have been recast in a new Decc consultation.

Bull to AEA

Sarah Bull, formerly with the HPA, has joined AEA as senior environmental consultant in toxicology.

October 2011 issue 66

No extension for NO2

The Government has surprised air quality campaigners by announcing it will not seek an extension to the EU Directive for nitrogen dioxide.

Fines weakened

The Local Government Group has secured changes to the Localism Bill that will make it harder for Government to pass on EU fines to local authorities.

London sinks in European soot league

London has fared badly in a ‘soot’ ranking intended to reflect efforts to improve air quality.

Odour appeal dismisses cordon

A planning appeal for new flats has centred on separation zones – cordon sanitaires – near smelly sewage works.

Cyclists have poor understanding of pollution

A survey of cyclists in London suggests air quality is not a major issue for them, especially compared to issues such as safety.

Henley goes

Defra air quality minister Lord Henley has been replaced by Lord Taylor (of Holbeach). Henley has gone to the Home Office.

Mcerts morphs into new show

The biennial Mcerts conference and exhibition is being rebadged and broadened out from its traditional stack monitoring roots.l www.aqeshow.com

UWE wins key EU contract

The Air Quality Management Resource Centre at UWE has won a high profile contract to support a team carrying out the revision of EU air quality directives.

Temple growth

Rapidly-expanding Temple Group has appointed Chris Fry as operations director.

Southampton windfall from SupportingU

Southampton City Council was the winner of monitor firm SupportingU’s competition to win a free monitor cabinet, called the Kaizen.

Ports to pay for failing to warn population

A Los Angeles court has ruled against the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles over diesel truck emissions. The ports failed to sufficiently warn local populations of the adverse health effects of diesel exhaust.

Olympic plans challenged

Clean Air in London campaigner Simon Birkett has rounded on plans to create priority road space for the Olympics. He believes plans are illegal and vulnerable to Judicial Review.

London van drivers reminded

Transport for London (TfL) is urging the owners and operators of the estimated 150,000 vehicles affected by new emissions standards in January 2012 to take action to avoid fines.

World environmental health day recognised

To mark World Environmental Health Day 2011, the City of London Corporation hosted an ‘air quality’ themed reception at the Guildhall designed to support London’s air pollution strategies.

Awards open

Applications are now being taken for the Sustainable City Awards.l Further details: www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/sca

HyBoost revealed

Research firm Ricardo is leading a consortium that is developing an alternative form of hybrid car.

Ireland clean?

2010 data suggests that Irish air quality is amongst the best in Europe.

Responses revealed for NO2

42 organisations and individuals have responded to the Government’s proposed plan to meet European directive NO2 requirements.

Edgware Road gets ‘green’ wall

The London Mayor is stepping up use of vegetation to improve air quality as part of his “assault” on air pollution. He has now announced a new green wall at Edgware Road tube station (CGI, pictured).

Tube slip

Last month’s story on diffusion tube consistency misunderstood the role of WASP in an intercomparison exercise (AQB September p1).

Guernsey bonfires

Guernsey authorities are considering laws on what can be burnt on bonfires to improve air quality.

Burford joins SLR

SLR Consulting has appointed Euan Burford (pictured, above) as a senior consultant in its air quality team in the firm’s Cardiff office.

Permitting update

Core guidance for environmental permitting has been updated to include a number of small changes.

Dearnley departs

The recession has pushed Environmental Protection UK into a further reshuffle.

CIEH changes too

CIEH is also making changes.

Smoak of London dissipated?

Epuk has republished an eerie medieval snapshot of pollution in London. Has anything changed?

l Fumifugium can be downloaded from www.environmental-protection.org.uk

Key court case gets go ahead

Protesters have been given leave to seek a Judicial Review on the Government’s air quality plans. AQB looks at the detail of the claim

Million trees for New York

Researchers report on the air quality benefits of planting a million trees in New York City.

back to top

September 2011 issue 65

Air thwarts Sainsburys again

Sainsburys is licking its wounds having once again lost a planning battle on air quality grounds. Unreliable emission factors were at the centre of arguments.

TfL: Dust suppressant works

A report says that dust suppressants used to ‘glue’ particles to the road surface is worthwhile.

Planters in place as London action grows

TfL has declared its dust suppressant trial a success (see news, p3) and is to expand it. Meanwhile taxi marshalls have started work as part of the London clean air fund to reduce emissions paid for with a £5m grant from the DfT (AQB June p1). A ‘green wall’ is also being installed.

Tube scheme fails to improve consistency

A scheme intended to improve consistency of diffusion tube analysis appears to have failed, a new report suggests (more here)

Odours OK on industrial estate

A firm has lost an appeal against its ‘odourous’ neighbour.

Conditions allow for bedsit Indian cooking

A bedsit can be used as a commercial kitchen preparing Indian food, an appeal inspector has ruled.

PAH still high

PAH’s remain above objective levels in several areas, an NPL report suggests.

Tyre waste  fire probe

Residents living near to the site of the Fforestfach tyre fire in Wales are to be surveyed on the effect that the incident had on their health and well-being.

HGV response

DfT has summarised responses to a call for bus and truck operators to comment on air quality measures for heavy goods vehicles.

Clean guidance

Guidance has been suggested by the DfT on specifying clean and energy efficient road vehicles.

SCR trial

London Buses has nominated suppliers for the NOx pilot to improve air quality

Website review

Chiltern and ERG win our annual website air quality review

Tube scheme

A scheme intended to improve consistency of diffusion tube analysis appears to have failed, a new report suggests.

ugust 2011 issue 64

UK Government faces High Court test

After years of threats, the UK will now have to defend its air quality record in the High Court.

UK PM10 extension is rubber stamped by Brussels

The EU has rubber stamped the UK’s request for an extension to the PM10 objective.

Campaigning steps up a gear

Air quality campaigning just became less polite and reverential!

Protesters stage ‘die in’

Air quality has become the subject of direct action in recent weeks.

More power worsens diesel NOx

Increasing power of diesel engines could be behind the failure of NOX and NO2 to fall as expected.

Planning framework set out

The Government has published its draft national planning policy framework. This will be the short policy statement that will replace thousands of pages of detailed guidance. It has already been criticised for giving insufficient weight to environmental issues.

London goes air quality neutral

The Mayor has published the replacement of the spatial development strategy for London – the London Plan.

Port Talbot particle monitor found to be unreliable

Difficulties with particle monitoring at Port Talbot has led to the need to estimate 2010 data.

Landfill once again given official all-clear

Well managed landfill sites do not pose a significant risk to public health, claims the Health Protection Agency.

Defra set to go ‘open source’ for future modelling needs

A report into air quality modelling commissioned by Defra has recommended a move towards open source techniques.

Guidance on guidance for LAQM

Defra has released a report on action planning guidance. It concludes that there is a lot of it, and local authorities need some help to find it.

Brighton plan tackles rising NO2

Brighton & Hove City Council has released its second action plan claiming it will get tough on air quality given NO2 levels appear to be rising

Defra told how LEZs might work

Amec – formerly Entec – has reported to Defra on the possible shape of a certification scheme for nationwide low emission zones.

Winners announced for sustainable transport

Winning bidders have been announced in the first round of the sustainable transport fund – the successor funding regime to Local Transport Plans. There is £155.5m to support authorities in delivering local economic growth whilst cutting carbon emissions from transport.

Islington trials environment warnings

London Airtext is carrying out a two month trial with the London Borough of Islington to issue air quality alerts.

Further sulphur cut from coastal shipping

Sulphur dioxide emissions from ships are to be cut in sensitive European waters.

Green groups criticise green rating

Environmental pressure groups have critcised a decision to award a Porsche SUV a ‘green rating’ under new German labelling scheme

MPs revisit air quality

MPs hauled in air quality experts, ministers and Defra officials to see whether things have improved. Last time they said we should be ashamed of our record

Biomass bungs

The Government has revealed the grant structure for domestic renewable energy installations.

Scotland reviews

SEA implementation Scotland has carried out a full review of implementation of the original European Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive.

New two

Suzanne Hodgson has joined Air Quality Consultants as a senior consultant, with Flo Kirk-Lloyd joining as an assistant consultant.

Cutting truck pollution

DfT and the Freight Transport Association have worked with the Noise Abatement Society to look at ways of allowing HGV vehicles to make quiet out-of-hours deliveries.

MEP does the rounds

Green Euro MP Keith Taylor is touring south east England towns highlighting the dangers of poor air quality.

EU emissions down

Emissions across the EU appear to have gone down – partly due to the recession, suggests the European Environment Agency.

Six months to go

With less than six months to go before the toughening of the low emission zone, Transport for London (TfL) is calling on the owners and operators of vehicles set to be affected when new emissions standards come in to effect in January 2012 to take action now and avoid fines.

Conference issue

This December’s AAMG Royal Society of Chemistry conference will address air quality questions relevant to the review of the Air Quality Directive in 2013.

Kent planning

Kent councils have joined together to produce best practice guidance for dealing with air quality impacts of planning developments. l www.kentair.org.uk Sinfin succeeds An appeal against a refusal for a waste recovery facility has succeeded meaning the incinerator should now go ahead.

Nudge is not enough

‘Nudging’ on its own is unlikely to be successful in changing the population’s behaviour, says a Lords Science and Technology Committee’s report.

Rushlight again

Rushlight environmental awards are once again open for entries.

Reporting improved

The European Environment Agency (EEA) reports that environmental reporting is improving.

Air COST

The DfT has added a new tool to its suite of guidance for assessing transport infrastructure. Air is included in the new Early Assessment and Sifting Tool (EAST) published on the DfT transport business case website.

Data is in

Harrison off Lacors air quality and noise specialist Cassie Harrison has moved roles following a shake up.

Public health plans

The Government has updated its thoughts on how public health will be transferred to local authorities.

Ozone still bad across Europe

Air quality across Europe remains poor despite efforts to reduce emissions.

King’s expands modelling capability

Kings College London ERG has expanded its modelling capability beyond London.

Sales boost defies recession

Enviro Technology claims it has had a record second quarter sales period despite the recession.

July 2011 issue 63

Local LEZs to solve national NO2

Defra and the devolved regions have revealed how they intend to reduce NO2 and obtain a five year extension to EU limit values.

EHO’s brainless jobsworths, court hears

An LAPC permitting appeal has cited evidence claiming that environmental health officers are “brainless jobsworths”.

EU AQ reviewed

The European Commission has outlined the shape of its review of air quality directives. The review will draw in directives on air quality policy, fuel quality, vehicle emissions and industrial emissions.

More warnings with new index

The air quality index may be tightened so that more warnings are given to the public.

Advice to index users

Comeap noted that local council and air quality websites often only report a band (e.g. low, moderate, high or very high) rather than using the ten-point scale.

OBE for Ayres

Comeap chairman Jon Ayres has received an OBE for services to science. He is currently professor of respiratory and environmental medicine at Birmingham University.

News from investigation of air pollution standing conference held in Sheffield

NO2 and PM10 done, now LAQM

Defra air quality boss Robert Vaughan had plenty to tell Iapsc delegates.

Cambridge bus initiative prompts drop

Cambridge City Council’s Jo Dicks told the Iapsc conference in Sheffield that there has been some success with the city’s fight to cut bus emissions by half.

2010 bad year for NO2?

Cambridge City Council showed results of NO2 annual mean tube results which showed a startling rise in NO2 emissions in 2010.

Freight savings

Freight consolidation centres can offer useful emission savings, Donald Chalker of Transport Travel Research told the Sheffield Iapsc conference.

London submits revised plan

The UK Government, working with the London Mayor, has submitted an updated seven-page plan for London to the European Commission. The submission was required as part of the conditional approval for an extension to PM10 objectives (AQB April p1).

LEZ not cost effective for inner London

TfL has told the London Assembly’s Environment Committee that an inner London low emission zone with a Euro IV cut off would not be effective.

Detailed modelling carried out on zone

With TfL suggesting a tighter low emission zone in central London suggesting won’t be value for money (see above), the City of London has commissioned its own research on the benefits.

No effect from congestion charge removal

Transport for London (TfL) says early results suggest the removal of the western extension to the London congestion zone has not increased air pollution.

Energy plans set for approval

National Policy Statements (NPSs) for energy – which include biomass – have been put before Parliament.

Planning framework revealed

The possible shape of the future slimline planning system have been included in the new environment White Paper..

Green White paper

A new natural environment white paper has been released.

Wording of planning presumption mooted

Local authorities will be encouraged to update their local plans to include specific policies on air quality and other environmental impacts following publication of the proposed ‘planning presumption’ wording.

LEZs centrepiece of NO2 plans

Government will rely on local authorities to introduce low emission zones to cut emissions. We study new NO2 plans

News from the Spring annual UK air pollution research meeting held in Cranfield

Walton costs NO2 benefits

Heather Walton, formerly of the HPA and now with King’s College London, has costed the benefits of reducing nitrogen dioxide.

Threshold sought for ozone effects

St George’s London researchers have tried to find out whether or not there is a threshold for ozone health effects.

Pollution causes asthma

Cranfield delegates heard what is claimed to be the first meta analysis that shows that air pollution causes asthma, not just worsens it.

MPs told about air

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee is now considering evidence submitted to its follow-on inquiry into air quality.

LGA on fines

The Local Government Association is seeking a number of amendments to the Localism Bill.

SEPA shake up

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) says that its consultation on changes to regulation has received broad support.

Costing consultation

DfT is consulting on the process of costing air quality changes resulting from major schemes.

Indicator down

Final results for the air quality indicator have revised figures down, ie the air is even cleaner than provisional figures suggested.

Esposito exits

Camden’s Gloria Esposito is leaving to join the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership.

Edinburgh on odour

Edinburgh Council has introduced a monitoring regime to respond to odour complaints about Scottish Water’s £24 million investment in Seafield waste treatment plant.

Edinburgh Ecostars

Edinburgh is adopting the Ecostars fleet management scheme pioneered by South Yorkshire authorities.

REC gain

Jethro Redmore has recently been appointed as manager of REC’s air quality impact assessment group, based in the Manchester office.

Health costed

A European study has tried to emphasise the environmental benefits of improving air quantity.

IES offer

The Institution of Environmental Sciences has published a special edition of its journal on air quality and health. AQB readers can buy the journal for £5, says the IES. Website: www.ies-uk.org.uk

Speed limits cut pollution

Short term speed limits could yield useful exposure reductions, Belgian researchers suggest.

June 2011 issue 62

Eco marshals for London?

London Mayor Boris Johnson has been challenged to provide details of what additional measures will result from the £5m clean air funding made available by central Government to improve air quality (AQB May p1). Eco marshals may be introduced to reduce idling.

DfT revamps cost benefit analysis

The DfT has added a new tool to its suite of guidance for assessing transport infrastructure.

Others in court

The European Commission is to take France and Belgium to Court and and warned Romania over failure to comply with EU air quality rules on PM10.

Air pollution detectives on the beat

Scottish Government, in partnership with Glow, Scotland’s online education community and AEA, has launched an air pollution website aimed at children.

Mayor rules out early inner London LEZ

The Mayor has been pressed on whether he would consider banning pre-Euro 4 diesel vehicles) from inner London through a Clean Air Zone during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

London Mayor liable for non-action?

A supplier of taxi clean-up equipment has questioned whether the London Mayor is fulfilling his legal duties for reducing emissions.

London monitoring network reviewed

Air Quality Consultants has recently completed a review of the London automatic air quality monitoring network for the GLA.

Sweeping improvement

Internal TfL documents suggest that use of dust suppressants on polluted roads could have cu

MPs revisit air quality

MPs are revisiting air quality in a new inquiry.

HEI confirms little effect from London charge

A review by the influential US Health Effects Institute has cast doubt whether there is any meaningful reduction in air pollution as a result of the London congestion charge.

Costings assigned to impacts

Defra has endorsed a study that assigns costs to air quality and other environmental issues. The costs are likely to feed into the Government natural environment white paper due to be published next week.

Volcano has limited impact on air quality

The recent Grimsvotn volcanic eruption led to ash clouds centred on Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Biomass affects black carbon concentrations

Defra has been quizzed in Parliament on the impacts of support for biomass on black carbon emissions.

Texting benefits to be tested

A new study will look at how improved public information might reduce the impact of air pollution on the health of vulnerable people, such as those with asthma and other breathing difficulties.

Government not ‘passing the buck’

The Government believes there is very little chance that it will be fined for poor air quality during the Olympics next year. But in a House of Lords debate, the Government was accused of passing the buck.

Modelling reports published for review

David Carslaw of Kings College London has completed three modelling evaluation reports. The reports feed in to a review of models currently being carried out by Defra (AQB September 2010 p3).

Extra checks

FDMS Teom particle monitors are to receive extra checks.

Spelman: Air not in regs purge

Following concerns that planned red tape cuts could lead to removal of key environmental legislation, Green Party MP for Brighton Caroline Lucas asked Parliament what environmental policies were in line for revocation.

Casella wins large Defra gas monitoring contract

Casella Monitor has won the Defra contract to supply, deliver and install 58 gas analysers and associated logging and communication equipment into the Government Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) air quality monitoring network.

Padeswood cement works shows no impact

Air quality around the Hanson cement plant in Padeswood is good, claims an official report.

Renewed CO2 push

A limit on the total amount of greenhouse gases to be emitted by the UK between 2023 to 2027 has been proposed to cut emissions by 50% from 1990 levels.

Model map out

Modelled 1x1km concentration data from Defra’s national models are now available from UK-AIR.

March event dissected

AEA has produced a short summary of the pollution event that took place in March.

Online emissions

New online emission maps have been published by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency.

Gone to Golder

Stuart McGowan and Jennifer Simpson have joined Golder’s air quality team at its Edinburgh office.

Maynard event

An afternoon of talks will be held at King's College London on 6th June to mark the retirement of Professor Bob Maynard from the Health Protection Agency.

Trains monitored

A new monitoring site has been set up near the Paddington main railway line in a bid to pick up NOx impacts of diesel trains.

Tolls widened

Road toll prices for the haulage industry as capped under the Eurovignette directive were originally intended to cover only

Car share bonus

Car club members produce on average 25% of the emissions of those who own cars, a TRL survey for car share firm Carplus suggests.

Dust guidance

Stephen Moorcroft of Air Quality Consultants is leading a group set up on behalf of the Institute of Air Quality Management to develop guidance on suitable methods and approaches to dust and particulate matter (PM) monitoring of construction activities.

Scotland 2010 review

Scottish air quality has been reviewed in its latest annual report.

EU levels

The annual status report released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that while EU-27 emissions for three air pollutants are projected to meet the ceilings, nitrogen oxides emissions for the EU-27 as a whole will exceed its ceiling by 17%.

Comeap members

Three new members have been appointed to the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution (Comeap).

London Bus trial

Transport for London (TfL) is carrying out a trial that will see 18 buses retrofitted with specialist equipment to tackle NOx air pollution.

Dedring move

GLA head of environment Isobel Dedring, has been replaced by Kulveer Ranger.

Deaths or DALYs?

Debate rages on about the best language to describe air pollution health effects, finds Jack Pease. Has the number of deaths had its day?

May 2011 issue 61

PM10 breaches vanish (on paper)

A hot and polluted Spring season finished up with both PM10 and ozone reaching ‘high’ levels over the Easter break. But yet another change in pollution metrics means that the event does not breach objectives.

£5m to help London pollution

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond is giving the London mayor £5m to improve air pollution in London.

Grants saved

Air quality grants for England have survived government cuts – albeit reduced by nearly 20%.

Progress reporting

For authorities awarded grant funding in 2010-2011, a single progress report will be required in September 2011.

Boris’s blame bounces

London Mayor Boris Johnson says exceedences can be blamed on bad air in Europe. He also blamed Europe for “imposing” the low emission zone on the Capital.

Gwyn Jones dies suddenly

Gwyn Jones of AEA died suddenly last month. He was 42 and had a pre-existing heart condition.

ERG solves grey dots enigma

ERG has denied that its websites have failed to pick up the recent pollution episode.

Local action yields big benefits

Coordinated local action on pollution and climate change can provide huge benefits, a new report from Local Government Regulation (LGR) suggests.

EPA produces pollution storybook for kids

“Coco has a problem. He’s a chameleon, but he can’t change colours, and his asthma is acting up.

Red tape cuts annoy environmental lobby

The Government has included environmental regulation in its list of ‘red tape’.

Europe raps UK knuckles on access to justice

The European Commission is taking the UK to the EU Court of Justice over the high cost of challenges to decisions on the environment.

Biffa slated by High Court judge

The High Court has found against residents in a legal battle about odour near a landfill site in Ware, Herts – but heavily criticised Biffa and the Environment Agency.

Storey receives AQB merit award

Jim Storey of the Environment Agency is the proud winner of this year’s AQB award. It is given to those who do something special on air quality.

Port Talbot: new year, new report

Yet another report has come out about pollution in Port Talbot. Is the steelworks the elephant in the room?, asks Jack Pease

Biofuels: not bad

Biofuels have acquired a dirty reputation – but Aqeg suggests they are relatively clean in air quality terms

Olympic record?

A strategic environmental assessment of the Olympic Games suggests that increases in traffic along the Olympic Route Network will lead to European legal limits on air pollution being exceeded.

H4 guide finalised

The Environment Agency’s H4 guide to odour has been officially released.

Hinton odour win

Hinton Organics has won a four and a half year long court battle over perceived noise, bio-aerosol and odour nuisance issues at its composting site near Keynsham, Bristol.

Class action

Law firm Hugh James is launching a class action against The Monckton Coke and Chemical for compensation in relation to the odour, noise and dust nuisance coming from its site located at Royston in Barnsley.

Marner moves up

Dr Ben Marner has been promoted to technical director within Air Quality Consultants.

Scotland reports

AEA has produced its annual report of air quality in Scotland.

Site rankings

King’s has ranked the most popular monitoring sites in the London air quality network according to the different ways they were viewed.

Invisible dust

King’s College is working with Invisible Dust – an arts and environmental science organisation on a major new collaboration involving artists and scientists working together to engage and educate the public about air quality issues in London which is supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Construction dust

Stephen Moorcroft of Air Quality Consultants, is leading a group set up on behalf of the Institute of Air Quality Management to develop guidance on suitable methods and approaches to dust and particulate matter monitoring of construction activities.

LGR cut

Local Government Regulation – formerly Lacors – has outlined how it will function following cuts of 45%.

News from the Mcerts conference and exhibition held in telford last month

Air Monitors goes portable

Air Monitors was proud of its new portable gas monitor.

Beta for Air Monitors

Air Monitors – renowned for its backing of the Teom and FDMS particle monitors – is now marketing a beta gauge for PM2.5 and PM10.

Tipping: 7 into 1 directive now in

Speaking at the recent Mcerts exhibition and conference held in Telford, the Environment Agency’s John Tipping explained how the Industrial Emissions Directive is likely to affect the UK monitoring community.

Enviro pushes blue light converter

Enviro Technology was keen to push its ‘blue light converter’ analyser on its Mcerts stand.

April 2011 issue 60

Government lobbies on NO2

The Government is talking to Europe about changing the EU directive mandatory targets for nitrogen dioxide.

Short term plan or else, says EU

Britain has been told it will avoid fines for failing to cut PM10 – but only if it submits a credible short term plan to reduce exceedences.

NO2/NOx trends report prompts change

A ground breaking report has confirmed that new engines have failed to cut pollution as much as officially claimed.

PM10 declaration

Dust from a quarry has prompted declaration of an air quality management area at Mountsorrel.

March pollution reaches high

ERG has reported on an extended period of poor air quality over the south east of England during March. There have been over twice as many moderate days this year as in the same period last year.

Black carbon benefits listed

A report has analysed the co-benefits of cutting black carbon emissions.

London Mayor pressed on new plan

At the London mayor’s ‘question time’ last month, prominent Green Party assembly member Darren Johnson asked Boris Johnson if he would revise London’s air quality plan to include short term measures as required by the European Commission’s conditional judgement on a PM10 time extension.

Euro 6 engines roll off the line

Truck maker Mercedes claims to be the first truck maker to produce Euro 6 trucks.

Ecostar scheme spreads to Devon

Mid Devon Council is running the Ecostars fleet recognition scheme. The South Yorks Care4Air-inspired scheme rewards fleet operators who have cleaner vehicles and operate them efficiently.

Biomass boost causes air pollution concerns

English subsidies for renewable heat may prompt more air pollution, Epuk warns. Meanwhile Scotland has included protection for air quality in its relaxation of planning controls.

Defra hints on future changes

Defra air quality boss Robert Vaughan has provided clues on the future direction of English air quality policy.

£42,000 for poultry odour nuisance

Excessive smells have led to a poultry firm being fined £30,000 with £12,000 costs

Traffic light guide to AQ & climate change

Epuk has produced a guide for local authorities on how to combine air quality and climate change actions. It includes a ‘traffic light’ guide to various measures to illustrate techniques that have win-win impacts on both air quality and climate change.

Clayton dies

Dame Barbara Clayton has died aged 88. Clayton was extremely active in the National Society for Clean Air, now Epuk.

Fees frozen

Local authority permit fees have been frozen for the coming year.

Diesel surcharge

Parking permits in Kensington and Chelsea will cost more for drivers of diesel vehicles.

Opal weather watch

Opal, a Big Lottery project run by a grouping including Imperial College and the Environment Agency, has turned its attention to climate change.

Essexair website

The Essex Air Quality Consortium has launched a new website www.essexair.org.uk

Year of Air Janez Potoènik,

European Commissioner for Environment, hopes to make 2013 the “Year of Air” with an increased focus on tackling air pollution.

Planning slashed

Last month’s Budget saw the Government confirm it will slash detailed planning guidance. PPS23 is likely to be junked.

Prenergy approved

The Prenergy wood burning power station in Port Talbot has succeeded in lifting pollution limits in its permit.

Heavies probe

DfT is seeking opinions on polluting emissions of buses and trucks in an open ended questionnaire.

Inventory explained

The UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) team has described the background to latest emission inventories

Monitors poor capture

Data capture from the automatic monitoring network has shown a fall, latest figures reveal.

Horn Lane numbers

In our article on Horn Lane, Defra has corrected data contained within the Hansard report from which we quoted.

Scottish traps

Scottish Government’s Bus Retro-fitting Fund has awarded Glasgow City Council £281,000 and City of Edinburgh Council £243,000 to retrospectively fit emission reduction equipment to older buses, benefitting the cities with better, cleaner and healthier air quality.

March 2011 issue 59

H4 guidance: nearly there?

It has been nearly a decade since H4 draft guidance on odour was released. It was never finalised – but could be soon, finds Jack Pease

CIWEM seeks doubling of odour standard

The professional body for the water industry would prefer to see an odour limit double that being suggested in planning and technical guidance.

Air improves yet again?

Defra’s provisional air quality indicator shows a continued dramatic reduction in urban and rural moderate and high pollution days at monitoring sites.

Birkett wins City of London air award

Campaigner Simon Birkett has won the air quality section of City of London Corporation’s annual Sustainable City Awards.

Infraction decision imminent?

The European Commission is expected to announce a decision on the UK’s PM10 extension imminently. UK wants extra time to meet PM10 objective levels.

Barrowcliffe moves

Following 21 years at ERM, most recently as a partner, Roger Barrowcliffe has joined the Canadian consulting company RWDI to develop an air quality practice in the UK.

Lester to TRL

Alaric Lester has joined TRL as head of the emissions and assessment team.

Massive fine for render firm...

John Knight (ABP) Ltd, an animal rendering firm in Newham, East London has been fined £75,000 with £75,000 costs for breaches of the Environmental Permitting Regulations following a lengthy investigation after a significant increase in complaints of odour.

... as Perth composter also clobbered

A waste management company was fined £14,000 after offensive odours from their composting site repeatedly affected residents in Abernethy in Perthshire.

Birkett loses freedom of information fight

Award winning London clean air campaigner Simon Birkett has the latest round in his fight to force the disclosure of discussions about air quality between the Government and the London mayor.

NHS group condemns biomass

Biomass has been criticised by the NHS in a response to a consultation

2010 shows continued lack of improvement

King’s College ERG has released its provisional index of air quality in London in 2010.

Episode reported

King’s has reported on a pollution episode in mid February.

Emissions directive at Mcerts

The forthcoming Mcerts exhibition and conference is to focus on the implications of the new Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) published earlier this year. l www.mcerts.uk.com

Blue light could aid NO2 measurement

Local authorities seeking more accurate NO2 readings should consider using analysers which incorporate blue light converters’ says monitor firm Enviro Technology.

Ecostars evaluation contract

AQMRC have been awarded a contract to evaluate South Yorkshire’s Eco-Stars fleet recognition scheme. It was set up in South Yorkshire in 2009 with the aim of improving air quality. Consultant TTR manages the scheme for the local authority grouping.

Grugeon outlines Epuk direction

Six months after James Grugeon took the helm at Epuk, what has he found, and what is he planning? AQB subjected him to a question and answer session

Calderdale refusal

An appeal to install a biomass burner in Calderdale has failed.

Minister coming

Transport minister Norman Baker is to speak at the 2011 Sussex air quality seminar to be held on 11th March at Gatwick.

Experts sought

The Department is seeking a small expert panel to help in assessing Local Sustainable Transport Fund bids (AQB February p4).

Iapsc changes

Conference organiser Iapsc is trialling a new format.

Limit? What limit?

Transport minister Theresa Villiers has appeared to downplay the importance of the NO2 limit value.

Air website gone

Defra has replaced www.airquality.co.uk with a new portal within its own website frames.

Carbon tool

DfT has published a tool to help them calculate carbon benefits.

AEA rocks

The Gibraltar Environmental Agency, has appointed AEA to help it meet its European air quality obligations.

US clean air plea

Nearly 2,000 doctors, nurses and other respiratory health professionals have jointly sent a letter to US president Barack Obama to protest against possible dilution of clean air laws.

Tree types help urban air

Some trees are better than others at improving the air quality of towns and cities according to an environmental expert in a new book.

Durham declares

Durham County Council is declaring a new air quality management area.

back to top

February 2011 issue 58

Agency drops motorway monitoring

The Highways Agency is ceasing funding of four key motorway air quality monitoring stations.

NGOs join forces to lobby Commissioner

Air quality dominated the visit of EU Environment Commissioner Potocnik to London last month.

Last strategy

The recent London air quality strategy could be the last, the Localism Bill suggests.

Filters for kids

Schools in Los Angeles are to use air filters to cut asthma.

Dust guidance coming soon

Following on from its success in produce guidance on planning significance in air quality, the Institute of Air Quality Management is planning to develop guidance on construction dust.

ERG updates air quality iphone app

ERG’s free air quality iPhone app has been updated.

Legal threat lifted from TfL

TfL has responded to campaign group Clean Air in London’s threat to launch a judicial review of the Mayors decision to remove the western extension of the congestion charging zone.

Experts quizzed in London air inquiry

Members of the GLA Environment Committee have held an inquiry into air quality in London.

Publicity starts on LEZ stage 3

The London Mayor has started publicising the tightening up of the low emission zone.

LTP replacement is revealed

The funding mechanism that will replace Local Transport Plan regime, along with others, has been announced.

Have EU air quality regulations worked?

Full implementation of European emission standards for vehicles and industry could yield significantly improved air quality, a report suggests.

UK releases pollution summary

The UK government has released its fuller summary of air quality in the UK as reported to the European Commission.

Background released on directive compliance

Defra has published its thinking behind its submissions to Europe concerning directive compliance.

Horn Lane hits the headlines

The Horn Lane waste transfer monitoring site is causing exceedences in London and was the subject of a Parliamentary debate

Guide renamed

Epuk’s popular Pollution Control Handbook has been relaunched as Essential Environment – A Comprehensive Guide to UK and European Legislation.

Airport lobbying

London Mayor Boris Johnson has thrown his weight behind expansion of aviation in the South East of England.

European overview

Separately, the European Environment Agency ‘state of the environment’ report provides a set of assessments of the current state of Europe’s environment and future predictions.

NECD delay

The National Emission Ceilings Directive will not be renewed until 2013.

Speed cut cut

Spanish authorities are set to abolish a speed limit introduced to improve air quality.

Monitor equivalence

Particle monitors in use in the UK have been reassessed for equivalence against latest guidance.

‘Hot’ workshop

Epuk is finalising details of its annual two day workshop to be held on 6/7th April in Warwickshire.

How are the cuts biting?

AQB’s sister newsletter Noise Bulletin recently asked environmental health officers how the cuts were biting. The findings will be of interest to air quality professionals

PM2.5 unpicked by regulators

Regulators have joined together to look at what must be done about fine particles. They warn of surprisingly large cuts needed to meet directive requirements

January 2011 issue 57

EU fines passed on to councils

In a surprise move, it has emerged that the Localism Bill proposes to allow the Government to pass on EU fines to councils.

29,000 says Comeap ...

Having resisted putting a figure on the annual number of deaths caused by air pollution, Comeap has agreed a figure of 29,000

... and agrees on asthma

In Comeap’s pre-Christmas clear out of policy pronouncements, it has for the first time accepted that ambient air pollution can cause – rather than just exacerbate asthma.

Industrial Directive becomes official

The European Industrial Emissions Directive has been adopted. It should be transposed into UK law by January 2013.

Planning to be simplified

The Coalition Government has added further detail to its plans to simplify planning guidance.

Rugby protester wins stand on justice

Rugby protester Lillian Pallikaropoulos believes she has scored further points for the cause of environmental justice.

Holman moves

Consultant Environ is expanding its air quality capability with the appointment of Claire Holman as a principal.

WHO details indoor air guidelines

The World Health Organisation has agreed new guidelines for indoor air quality.

Environment Tools

Listing over 400 green environmental accounting software tools, and techniques for measuring environmental and sustainability performance, the Environment Tools Directory is claimed to be the largest up-to-date and independent database of environmental software tools anywhere on the web.

Big drop from method change

Changing the calculation method has allowed Defra to claim a 13% reduction in NOX emissions in 2009, the latest year for which data is available. The apparent cut is the latest in a series of methodological changes that have led to favourable changes in pollution.

AQB ‘yardstick’: slight improvement for 2010

The Air Quality Bulletin ‘yardstick’ (the green line) is a rough and ready measure aimed at providing a quick summary of national air pollution soon after the New Year and some weeks before official figures can be produced.

Backpeddling on NO2?

Nitrogen dioxide monitors may be overestimating concentrations, Swiss expert Robert Gehrig told the RSC Advancing Automation and Analytical Measurement (AAMG) conference.

Couples enlisted to test personal exposure

Belgian researchers have studied personal exposures of eight couples to establish where people receive most pollutant exposure.

Air pollution photo competition launched

Monitor firm Enviro Technology Services Plc has launched a nationwide competition to find the best photos on the theme of air pollution.

Transhipment study assesses impacts

A report into Freight Consolidation Centres (FCCs) recognises there may be some air quality benefits, although these are not costed.

Mayor finalises air strategy

The London Mayor has released his final air quality strategy.

Biomethane comes to Camden

Camden has opened London’s first publicly accessible compressed biomethane gas refuelling station and commercial electric vehicle charging point.

London researchers scoop £2m contract

Kings College London’s Environmental Research Group is starting a new four year, £2m contract to study traffic pollution in London.

Northern Ireland air

Air pollution in Northern Ireland has remained mostly static in recent years, AEA’s annual report for air quality in 2009 suggests.

Glimmer of hope for air quality?

Moving public health to local authorities could signal more recognition of the health effects of air quality

Rhondda bid success

AQMRC have recently been awarded a 15-month contract with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to undertake a detailed and further assessment at Glyncoch, near Pontypridd.

Shepherd now MD

Casella Measurement has announced the appointment of Adrian Shepherd as its new managing director who comes in from outside the organisation. l casellameasurement.com

California backs down

Tough anti pollution laws have been watered down by California because of the recession.

Digester odour

The Environment Agency is consulting on standard rules for anaerobic digesters and the associated combustion of the biogas, and how far it should allow digesters to be from homes, businesses and sites of ecological importance.

Aether win

Consultant Aether together with Entec and the Institute of Occupational Medicine have been awarded a project by the European Commission on industrial emissions of nano and ultrafine particles with a view to informing regulatory policy.

Detailed data

Detailed data on local industrial emissions has been updated.

Netregs move

The Netregs portal is to close down and be included in English, Welsh and Northern Irish BusinessLink websites.

Scottish projections

The Scottish Government has published pollutant maps showing the modelled spatial NO2 and gravimetric PM10 concentrations in 2008.

More dioxin breaches

Environment Agency Wales is acting following further dioxin exceedences at the Crymlyn Burrows incinerator.

Walk to school emissions monitored

Balfour junior school is the first in the city to take part in a science project that involves monitoring vehicle emissions near Brighton schools.

Dublin and Cork taint Irish air

The Irish EPA has released a report on air quality showing exceedences in Dublin and Cork.

December 2010 issue 56

Public health to include air?

Government public health proposals could have major implications for air quality and other environmental health functions. They will ‘empower’ local government with new resources, rights and powers to shape the environment.

20mph improve safety and air quality

A road safety group claims that 20mph speed limits do not worsen air quality.

Busy traffic may cause asthma: Comeap

The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (Comeap) has accepted that busy traffic may cause – not just worsen – asthma.

TfL trials dust suppressant

Trials have now started on using road sweeping and dust suppressants to reduce PM10 in London hotspots.

Rugby caught on camera

Rugby cement protester Lillian Pallikaropoulos has been back in the Supreme Court.

Few surprises in AQ defence

The Coalition Government has responded to the hard hitting Environmental Audit Committee report into air quality released earlier this year (AQB April p8).

Tighter odour standards for sewage works?

Waste water developments could be subject to tighter standards in the future.

Community Infrastructure Levy is confirmed

The Government has confirmed that the Community Infrastructure Levy will be retained. It was introduced as part of the 2008 Planning Act, but put under review.

New website for London

The LondonAir Nowcast has been launched as part of an updated LondonAir website.

Smart and tweeting

The Airtext air quality forecasts for London are now published on Twitter and as an RSS feed.

Fireworks night leads to particle peaks

Wet and windy weather prevented a build up of pollution on bonfire night, but on the following day, more settled conditions led to peaks.

Another moderate episode for London

Widespread moderate PM10 particulate was measured across London on Tuesday 16th November.

Data captures drops below 90%

Particle monitors are still playing up in the Automatic Urban and Rural Monitoring Network (AURN).

No to LEZ’s, says Laxen

Air quality guru Duncan Laxen has suggested that low emission zones may not help air quality.

Low emission strategy: UK first for Devon?

Mid Devon’s Simon Newcombe claimed a possible UK first for managing to combine a low emission strategy into the district’s Local Development Framework (LDF).

Government responds to MPs

The coalition government has responded to a Parliamentary report that criticised UK air quality policy earlier this year

Helpdesk contracts confirmed

Contracts have now been signed for the shake up of air quality helpdesk and support arrangements.

Two channel sampler

Monitor firm Enviro Technology is to market the FAI SWAM5a Dual Channel particle device. It claims it is the most flexible particulate measurement system available, is Mcerts approved and meets the criteria for EN12341 and EN14907.

Compliance thoughts

The European Commission is looking at a strategy that will try to ensure better compliance with environmental laws.

After the cuts

Cuts and localism go hand in hand, Cassie Harrison told the Epuk conference. Enviros addition Dr Alun McIntyre has recently joined SKM Enviros as technical lead – air quality.

Cambridge tackles its buses

Many complain that the air quality process has led to little action. Cambridge is bucking the trend in having a plan that might actually work. Jack Pease looks at what is planned

Scottish biomass

A Scottish version of Epuk’s Biomass and air quality guidance for local authorities has been published.

Filters for light trucks

Eminox has designed a diesel particle filter for vehicles whose engines may not warm up enough to make a conventional trap work properly.

Reviewers chosen to review modelling

Prof Martin Williams, formerly head of air quality of Defra and now at Kings College London, has been appointed to head up the steering group set up by Defra to oversee the air quality modelling review (AQB September p3).

Emission factor update

Defra and the regions have provided an updated Emission Factors Toolkit (Version 4.22) based on ‘new’ 2009 vehicle emissions factors.

Bias adjusted

The latest national bias adjustment factor spreadsheet (v.09/10) is now available and can be found in the usual place in the LAQM tools section http://laqm1.defra.gov.uk/review/tools/no2/baf-

Cities ranked

Cities have been ranked in terms of the general environmental attributes – and air quality specifically.

 

November 2010 issue 55

NO2: Up? Down? You choose

Councils ‘may wish’ to have regard to recent evidence that NO2 concentrations are not going down as predicted in official guidance. Defra admits Euro standards may not improve air quality until 2015.

All change for Defra advice teams

There has been widespread shock at news that Defra’s helpdesk and assessment consultants have lost their contracts.

Edinburgh sets biomass policy

Edinburgh City Council has set out a new biomass policy, it is thought to be one of the first to do so.

Extension to London charge abolished

Mayor Boris Johnson says the Western Extension to the London congestion charge will be removed by the end of the year.

Aqeg reaches the people

In a departure from its usual behaviour, the Air Quality Expert Group is to hold a public inquiry into pollution near the Port Talbot steelworks.

Scunthorpe steelworks modelled

AEA has released a report of a detailed modelling exercise of the Scunthorpe steelworks site.

Further draft national policy statements

Draft energy national policy statements – which cover power generation and larger biomass plants – have been reissued in draft form.

Maynard: upper limit of 72,000?

The numbers of air pollution deaths could be as high as 72,000 a year, the Health Protection Agency’s Bob Maynard has admitted.

Kelly: limit is not tough enough

Current air pollutant limits are not strict enough, ERG’s Professor Frank Kelly told the Bristol UWE/Epuk conference in Bristol last month.

Expert group becomes expert committee

Air quality quangos have emerged relatively unscathed in the public spending review.

UK submits to Brussels

The UK has submitted its annual air quality compliance report for 2009 to the Commission. It shows little change on previous years.

Spending review: where the cuts fall

Last month’s public spending review has outlined which departments will be cut.

Further review for Epuk

Incoming Epuk chief executive James Grugeon has launched a review of Epuk.

GIS datasets of AQMAs released

Maps and datasets of current air quality management areas in the UK are contained in a new report. 2010 updated GIS dataset of air quality management areas can be downloaded from www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

Bus idling is a huge problem

A study suggests buses idling for long periods cause a lot of unnecessary pollution.

Innovative emissions envelope for Cambridge

Consultant Cerc last month celebrated its 25th anniversary. It commemorated the event with a dinner and conference.

Guide to protesting about air quality

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has released a guide for environmental activists on how to use Freedom of Information requests to aid campaigning.

Know your rights

The Environmental Law Foundation has produced a briefing Understanding your right to a healthy environment

11 will breach

The European Environment Agency has confirmed that 11 EU countries expect to exceed their legal emissions ceiling for nitrogen oxides (NOx) in 2010, some by more than 40%.

Schools free-for-all

Consultation is underway that may see new schools exempted from the need to get planning permission.

No rise in LAPC charges

Fees and charges for local authority regulated industrial plant will not rise in 2011/12, Defra proposes. Usually there are inflationary rises to compensate local authorities.

Ecodriving off

Ecodriving training will not become a mandatory part of commercial vehicle training requirements, the Government says. Instead it will rely on voluntary efforts within industrial training schemes.

Aberdeen floats idea of low emission zone

Aberdeen has proposed a draft action plan to improve concentrations in its three AQMAs. It replaces the previous 2006 city centre action plan.

Casella scraps

Casella CEL is re-running its scrappage scheme for monitors – a ‘new-for-old’ replacement scheme for monitoring instruments.

Bias adjusted

The latest national bias adjustment factor spreadsheet (v.09/10) is now available and can be found in the usual place in the LAQM Tools section http://laqm1.defra.gov.uk/review/tools/no2/baf-national.php.

Procurement thinktank

The Low Emission Strategies Programme is developing draft guidance on the use of procurement to reduce emissions from road transport.

Charges mooted for truck pollution

EU ministers have voted in favour of new EU rules to allow member states to charge heavy lorries for air and noise pollution costs as well as road damage costs.

Cities ranked

UK cities have been ranked in terms of the general environmental attributes – and air quality specifically. London is the worst.

Monitoring talks

AAMG is organising a conference on monitoring on the 14-15th December in London.

ET gets the T

Enviro Technology is to sell new versions of Teledyne gas analysers.

Data toolbox

The Environment Agency has developed an Excel spreadsheet application that manipulates air-quality data collected from an air-quality monitoring station to simplify and speed up the production of wind roses, pollution roses, and graphs showing the influence of time of day and wind speed on pollutant concentrations.

New Perth website

Perth and Kinross has updated its air quality website.

Black smoke T

he annual black smoke network report has been released.

October 2010 issue 54

Emissions key to LAQM

Emissions-based measurements could be the key to measuring progress towards improving air quality, the Low Emissions Strategy Partnership (LES) says. It believes the current regime is “toothless”.

City of London launches air quality award

An air quality award has been added to the City of London’s annual green awards scheme.

Welsh rationalisation

The Welsh Assembly may combine Environment Agency Wales with other environmental bodies.

Scott’s to URS

URS Corporation has bought consultant Scott Wilson Group.

Deaths figure is acknowledged

Further weight has been given to the suggestion that the number of air quality deaths may be more than hitherto thought.

Birkett fears UK may argue against rules

Campaign for Clean Air in London (CCAL) campaigner Simon Birkett suspects the UK and other member states may try to lobby together to water down EU air quality directive provisions.

Kings College ERG conference held in London last month

Councils told to up their game

Defra’s Tim Williamson urged local authorities to ‘raise their game’ on air quality.

Concentrations may be dropping at last

Recent unratified data from the London air quality monitoring network hints that pollution concentrations may at last be falling.

Road sweeping trials despite mixed success

TfL is to trial road sweeping and use of dust suppressants from this month, GLA’s Rachel Conti has announced.

New fund to replace LTp

The Government is to set up a new Local Sustainable Transport Fund replacing other funding streams such as local transport plan (LTP) funding.

Quango cuts

The Daily Telegraph has obtained a copy of a letter listing quangos that are

News from the S.Yorks Care4Air conference held in Sheffield

DfT: One in, one out regs rule

DfT’s Iain Forbes told the Care4Air conference in Sheffield that policies in future are set to change following pronouncements from the incoming coalition Government.

Low emission toolkit nears completion

A low emission assessment toolkit is being trialled, delegates at Sheffield’s Care4Air conference were told

East Devon secures bonfire smoke fine

East Devon District Council’s environmental health team has won an appeal lodged by an East Devon resident who had been found guilty of causing a nuisance by lighting fires which affected neighbouring properties.

LAPC snapshot

Consultant Entec has completed a review of how English and Welsh local authorities are managing local industrial emissions through the Local Authority Pollution Control (LAPC) regime.

Blacklock move

Graeme Blacklock, who was formerly with WYG Manchester, has joined the SLR air quality team as an associate in its Warrington office.

20mph limits can cut emissions

Berlin’s Department of Health air quality manager Martin Lutz told the ERG conference of the efforts being put into reducing emissions and

Sevenoaks gets s106

A new Sainsbury’s extension in Otford, Kent, has been given the go ahead. Developer contributions negotiated with Sevenoaks District Council include £30,000 to monitor air quality under a section 106 agreement.

Iapsc plea

Conference organisation Iapsc is asking its members, especially local authorities (or the consultancies that have worked with them), to contribute case study presentations on action plan-related topics, for the December 2010 conference (to be held on 13th Dec 2010 at Birmingham City Council House.

Strategic planning plea from CPRE

CPRE is calling on ministers not to abandon strategic planning in their drive to forward the Government’s localism agenda.

Redhill declared

Reigate and Banstead has declared a further air quality management area in Redhill, Surrey, the latest in a series of airport, road and motorway-prompted declarations.

Consultant numbers dip

the annual Air quality bulletin consultancy rankings

Models may underestimate NO2

A paper presented by Arup’s Michael Bull earlier this year suggests modelling may be underestimating NO2 concentrations

London: can anything be done?

A pair of reports have surfaced that take a detailed look to see if local measures can do anything about London’s pollution hotspots

September 2010 issue 53

Turbine fears for air quality

There are concerns that the recent trend to install wind turbines at industrial premises could impact on dispersion of factory pollutants.

London strategy is still not ‘fit for purpose’

The Campaign for Clean Air in London says that the draft London air quality strategy is not fit for purpose.

Grant is saved: who won what?

Cuts, cuts, cuts – and yet this year’s air quality grant has emerged unscathed! The grants were released as AQB went to press.

Three modellers to advise Defra

Defra is looking for three modellers to act as an expert steering group to oversee the possible revamp of official UK air quality modelling procedures.

Cement protest prompts judgement on UK

The case of cement protester Lillian Pallikaropoulos has led to an international judgement going against the UK.

Train savings

East Midlands Trains has introduced an energy saving mode that will help save 800,000 litres of fuel each year and cut idling emissions.

Emission seminars

Two free seminars are being held by Enviro Technology Services and PCME to highlight best practice for industrial air emissions and industrial air emission monitoring techniques.

Biomass squeezes Clean Air Act

AEA reported to Scottish Government ways that biomass burning can be increased without breaching regulations such as the Clean Air Act.

US site questions biomass use

As Scotland looks to ways for making it easier to burn biomass, a pressure group website in the US argues against biomass burning.

Horsham declaration

Horsham District Council is considering declaring Storrington, near Horsham, as an air quality management area.

Diesel hybrid car

French car manufacturer Peugeot is launching what it believes is the first full diesel Hybrid vehicle.

Odour leads to £92,000 fine in South Staffs

Composting firm Jack Moody Limited was sentenced to fines and costs of £92,000 at Stafford Magistrates’ Court on 12 July for causing smells and emissions from a composting site in Shareshill, near Wolverhampton.

Supermarket thwarted

An extension to a supermarket in Sheffield has been refused on air quality grounds.

Review feedback

Defra’s review and assessment helpdesk team is currently undertaking a contract evaluation.

Dust notice

Windsor and Maidenhead council has served a dust abatement notice on the Shanly Group and their contractors working on Badnell’s Pit in Blackamoor Lane, Maidenhead.

Russian fires

Fires in Russia have pushed PM10 levels up tenfold, experts say.

Delay to off road

The European Commission has a agreed a two year extension on emissions legislation affecting Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) (eg chainsaws, cranes, bulldozers or locomotives).

Care4Air conference

The sixth annual A Clearer Future Conference will be held in Sheffield on Wednesday 22nd September.

 Snapshot of results from our 2010 website review:

Local authority top ten:

2010 councils internet survey ranking

Doncaster MBC 1

Chiltern District Council 2

York City Council 3

Bristol City Council 4

Camden, London Borough of 5

Cheshire West and Chester 6

Portsmouth City Council 7

East Riding of Yorkshire Council 8

Chelmsford Borough Council 9

Liverpool City Council 10

Others: our ranking

1 www.environmental-protection.org.uk

2 www.et.co.uk

3 www.care4air.org

4 www.londonair.org.uk

5 www.airqualityni.co.uk

6 www.kentair.org.uk

7 www.sepa.org.uk

8 www.airquality.co.uk

9 www.heathrowairwatch.org.uk

10 www.greatairmanchester.org.uk

11 www.hertsbedsair.org.uk

13 www.airmonitors.co.uk

14 www.aqconsultants.co.uk

15 www.essexair.org

16 www.beairaware.co.uk/home/

17 www.scottishairquality.co.uk

18 www.lowemissionzones.eu

19 http://airnow.gov

20 www.welshairquality.co.uk

21 www.erg.kcl.ac.uk

22 www.sussex-air.net

23 www.opalexplorenature.org

24 www.air-quality-bulletin.org.uk

25 www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/index.htm

26 www.arb.ca.gov

27 www.epa.gov/air

29 www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/explore-interactive-maps/eye-on-earth

30 www.planetpolluto.com

31 www.smogcity.com

32 www.cornwall-airquality.org.uk

33 www.iaqm.co.uk

34 www.casellameasurement.com

35 www.lowemissionstrategies.org

36 www.airqualitydata.com

37 www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm

38 www.naei.org.uk

39 www.coalitionforcleanair.org

40 www.airparif.asso.fr

41 http://www.airdefenders.org/

42 www.westlondonairquality.org.uk

43 www.cerc.co.uk

45 www.cleanairinlondon.org

46 www.laqmsupport.org.uk

47 www.iapsc.org.uk

48 www.supportingu.co.uk

49 www.eea.europa.eu/maps/ozone/map

54 http://emaq.aeat.com

55 www.air-quality.org.uk

56 www.airqualitynow.eu

57 www.hhmi.org/coolscience/forkids/airjunk//

58 www.breeze-software.com

59 http://aqdm.co.uk

60 www.sniffer.org.uk

61 www.agius.com/hew/resource/airqual.htm

62 www.aboutair.com

63 www.apis.ac.uk

64 www.environment-agency.gov.uk

65 http://rugbytown.posterous.com/

66 www.airtext.info

67 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/whatsnew.htm

68 www.air-quality.net

69 www.wmair.org

70 www.openair-project.org/

71 http://airshare.info

72 www.bucksairquality.net

back to top

August 2010 issue 52

Air quality key to Ealing refusal

A combined heat and power biomass plant has been refused permission because background air quality is not improving.

Reliance on falling NO2 in doubt

At a technical meeting organised by the Institute of Air Quality Management held in London last month, it emerged that Defra is now openly accepting that NO2 is not falling. Further, it is contemplating advice to local authorities and planners that they should no longer assume NO2 will reduce.

Westlakes down

Consultant Westlakes Scientific Consulting has gone into administration. The firm was strong in air quality modelling.

Grugeon begins

James Grugeon has taken over from Philip Mulligan as Epuk’s chief executive.

White Paper discussions start

The Government has launched ‘informal’ discussions to shape a White Paper on the environment due in Spring 2011.

Cuts, cuts and more cuts: HPA, RCEP goes

More quangos have been cut by the incoming government.

Protocol agreed for shared process regulation

A draft protocol has been proposed in a bid to solve the grey area of nuisance enforcement for odour, dust and noise from processes.

News from the air quality forecasting meeting held in London

Event-free year, says Willis

2009 was relatively free of air pollution events, AEA’s Paul Willis told the air quality forecasting conference.

Fuller details ash impact on airports

ERG’s Gary Fuller gave the forecasting conference more detail on the air quality impact of the Icelandic volcano ash cloud on airports.

Defra unveils scale of reviews

Speaking at last month’s air quality forecasting meeting organised by AEA and held at Imperial College, Defra’s Samantha Lawrence outlined a plethora of contracts and projects that are under review.

Congestion charge probe ends

Consultation has ended on the London Mayor’s plan to remove the Western Extension of the Congestion Charging Zone (WEZ).

LEZ delay is criticised. ‘Absurd’ says Epuk

Responses to the consultation on the delay to the introduction of the third phase of the London low emission zone have been published.

IAQM: London strategy modelling concerns

The Institute of Air Quality Management is concerned at the lack of modelling used to support the London Air quality strategy.

Demand for emissions equality

Volvo Cars has launched an Emissions Equality publicity campaign to get the public to consider polluting emissions as well as climate change impacts.

European air pollution landscape improves

The annual EU-27 emission inventory reported under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) Convention confirms that emissions of most air pollutants continue to decline.

Airports set out guidance to cut emissions

UK airport operators have launched new guidelines to reduce aircraft ground emissions.

All change on NO2?

A huge policy shift was signalled in a technical meeting discussing the failure of NO2 concentrations to fall as expected

Opal takes air to the people

Jack Pease visits a lottery funded project that aims to take air quality science to the general public

ADMS update soon

Software developer Cerc has announced that ADMS-Urban, ADMS-Roads and EMIT 3.0 coming soon

Permitting change

The Government is consulting on a series of amendments to the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.

LAQM tender opportunities

Defra and the devolved regions are seeking consultants for LAQM work.

Noise and air linked

An international conference on noise has included papers on possible linkages and confounding of noise and air quality impacts in urban areas.

Microgeneration probe

The Government announced a consultation on a new microgeneration strategy.

Shoestring conference

Epuk is holding a topical conference on how to management air quality on a shoestring.

Energy again

The Government is having another stab at drafting national policy statements for energy.

Scottish biomass

Epuk Scotland has produced a draft guidance document Biomass and Air Quality Guidance for Scottish Local Authorities.

Rushlight awards

Rushlight Awards are open for entries for categories covering renewable energy, clean fuels, energy efficiency, power generation, green products and services, water, waste and environmental monitoring and management.

McCrae award

The Institute for Air Quality Management has set up the Ian McCrae Travel Award.

Five days on air

A course to help traffic and environmental officers tackle poor urban air quality will be presented by North East academics on 8th-12th November.

Indicator compendium

A report published by Defra brings together an extensive range of economic, social and environmental indicators to provide a statistical overview of the country’s progress. Ecological impacts of air quality indicators are not improving.

Electric grant saved

The Government has confirmed that £5,000 grants towards purchase of an ultra-low carbon car will be available from January 2011.

Dry cleaning draft

Defra has released draft process guidance notes for dry cleaning processes regulated by local authorities.

Burning fine

A Stranraer demolition company was fined £3,200 at Stranraer Sheriff Court following offences involving the burning of waste bricks, soil, plastics, electrical cable, roofing materials and wood.

CIEH gets Kidney

David Kidney, former MP and climate change minister, has been appointed head of policy at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) following his departure from Parliament in the May general election. Biodiversity revealed Eighteen UK biodiversity indicators are presented in a new document.

 

July 2010 issue 51

London pollution exposed

Air Quality campaigner Simon Birkett has succeeded in forcing the Mayor of London to release ward-level statistics on the number of air pollution deaths.

Another study fails to validate de-NOx paint

An exhaustive study carried out to test whether NOX eating paint works has failed to draw any conclusions.

NOx eating paint prompts HONO fears

Professor Rod Jones of Cambridge University explained how NOx eating paint could generate unwanted side effects.

Air pollution acts as earthquake indicator

Air quality monitoring could provide early warnings of earthquakes, Taiwan researchers suggest.

Lacors advises on ‘clean bill of health

Local authority group Lacors has published A clean bill of health, a guide that summarises for councillors, and other local decision makers, the health effects of pollution and what councils and their partners can do to improve the health of their communities.

Recession buster from SupportingU

SupportingU is offering multi year contracts with no obligation to take a second or third year.

Cleaner vans

The dash for higher horsepower is jeopardising the reduction in van emissions.

Second warning for UK

The UK has had its final warning from Brussels on air pollution – soon after the UK submitted a revised bid for a derogation from PM10 standards (AQB June p1).

Defra hosts websites

Defra has rationalised various air quality websites into a single portal held within Government web frames.

Cuts squeeze consultants

The UK environmental consultancy sector contracted by 3.0% in 2009, to stand at £1.36bn, says Environment Analyst.

Infrastructure planning changed again

Reassurance has been offered that planning will become more democratic following confirmation that the Infrastructure Planning Commission will be abolished.

Interim guidance on local authority schemes

Interim guidance has been issued on local authority major schemes such as roads and public transport schemes.

Ring fencing & cuts

The Government has published details of the £1.166bn local government contribution to the £6.2bn cross-government savings in 2010/11.

News from the Investigation of Air pollution standing conference

Hurley calls for air action

The Institute of Occupational Medicine’s Fintan Hurley opened last month’s Iapsc conference by outlining the case for controlling pollutants.

Air quality officers best for climate change

University of the West of England’s Simon Baldwin has been uncovering the extent that air quality officers are getting involved with climate change.

Health features in NECD revamp

Health benefits are being included in the revamp of the National Emissions Ceiling Directive.

Metals puzzle

David Fowler of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology told the Iapsc audience of progress on transboundary pollution.

Forecast accuracy improves

AEA’s annual review of its air quality forecasting operations claims a good year for forecasting accuracy in 2008, the latest year for which analysis is available.

US heart body upgrades pollution risk

The American Heart Association says the scientific evidence linking air pollution to heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular death has “substantially strengthened,” and people, particularly those at high cardiovascular risk, should limit their exposure.

Casella assisting police with their enquiries

Casella Spain has been selected by the Spanish Traffic Police to participate in a working group assessing data provided by the instruments included in a month-long trial of roadside monitoring enclosure systems (Romons) under strict motorway testing conditions.

Defra proposes model protocol

Defra has attempted to set out a protocol on how it expects models to perform.

European data judged to be okay

A European Environment Agency report sets out progress on collecting air quality data across the EU in 2008, the latest year for which data is available. Data is collected from 5,000 monitoring stations.

Nano measurement is hard!

A group of world renowned experts on nanoparticles met at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington last month to discuss measurement of nanoparticles.

Enviro Technology goes to Kent

Enviro Technology is to work with AEA to manage the service and maintenance contract for the following Kent and Medway Air Quality Network sites: a background site just outside Ashford, a site on the cliffs above Dover Port, a suburban station in Folkestone and a town centre location in Tunbridge Wells.

Tubes remain imprecise

Nitrogen dioxide diffusion tube analysis appears to be little better despite attempts to harmonise tube preparation and analysis.

Roadside diffusion tubes underestimate NO2

A large nationwide analysis of NO2 diffusion tubes suggests that roadside tubes could underestimate concentrations.

Data capture scrapes through

A report of UK monitoring performance in 2009 shows that overall performance has only just scraped past the minimum. Overall data capture of monitors was 90.4% against a target of 90% with particle monitors to blame for the problems.

Green bank prompts industry fears

The recently proposed green investment bank must not invest in carbon management projects at the expense of other environmental issues, warns the Envir-onment Industries Commission.

Environmental spending analysed

Consultant URS has analysed environmental spending by industry in 2008.

Google mapping opens up airport information

Residents and businesses located close to, or looking to relocate near Birmingham Airport can now use Google Earth to find out about its flight paths, noise insulation scheme, air quality monitoring and other environmental programmes the airport offers.

Index update

The European CAQI air quality index is in the process of being updated.

Ecodriving no-no

Department for Transport (DfT) proposals to make eco-driving training a mandatory part of professional driver training have been roundly rejected by the Freight

Scottish scrappage

Scotland has launched a boiler scrappage scheme, which will give cashback to owners of older more polluting boilers.

Forecast talks

The UK air quality forecasting seminar will be held on Wednesday 14 July 2010 at The Sherfield Building, Imperial College, London.

More Openair updates

The Openair data handling routine has had further improvements.

Enviro for NE

Newcastle University is setting up the programme which will model various action plan scenarios to see what impacts can be expected at street by street level.

Nasties down

Dioxins and furans concentrations remain low, a report suggests.

Benzene stable

Benzene has met objectives in 2009, a report from the non-automatic hydrocarbon network suggests.

Legge goes independent

Sarah Legge is now working as an independent air quality consultant at SLH Environmental Ltd. She was previously head of air quality at the Greater London Authority and an ERM consultant.

AAMG meet

AAMG has set the date of its next conference in London on 14/15th December.

Industry emissions set

EEB, Europe’s largest federation of environmental citizens’ organisations, says it is disappointed by the compromise deal reached between the European Council and Parliament on the new Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).

US goes hourly

The US Environmental Protection Agency is setting the one-hour SO2 health standard at 75ppb.

 

June 2010 issue 50

London PM10 disappears

Defra now says that the UK will meet EU PM10 targets.

New ministers appointed

The incoming Government has completed its ministerial line up.

Air quality cell gets to work

The Environment Agency’s emergency air quality team has been convened for first time since it was formed.

Guidance released for agricultural ammonia

The Environment Agency Air Quality Modelling and Assessment Unit has released guidance on modelling intensive farm emissions.

Nuisance guidance

Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government have issued guidance on how the statutory nuisance regime should be enforced at premises regulated by environmental permitting legislation.

Stalled LEZ phase 3 talks start

Transport for London (TfL) has launched a consultation on inclusion of larger vans and minibuses in the low emission zone from January 2012. Vans were to have been included from October 2010 but incoming London Mayor Boris Johnson postponed the plans.

C-charge shrinks, cleaner vehicle changes

Final consultation is taking place on the removal of the Western Extension to the central London Congestion Charge.

London campaign battles for openness

The Campaign for Clean Air in London (CCAL) is claiming a further win in its battle to get the Government to reveal discussions with the Mayor of London.

LEZs do work, DfT is told

Apparent poor emissions performance of trucks may beg the question as to whether low emission zones are worth the bother. A new report for DfT suggests they are.

Bioaerosol warning

The Health and Safety Executive has released advice on bioaerosols from waste composting.

New trucks not so clean

A TNO report suggests modern trucks are little better in terms of real world emissions than old ones.

Air call?

The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has invited comments on a list of topics being considered for its next major study (its 30th). The proposed topics include environmental noise and managing air pollution.

Planning changes

The incoming Coalition has published a detailed programme for Government.

Iapsc talks

Iapsc is gearing up for its June 22nd meeting.

Unitaries stopped

Restructuring of councils in Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon has been scrapped.

HEI plans ahead

The US Health Effects Institute has released a new five year plan.

Mulligan moves off

Epuk chief executive Phil Mulligan is to leave the charity.

Indicator portal up

A new National Indicator information portal has been set up.

Broomfield moves

Air quality and waste incineration specialist Mark Broomfield has left Enviros to join AEA Technology.

IAQM mulls NO2

The Institute of Air Quality Management is to discuss the failure of NO2 to fall in line with expectations.

Getting serious with steelworks

The Environment Agency has blitzed the Scunthorpe steelworks leaving signs of improvements and a Corus ‘PM10 champion”

Odour guidance for councils

Advice and guidance on odour has been brought together in a new Defra guide put together by Temple Consultants

 

May 2010 issue 49

Ash cloud hits the UK

Ash is not a respiratory air quality problem – but it’s left plenty to talk about finds Jack Pease (free access feature here)

Benefits underestimated

Conventional cost benefit analysis may underestimate the benefits of action on air quality, York University’s Mike Ashmore told last month’s 2010 annual UK review meeting on air pollution research held at Cranfield.

Sheffield protest

Air quality was a central plank in protesters’ successful campaign against an extension to an Asda store in Handsworth, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Epuk mulls party political promises

Epuk boss Phil Mulligan reviewed election promises in advance of the General Election (which had yet to be decided as AQB went to press).

Early ozone alert

Kings College London ERG noted an ozone air pollution incident on 10th & 11th April, the first in the year.

Heathrow runway doesn’t stack up

The New Economics Foundation think tank says that a third runway at Heathrow would not be worthwhile if wider costs such as pollution were included.

UWE courses

The University of the West of England is running several training courses on air quality and carbon management.

Micromodel gives true exposure

A micro environmental exposure model can prove accurate in estimating true exposure to pollutants, the Cranfield air pollution and research meeting was told.

Cyclists can cut their exposure

Leeds University researchers estimate that cyclists can cut their exposure by keeping away from main roads.

Obituary: Dr Nurul Leksmono

Dr Nurul Leksmono, formerly with the University of the West of England has died in a diving accident in her home country of Indonesia.

Zero air gen

Casella Monitor has introduced a cartridge-based, ZeroGen zero air generator. It removes the need for zero calibration gas cylinders when performing calibration checks on ambient air gas analyser systems.

New boss for Environ

Niall Smiddy has become Environ’s new UK boss.

Lynemouth challenge

A European Court has found that the UK has failed to properly enforce emissions legislation on the Lynemouth smelter.

News from Epuk’s air quality workshop in Rugby last month

Galey: Retrofit better than new

The Environmental Industries Commission’s Mike Galey claims that retrofit vehicle equipment cleans older vehicles to above modern vehicles standards.

….but Fuller raises issue of trust

EIC retrofit expert Mike Galey was challenged on the issue that retrofit technologies have failed to deliver the benefits that might be expected.

But does it work? asks Barratt

Kings College ERG’s Ben Barratt urged delegates at the Epuk air quality conference to show whether air quality actions are achieving anything.

More details emerge of Reading LEZ

Plans for a low emission zone in Reading were explained to the Epuk spring workshop audience last month.

Fines ‘a driver for change’

Epuk boss Phil Mulligan told the recent spring workshop that the possible EU fines for breaching air quality objectives are a “massive” driver for change.

Epuk planning guidance re-released

Environmental Protection UK has launched its updated guidance Development Control: Planning for Air Quality at the recent spring air quality workshop.

£20,000 odour fine

Preston based TEG Group has been fined £20,000 for failing to comply with an enforcement notice served to cut bad odours.

Greener transport

Greener vehicles emit less – but the rise in traffic is counteracting any benefits, the European Environment Agency claims in its latest Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) report.

Freedom request revisited

The Campaign for Clean Air in London (CCAL) is jointly arguing against the Government’s appeal against an order to release details including ministerial briefings on air quality relating to its January 2009 meeting with London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Finalised indicator reveals further jump

The official air quality indicator has improved even further.

Car production up

Motor traders body SMMT says car production has risen (albeit from a low base last year).

Clean ships for US

The International Maritime Organisation has agreed to set up a North American emission con

London worsening described

Kings College London ERG has released a report showing evidence of increasing pollutant levels in London.

EU in Industrial Emissions Directive tussle

Europe is being pulled both ways over the Industrial Emissions Directive.

LES seeks help

The Low Emission Strategies Partnership has £5000 funding for LES-related projects/activities in 2010.

Hydrogen plan set

London is set to create a ‘Hydrogen network’ by 2012 with the London Hydrogen Partnership (LHP) working with London boroughs and private landowners to deliver at least six refuelling sites to run hydrogen-powered vehicles in the capital over the next two years.

London: a closer look

Last month a lot of policies were published as part of the pre-election clear-out and we were unable to do justice to the London strategy. Now we take a closer look...

 

April 2010 issue 48

Tightened plan for London

London mayor Boris Johnson has launched a public draft of his air quality strategy.

Reactions to the updated London strategy

Simon Birkett of the Campaign for Clean Air in London welcomed recognition of worsened health impacts.

Magical savings

Improvements in manmade PM2.5 concentrations have led to improved the average life expectancy of people living in the UK from 7-8 months to six months in the three years to 2008.

Amec takes Entec

Construction firm Amec has taken over consultancy Entec for £61m.

Reading bids for truck LEZ

Reading Borough Council is seeking Transport Innovation Funding for a low emission zone targeting trucks and buses.

Low emission zone advice on standards

With continued news emerging that newer technology trucks (including Euro V) are not delivering the savings as promised, there are concerns that low emission zones may be pointless.

Defra chooses Enviro Technology for new kit

Enviro Technology has won a contract with Defra for 28 continuous gas analysers and six monitoring enclosures for the UK’s AURN (Automatic Urban and Rural Network).

COPD consultation

The Department of Health is consulting on COPD strategies.

Ozone low in 2009

The European Environment Agency reports ozone levels in Europe during summer 2009 were among the lowest since comprehensive data reporting started in 1997.

Electric plans

TfL is advertising contracts to procure 1,000 electric vehicles for the Greater London Authority fleet and 8,500 charging points, together worth more than £70m.

Care4Air competition

South Yorkshire based entrants are sought for Care4Air’s awards which recognise individuals and organisations making a significant difference in improving air quality.

CIL and s106 regime clarified

Regulations have been set for the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Air pollution warning system

An alert system to warn people with serious respiratory problems when there is the likelihood of significant air pollution is being launched in Liverpool.

Heathrow knocked by High Court challenge

London councils and pressure groups have won a Judicial Review on the legality of plans to expand Heathrow.

PAH exceedences

Monitoring of UK PAH levels has found revealed seven sites (out of 31) that exceed the EU limit value of 1 ng/m3.

ERG in Leicester

The Environmental Research Group (ERG) at King’s College London has launched a new air quality website for Leicester City Council.

Iphone app tops 5,000 users

An Iphone app created by Kings College London ERG has 5,315 active users in the two weeks since its launch.

Budget. Cuts cuts cuts

Defra says it will deliver £194 million of savings, as its departmental contribution towards £11bn savings that are being made across Government.

UK challenged on cost of challenges

The European Commission has warned UK about unfair cost of challenging decisions on the environment.

Toxic struggle

The toxic monitoring network is struggling to monitor pollutants at low levels.

Bam bolt-on A bolt on for the Bam allows access to real-time particulate data.

LAQM survives review

Jack Pease is pleasantly surprised at the rigour and findings of the Government review of the Local Air Quality Management regime

UK should be ‘ashamed’

As expected, the MPs on the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee have laid into the Government’s record on air quality – going much further than the review of LAQM (see previous pages)

Climate action helps air

A report suggests tackling climate change could justify significant action on air quality and raises interesting new information on cost benefit analysis. Jack Pease reviews it

March 2010 issue 47

Deaths: 35,000. 59,000?

Air quality minister Jim Fitzpatrick has accepted that air quality could kill up to 35,000 people in the UK every year.

Renewables to come with dirtier boilers

The proposed renewable heat incentive will include biomass boilers dirtier than originally proposed (AQB August 2009 p6).

Sikh wins open cremation appeal

A Sikh has won a long running legal battle giving him the right to have an open cremation. However there is still much to be agreed.

Heathrow in new legal battle

Councils and pressure groups have joined forces to challenge the decision to expand Heathrow Airport.

Community Infrastructure Levy regs laid

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) regulations have been laid before Parliament and will shortly become law.

ClearFlo: ERG is not clearing blocked drains

King’s College London’s ERG is a leading partner in a £2.8 million research project on traffic and health issues in London.

London moderate

Despite wet and windy weather, London suffered a moderate pollution incident on 18th February.

Electric boost

A consortium led by TfL that includes Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Siemens, Nissan and Hertz intends to install 7,500 electric car charging points across London by 2013 as part of a £17m plan.

Top ten

ERG’s air quality Iphone app has appeared in a Guardian newspaper top ten list.

Sustainable thoughts

Sustainable travel initiatives can play a key role in reducing carbon emissions for transport as well as contributing to a wide range of local priorities.

Ian McCrae: tributes pour in

TRL vehicle emissions expert Ian McCrae died suddenly last month.

MPs hear low emission zone defence

MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee have quizzed a string of witnesses as part of their ongoing inquiry into air quality (AQB February p8).

More unitaries

The Government has announced unitary proposals for Exeter, Norwich, Ipswich, Norfolk, Devon and Suffolk.

Air data updated

More results have been published based on the 2008 National Atmospheric Emission Inventory (earlier results were released two months ago (AQB January p3)).

Toolkit revision

A revised version of the emission factor toolkit (EFT) has been issued.

Monitoring performance drops

A quarterly report on monitoring performance suggests that AURN monitors are still causing problems.

National Policy Statements appear weak

Epuk has warned that the first round of draft National Policy Statements are inconsistent and offer weak protection for the local environment. The Royal Town Planning Institute claims they are not fit for purpose.

HEI releases ‘most comprehensive’ review

The US Health Effects Institute has released “the most comprehensive and systemic” review to date on traffic related air pollution.

Joint action

A report discussing how the United Kingdom can save £24 billion through measures which jointly help prevent air pollution and climate change was released as AQB went to press

Boiler warning

The South Yorkshire Care4Air partnership is raising awareness in Sheffield to warn people who own or want to purchase a wood burning stove to not unwittingly break the law.

W4B rejected

A large biomass plant near Bristol has been turned down.

Planning guidelines updated

Epuk is consulting on updates to its popular planning and air quality guidelines

Martin Williams: exit interview

Jack Pease talks to Martin Williams, the scientist who has been at the helm of UK air quality policy for nearly a decade

MPs’ scrutiny continues

MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee continue their investigation into air quality. Last month we reviewed some of the written evidence, now we dip into some of the spoken evidence

February 2010 issue 46

Bad urban days nosedive

Urban air quality showed a dramatic improvement in 2009 according to the official Government air quality indicator.

US adopts hourly NO2 target, ozone updated

The US Environmental Protection Agency has adopted an hourly NO2 standard for the first time. Ozone is also being slightly toughened.

2010 NO2 breached

London air quality campaigner Simon Birkett has slammed the Government over its air quality record highlighting breaches of the 2010 NO2 objectives just weeks into the year.

Background levels changes

Updated background pollution maps have been released which show increases and decreases in concentrations across the country.

LAQM modelling tools updated

UWE has announced a number of changes have recently been made to LAQM tools available on helpdesk websites.

Heathrow conditions unfit

A report by the London Assembly has examined the environmental conditions placed on Heathrow Airport as a condition for expansion. It wants a “fundamental change” to the conditions describing them as “not fit for purpose”.

Enviro Technology clinches mobile lab deal

The Environment Agency-chaired Air Quality Cell, set up to provide a multi-agency response to major air quality incidents, will use mobile monitoring units from Enviro Technology.

Online pollution guide from Epuk

Epuk has launched an online version of its pollution control handbook.

Road benefits overestimated, says group

The claimed benefits of new roads don’t work out in practice and some roads actually create new problems, according to research for the Highways Agency unearthed by the Campaign for Better Transport.

Cornwall gives a poke to the eye

Cornwall air quality experts have questioned the accuracy of the European Environment Agency’s Eye on the Earth website.

Charge blamed for more NO2 ...

Air pollution impacts of the London congestion charge have been studied – with unexpected consequences.

... but improves air in Stockholm

Road pricing policies in Stockholm, in contrast to the findings of above study on the London congestion charge, appear show a traffic cordon charge has improved concentrations and reduced the health burden.

NW councils tackle construction emissions

Manchester area councils are joining together to agree policies on reducing construction site emissions.

Guidance on cutting emissions

New guidance to help local authorities reduce emissions and improve air quality has been published.

Bus partnership begins in Barnsley

South Yorks Care4Air partner Barnsley has inaugurated a new bus quality partnership that aims to reduce emissions by encouraging purchase of new buses.

Regional champions chosen

The Low Emission Strategies Partnership has selected three regional groups to work with during 2010. Sussex, Liverpool City Region and Leeds City Region have been chosen following a competition launched last year

MP’s told about air

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee is currently scrutinising evidence as part of its inquiry into air quality. It has commissioned the National Audit Office to do a mini review of air quality – and invited organisations for their comments

Different ways to cut emissions

Defra has released a report – following a freedom of information request – on how it cut NOX emissions to comply with the NEC directive. Enforcing the motorway speed limit comes out as a top option.

Tender call

The Sussex Air Quality Partnership is inviting tenders for the contract to manage the Sussex Air Quality Network (Sussex Air Quality Network Data Management Contract (2010-2014)

l Nigel Jenkins (email: nigel.jenkins@lewes.gov.uk

Agency given civil powers

The Environment Agency has become one of the first organisations to be granted new civil powers to complement existing regulatory powers. It says this will mean fairer and more effective environmental regulation.

Cement guidance

The Environment Agency has released a consultation on sector guidance notes on best available techniques for cement works.

Climate boost to AQ policy benefits

If the effects of air pollution on climate change are included in air quality strategies, efficiency gains of £2bn can be achieved across the EU, according to recent research.

Research static

Defra has set out its research priorities for the forthcoming three years. Air quality is set as a ‘continuing’ need. Noise is categorised as a decreasing need, while climate change, soils and other sectors are classed within ‘growing evidence needs’.

Rugby costs

The Environment Agency is continuing its court battle with Rugby cement protester Lillian Pallikaropoulos over costs.

Road sweeping for

Rochford Rochford District Council is to declare its first air quality management area due to dust from an industrial estate.

Chatterton at DECC

University of West of England’s Tim Chatterton is to take up a placement with the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Planning meeting

Sussex Air Quality Partnership is running a seminar Planning for better air on 5th March.

NPL Nano-meet

NPL is organising a conference on nanoparticles.

RSK hits the web

Consultant RSK is dipping its toes into web publishing with the purchase of an online green car guide.

Regions consult

Wales and Scotland are consulting on regulations to enact the new air quality directive. England consulted last year (AQB December p9).

£2m contract

The European Environment Agency is seeking a consortium to form a £2m framework partnership agreement on the European Topic Centre on Air pollution and climate change mitigation 2011-2013.

Scottish blackspots

Audit Scotland has released a report on the Scottish Environment which notes poor air quality in 12 areas.

January 2010 issue 45

Time extension vetoed

The UK has been told that it cannot have an extension to deadlines to clean up PM10 in London. Mayor Boris Johnson’s sudden dilution of his air quality strategy may be to blame.l Commission time extensions’ website http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/quality/legislation/time_extensions.htm

Monks to lead Aqeg

Professor Paul Monks is the new chair of the Air Quality Expert Group (Aqeg) taking over from Mike Pilling who has retired.

NAO report released

The National Audit Office report into air quality was released as AQB went to press.l Full report next month.

King’s tools up for a policy battle?

King’s College London ERG is setting up a science policy unit.

Deal for dodgy dryers?

The RSC AAMG particle monitoring conference held in London last month heard tales of failing FDMS monitors on mainland Europe. Few UK monitors are affected.l www.airmonitors.co.uk

Craggs in surprise move to Air Monitors

Colin Craggs, formerly ambient monitor sales boss at Thermo, has joining Jim Mills at Air Monitors.

Sniffer lets study on air quality

Sniffer, the northern UK grouping, is letting a study on air quality.l www.sniffer.org.uk

Cell plans to deal with fires

Air quality ‘cells’ are proposed to deal with emergency fires following lessons learned at Buncefieldl More information contact Damian Thomson, email dam ian.thomson@environment-agency.gov.uk tel: 01454 2055788

Defra reveals USA laggards

Nearly 50 authorities have yet to submit their updating and screening assessments due in spring 2009.

Encyclopedia out

Air pollution in the UK 2008 has been released.l It can be downloaded from www.airquality.co.uk/annualreport

AQB ‘yardstick’: slight improvement for 2009

The Air Quality Bulletin ‘yardstick’ (the green line) is a rough and ready measure aimed at providing a quick summary of national air pollution soon after the New Year and some weeks before official figures can be produced.

AURN does the job

A report by AEA claims that the Automatic Urban and Rural Monitoring Network (AURN) is good enough for the national and international monitoring requirements.l QA/QC procedures for the UK automatic urban and rural air quality monitoring network (AURN) can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/reports

Swiss Cottage speciation results

King’s College London’ ERG has studied the make up of particle pollution at Swiss Cottage for the London Borough of Camdenl Chemical speciation of PM10 at Swiss Cottage, David Green et al, can be viewed on www.londonair.org.uk

ERG team build new monitoring station

Father Christmas has clearly been down ERG’s chimney and left some Lego bricks for the boys to play with.

Factors miss actual emissions

Emission factors in common use tend to underestimate real world emissions – for instance by underestimating acceleration of modern drivers.l All the reports are available from the TRL library tel 01344 328038

Care4Air: another gong

The South Yorkshire Care4Air team has recently been awarded a Gold Green Apple Award for local authority environmental best practice – the top award for city councils across the UK.

IAQM on Emaq

The Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) has formally accredited a training course on the essentials of pollution prevention and control being offered as part of the EMAQ+ package run by AEAT and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

Parliament told of national biomass impacts

Parliament has been told the health impact of a shift towards biomass boilers required in the Government’s renewable energy strategy.

Ellesmere scoops recognition award

The Ellesmere Port and Neston Air Quality Forum has received a North West Public Health Award for its partnership, communication and air quality management.

CPD opportunities from UWE

University of the West of England (UWE) is offering Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities for air quality and carbon management.l More details contact Jo Barnes, UWE www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/training.html

NI air listed

Air quality in Northern Ireland in 2008 has been summarised in a new report.l Air pollution in Northern Ireland – 2008 www.airqualityni.co.uk/documents

Places judged

For the first time all public services to be held to account in Oneplace says the Government.l website http://oneplace.direct.gov.uk

Pre budget report

Few new announcements were contained in the Pre-Budget Report. Emissions down 2008 results from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) suggest UK emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) and ammonia have fallen between 2007 and 2008, with decreases of 5% ammonia, 7% for NMVOCs, 10% for NOx, and 14% for SO2.l National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory for 1970-2008 can be viewed on www.naei.org.uk

European LEZs

The pan-European low emission zone website www.lowemissionzones.eu now has EU support and part funding. l www.lowemissionzones.eu

Planning conditions shake up outlined

A consultation on planning conditions is one of three planning consultations launched last month by DCLG. l Improving the use and discharge of planning conditions: Consultation can be viewed on www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/1419816.pdf

HPA changes

HPA’s Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution (Comeap) secretariat Heather Walton is to leave at the end of March. HPA is advertising for her replacement.

l www.hpa.org.uk/careers

Science guidance

BIS is consulting on the way in which government departments obtain and use science and engineering advice. l Guidelines on scientific analysis in policy making – a consultation can be viewed on www.berr.gov.uk/files/file53585.pdf

December 2009 issue 44

Air impacts are large

A high level Government report points out that air pollution costs rank alongside congestion, traffic accidents and obesity. l The Cabinet Office report The wider costs of transport in English urban areas in 2009 can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/policy/urbantransport

Assembly to scrutinise Heathrow condition

The London Assembly is to scrutinise environmental conditions on possible expansion at Heathrow airport to see if they are sufficient to deal with concerns about noise, air quality and climate change. l The meeting can also be viewed via webcast at: http://www.london.gov.uk/assembly/webcasts.jsp

Defra told to open up

Air quality campaigner Simon Birkett is “jubilant” that Defra has been ordered to reveal emails on discussions between itself and the London Mayor. As AQB went to press, however, Defra looks set to appeal the decision.

UK and other dirty states await fate

A decision from Europe on whether the UK will be granted an extension to PM10 objectives is imminent.

Disquiet on London strategy

Responses are trickling in to the London Mayor’s draft air quality strategy. The watered-down strategy was released for limited consultation last month (AQB November p8).

RSC to air concerns about compliance

As the EU legislation covering air quality starts to bite, many problems with compliance are emerging, claims ERG’s Gary Fuller. l The conference will take place on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th December 2009. www.londonair.org.uk/london/asp/news.asp?NewsId=AAMGMeeting

Fines to be shared with councils?

Environment minister Jim Fitzpatrick has given a veiled warning that councils who fail to take their air quality duties seriously may share EU fines.

Transboundary report up for consultation

Experts have undertaken a review of transboundary air pollution. ” l A review of acidification, eutrophication, heavy metals and ground-level ozone in the UK www.rotap.ceh.ac.uk

Epuk air update conference held in Birmingham last month

NOx and NO2 off the rails?

Leeds University’s David Carslaw warned Epuk’s conference held in Birmingham last month that official NOX and NO2 projections may be “pretty optimistic”.

Is NO2 falling as was predicted by guidance?

Developing the argument raised by Bristol’s Steve Crawshaw (see above), ERG’s Gary Fuller has kindly prepared this graph for AQB. It shows actual NO2 measurements in London between 2000 and 2008, and the predictions made in 2003 technical guidance. The gap between predicted and actual is clear. Defra and local authorities are supposed to plan ahead based on these projections.

Five chosen as good examples

Five local authorities have been chosen as good examples of air quality action planning.

Nitrogen dioxide is no problem, says Ayres

Comeap chairman Jon Ayres claims that he remains unconvinced that nitrogen dioxide is a significant health problem.

Berlin LEZ achieves pollution drop

Berlin has achieved a 5-10% reduction in pollution in the city as a result of its tough low emission zone. Unlike London, the zone controls cars as well as commercial vehicles.

NO2 no problem?

Comeap still cannot find a problem with NO2. l Statement on the quantification of the effects of long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide on respiratory morbidity in children can be viewed on www.dh.gov.uk/ab/comeap/index.htm

Defra ponders LAQM review

Defra will shortly reveal feedback from local authorities gleaned as part of its recent LAQM review.

DMUG told of DMRB traffic data woes

MNA Advisory’s Matt Ireland raised concerns about proposed revisions to the DMRB air quality screening model.

Exposure assessed for London population

AEA’s John Stedman told the Dispersion Model Users Group (DMUG) meeting held in London about a recent study looking at the effect of commuting on exposure.

Monitor help

Monitor specialist Phil Jones is still here! l phil.jones@aqdata.co.uk

Pocket facts

The thirteenth edition of The environment in your pocket annual publication is out. It is a handy, free of charge, pocket-sized distillation of around 60 key data series including air quality indicators.l The environment in your pocket 2009 can be downloaded from www.defra.gov.uk/evidence/statistics/environment/eiyp

Steelworks: yet another study

The UK’s largest industrial PM10 -prompted air quality management area near Port Talbot steelworks has been the subject of another report. l An independent review of monitoring measures undertaken in Neath Port Talbot in respect of particulate matter (PM10) can be viewed on http://wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/epq/airqualitypollution/southwaleszone/porttalbotpm10/?lang=eng

Dust problem prompts legal challenge

Lacors reports on a case that has tested the definition of ‘summary proceedings’ in the courts. l www.lacors.gov.uk

Scotland goes mobile

Scottish air quality is now available on a mobile. l www.scottishairquality. co.uk/mobile Bonfire night dissected AEA has released a report describing bonfire night in 2007. l Air pollution forecasting report: Bonfire night 2007 can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/reports

Mark moves on

Sheffield air quality boss Mark Daly is moving jobs. Daly, front man for South Yorkshire’s Care4Air campaign and previous winner of the AQB ‘bottom’ award, is moving to climate change within the council.

Mcerts for Turnkey

Turnkey Instruments has been awarded Mcerts certification for two of its particulate monitors. l www.turnkey-instruments.com

Low emission office

Government has launched the cross-Whitehall Office for Low Emission Vehicles. l website www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainable/olev/

Kaizen box from SupportingU

Monitor support firm SupportingU has launched its new monitor housing which it has named the Kaizen. l www.supportingu.co.uk

Cleantech showcased

Rushlight Award entrants and other firms are exhibiting at a Clean Technologies conference in London on 28th January. Rushlight Awards will be announced at a gala dinner with various clean tech categories including air pollution. l www.rushlightawards.co.uk

Register goes live

The European Commission and the European Environment Agency has launched a comprehensive new European pollutant release and transfer register – E-PRTR. l The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register can be viewed on http://prtr.ec.europa.eu/

ET goes to Uni

Air quality monitoring specialist Enviro Technology and the University of Leeds’ Institute of Transport Studies are collaborating to provide bespoke vehicle emissions monitoring for councils. l www.et.co.uk.

Care4air educates

South Yorkshire’s Care4Air website is being used to teach secondary school pupils across the UK after being endorsed by the National Curriculum Twenty First Century Science project on their website l www.care4air.org & www.21stcenturyscience.org

IAQM on planning significance

The Institute of Air Quality Management has tried to reach a consensus on the issue of air quality significance

Watch out for new regs

Defra will forgo £684m of health benefits for the UK population by adopting the EU directive. And this is progress, asks Jack Pease? l Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010: Consultation on the transposition of Directive 2008/50/EC, and supporting documents, www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/ consult/airquality-transposition

 

November 2009 issue 43

NO2 getting worse

Official modelling of UK air quality in 2008 suggests that just three zones comply with the European NO2 annual mean objective. l 2008 data can be viewed on http://cdr.eionet.europa.eu/gb/eu/annualair

Biomass go ahead

The Environment Agency has granted a permit for Europe’s largest biomass plant to be built in Port Talbot – near the UK’s worst industrially-prompted air quality management area.

Inquiry launched

e Commons Environmental Audit Committee is launching a new inquiry into air quality. l www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/environmental_audit_committee/eacpn211009.cfm

Hunt for regional supergroups ...

The Low Emission Strategies Partnership, formed from the ashes of the Beacon initiative, is launching a Regional Groups Initiative. This will provide funding and support for participating organisations to develop and implement low emission strategies.

... and for developer of low emission toolkit

The LES Partnership is inviting tenders to develop a Low Emission Toolkit to assist local authorities in identifying the range of low emission strategies available and in assessing the costs and benefits of pursuing them (AQB October p4). l Contact John Paterson via email on John.Paterson @greenwich.gov.uk

EU set to miss 2010 air pollutant limits

Updated emission estimates for 2010 show just 14 member states expect to meet their respective 2010 air pollutant limits set under the EU National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC Directive). l NEC Directive Status Report can be viewed on www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/europe-set-to-miss-2010-air-pollutant-limits

Defra reviews LAQM process

Local authorities are being polled for their views on the local air quality management process.

The future is polar

Polar plots are likely to grow in popularity. This was the message of a recent academic workshop held in London. l Openair: http://airtrack.lancs.ac.uk l Airtrack: www.openair-project.org/examples.php

Crime is in the air, say lawyers

A new report – part of a What is crime? series – analyses air pollution in the UK. l Crime is in the air: air pollution and regulation in the UK can be viewed on www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/crimeisintheair.html

Consultant Enviros sold to SKM for £27m

Consultant Enviros has been sold to Australian consultant Sinclair Knight Merz.

Air Monitors mulls Thermo deal

Last month as AQB went to press, Teom-maker Thermo announced that it was pulling out of UK direct sales of ambient air quality monitors. .l www.airmonitors.co.uk

Camden polls the public on vehicles

Camden has commissioned a public attitudes study to gauge reactions to alternative fuelled vehicles.l Camden AFV Survey 2009 consumer attitudes towards alternatively fuelled vehicles is available through Gloria. Esposito@camden.gov.uk

Consultation on permit charge increases

Proposed charges for permits are being consulted on.l The Defra charges consultation can be found on www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/localauth-plantfees10-11/index.htm

Renewed call for Olympics trap fitment

The Environmental Industries Commission has renewed its call for Olympics construction work to follow the Best practice guidance on the control of dust and emissions from construction and demolition.

H1 revision

The Environment Agency is consulting on revisions to the March 2008 version of the H1 guidance to include activities being brought in under the Environmental Permitting Regulations in 2010.l www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/library/consultations/111412.aspx

Smells ‘nauseating’

Operators of Caythorpe composting centre in Lincolnshire have been fined £2,000 and ordered to pay full Environment Agency costs of £2,965 for breaching odour conditions.

VOC agreement

The European Council has adopted the directive clamping down on petrol vapour emissions from service stations. The new act obliges most filling stations to install equipment recovering VOCs released when refuelling cars and other vehicles. l www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/envir/110297.pdf

Bias adjusted

The NO2 diffusion tube bias adjustment factor spreadsheet has just been updated from the 05/09 version. The new spreadsheet (v. 09/09) may be downloaded from the Review and Assessment website. l www.uwe.ac.uk/ aqm/review

Craggs off

The decision by Thermo to pull out of direct UK sales will lead to the departure of Colin Craggs. l Colin Craggs email cc41env@aol.com

Gases compared

The London Borough of Camden has compared the real life performance of two vans, one running on natural gas and the other on biomethane. l More details email Gloria. Esposito@camden.gov.uk

Greenery in London

Planting trees in a 10km by 10km area in East London might save two premature deaths a year and two hospital admissions due to reduced PM10 levels. l An integrated tool to assess the role of new planting in PM10 capture and the human health benefits, Abhishek Tiwary et al, Environmental Pollution, Vol. 157 (2009), pp2645-2653.

Milking the planning system

With funding tighter than ever, will recent changes in the planning system – especially the Community Infrastructure Levy – provide a way forward for funding air quality action?

Making use of supplementary planning documents

Mid Devon’s Simon Newcombe is the most recent evangelist keen to spread the word that the planning system can be used to aid air quality.

Pollutants down

The 2007 update to the UK pollutant inventory has been released. It shows emissions of all main pollutants dropped between 2007 and the previous year. l  Air quality pollutant inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: 1990 – 2007 can be viewed on www.naei.org.uk

London in Europe

Measurements from the London Air Quality Network are now appearing on the EU-sponsored Air Quality in Europe web site established as part of the CITEAIR project. l www.airqualitynow.eu

Black smoke compared

NPL has released results from black smoke monitoring in 2008. l 2008 annual report for the UK black smoke network can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports

London proposals fail to please

A draft air quality strategy released by the London Mayor looks impressive until you scratch the surface finds Jack Pease

October 2009 issue 42

Why not try out the AQ Facebook page?

Air quality tested in court

A West Country council has taken the Government to court on air quality – and won.

l Mid Devon v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Reliant Building Contractors Ltd, High Court claim no CO/1557/2009.

Thermo packs in

In a shock announcement, Thermo is pulling out of direct sales of Teom’s and other ambient monitoring kit in the UK market.

Aussie smog echoes London 1950s event

A huge dust storm has enveloped eastern Australia bringing record PM10 levels.

l www.environment.nsw.gov.au/AQMS/aqialerts.htm

Defra pushed

Air quality campaigner Simon Birkett is increasing pressure on Defra and the London Mayor about what they intend to do on air quality.

l www.cleanairinlondon.org

Deaths five times higher?

Exhaustive analysis by air quality campaigner Simon Birkett has shown that London deaths due to air quality are far higher than previously thought.

Equal ops supplement to PM10 demand

Air pollution disproportionately affects the poor, the UK government admits in its request for an extension to EU PM10 deadlines.

East London dust leads to large fine

A firm that was making concrete without a licence has been ordered to pay more than £11,000 in fines and costs.

Website review: missing links?

Our website review last month inevitably prompted some feedback where we have missed website features.

News from the Care4air / low emission strategy conference in Sheffield last month

£400,000 boost for low emissions

The Low Emission Strategy initiative, born out of the air quality Beacon scheme, has won £400,000 in funding.

Vaughan’s leap of faith

Defra’s Robert Vaughan once again presented modelling trends that assume a big drop in concentrations of key pollutants. Some consider these assumptions optimistic.

Toolkit proposed

John Patterson of Greenwich outlined plans for a Low Emissions Strategy group toolkit to assess benefits of air quality policies that might be contained in planning conditions..

The minister speaks

Ministers rarely say much of interest, but seeing as it’s been so long since a minister made an effort on air quality, we give air quality minister Jim Fitzpatrick, who made it up to the Care4air/LES conference in Sheffield, some space...

Air pollution summit

Air quality minister Jim Fitzpatrick announced there is to be an air quality ‘summit’ later this year.

Low emission office

Cenex’s Andrew Whittles revealed that low emission vehicles are to be coordinated through an Office of Low Emission Vehicles, an agency which is currently being set up.

The fall and rise of NO2

Experts at Ciwem question whether the NO2 problem is being underestimated

CIWEM speaks out on NO2

The Chartered Institute of Waste and Environmental Management has produced a ‘position statement’ on the problem of NO2. It warns that the scale of NO2 may be underestimated in ‘forgotten’ towns.

Biomass: a new dawn?

Last month Epuk brought experts together to discuss the air quality impacts of biomass – are both sides any closer together?

PAH high

Levels of PAH in the UK are set out in a new report based on monitored 2007 concentrations.

l Annual report for 2007 on the UK PAH monitoring and analysis network can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

Zones for London

London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced the setting up of 10 low carbon zones in the capital.

Incineration: Safe?....

Incineration is hitting the headlines again, so it’s time to wheel out another reassuring expert report

BB takes PB

UK construction group Balfour Beatty has taken over US-based consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff.

More Teom time

Thermo has given Teoms a stay of execution.

l www.thermo.com/aqi

Magistrates’ sentencing

A revised version of the Magistrates’ guidance Costing the Earth has been released.

l www.magistrates-association.org.uk/Earth

Planning Act guidance

A number of guidance documents have been published as part of the 2008 Planning Act shake up.

l Planning Act 2008: Guidance on pre-application consultation and other guidance www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/planning/planningpolicyimplementation/reformplanningsystem/planningbill/

VCM changes

There have been two recent changes made to improve the data capture of the corrected Teom particle measurements.

l www.volatile-correction-model.info

AURN sites fail

Eight automatic urban and rural network (AURN) monitoring sites do not meet European directive criteria and will need to be closed or relocated.

l Automatic urban & rural network: assessment of siting criteria can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

New man at Defra

Former waste strategy guru Daniel Instone is joining Defra to look after air quality and other environment issues.

NAO probe

The National Audit Office is currently carrying out a probe into air quality policy.

Pyrolysis questioned

A review claims that gasification, pyrolysis and plasma incinerators provide little or no benefit when compared to mass burn incinerators.

l An industry blowing smoke www.toxicsaction.org/BlowingSmokeReport.pdf

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September 2009 issue 41

Strategies cut store emissions

Mid Devon District Council has been using low emission strategies in partnership with supermarket firm Tesco to produce a new ‘Eco Store’ and help improve local air quality.

l www.lowemissionstrategies.org

Defra fiddles with forecast bandings

Bandings for describing PM10 impacts have been changed to reflect the move away from Teom measurements.

l More details: www.airquality.co.uk/news/revised_pm10_air_quality_index_for_reference_equivalent_data_ver_2.pdf

Some get extension

The European Commission has released decisions on nine applications from member states for an extension to PM10 standards.

l More details on the Commission time extension website: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/quality/legislation/time_extensions.htm

Catch for NOx-eating coatings?

NOX eating coatings may produce a harmful gas, researchers suggest.

l More details on www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/news/2009/august/11080902.asp

Biofuel ban urged by Lacors

Lacors (Local Authorities Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services) is calling for a ban on the most highly polluting biofuels and promotion of the cleanest options.

l www.lacors.gov.uk

Review and assessment FAQs updated

Frequently asked questions have been posted to the review and assessment helpdesk website:

l FAQs are available on www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review/mquestions.html

Public enlisted for survey

A national air survey is being launched on 29th September as part of the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) project supported by bodies such as the Environment Agency.

l A free survey pack, which includes a guide and workbook, can be downloaded from www.opalexplorenature.org

Toxics tagged in inventory update

A review of the sources of dioxins, furans, PCBs and hexachlorobenzene to air land and water has been undertaken by AEA.

l Review and update of the UK source inventories of dioxins, dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls and hexachlorobenzene for emissions to air, water and land www.defra.gov.uk/environment/chemicals/dioxins-strategygroup.htm

Agency tots up accidental fire emissions

An Environment Agency report attempts to predict emission from fire incidents leading to air pollution. There were over 450 in 2006-07.

l Review of emission factors for incident fires can be seen on http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/pdf/SCHO0809BQUT-e-e.pdf

Top winners out

Defra has revealed air quality grant winners for the current financial year. Over 100 English councils shared grant worth a total of £2.4m – unchanged on last year. The Corporation of London won the most (£141,000) while Chelmsford won the least (£1000).

Quality websites wane

For the first time, our annual review of air quality websites finds that standards are starting to slip

Incentives offered

Casella is offering customers an incentive to upgrade their monitoring instrumentation.

l website www.casellameasurement.com

Particulates studied

Birmingham researchers have concluded that measurements and estimations of emission factors based on the PARTICULATES database are in good agreement.

Pledge wins bike

A York school pupil has won a bicycle as the result of a series of air quality talks and pledges made at schools throughout the city.

l www.jorair.co.uk

US ship clean up

All ocean-going vessels within 24 nautical miles of California’s coastline must now use cleaner burning diesel fuel in order to comply with a new state regulation aimed at reducing SO2, NOx and particle emissions.

Engine off urges Epuk

Epuk urged bank holiday drivers to turn their engines off when stuck in traffic jams.

Burner approved

A 95MW 600,000 tonnes—per-year waste incinerator has been approved at Ince in Cheshire.

l www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/planning/decisionsplanning

Rushlight expands

The annual Rushlight Awards scheme for clean technologies (closing date October 31st) is being augmented by an exhibition.

l www.rushlightawards.co.uk

Electric car consult

DfT has published a consultation paper on an electric vehicle consumer incentive and infrastructure support package.

l It can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/ulcvnextsteps

NE courses planned

Newcastle University has recently introduced an air pollution course developed and run by Anil Namdeo, previously of Leeds University.

l www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/airpoll.php

Comeap changes

Comeap has two new members and reappointed one ex-member to the committee. They are Dr Richard Atkinson, Professor David Newby and Professor H Ross Anderson.

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August 2009 news

Corby: dust is blamed

The High Court has decided that dust kicked up during a landfill could have caused birth defects. More next month.

Lawyers hover: legal challenge draws closer

Environmental lawyers are close to launching a legal challenge to poor air quality in the UK.

l www.clientearth.org

Commission rejects derogation requests

The European Commission has given decisions on PM10 time extension notifications for nine EU countries – Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Spain, France, Hungary and the Slovak Republic.

l Time extension website: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/quality/legislation/time_extensions.htm

Colin McMullen

Colin McMullen, a member of Defra’s air quality team, has died following a long battle with cancer.

New monitor on the block

Another particle monitor has won official approval.

l www.fai-instruments.it

Data directive progress outlined

Mouchel is working to link up Inspire data services with the Cafe Directive.

l For more information on the Slovakia interim findings, go to: http://www.gsdi.org/gsdi11/prog_details.html#Anchor-Parallel-30198

Final LTp guidance is released

Statutory guidance on local transport plans has been released following a consultation (AQB March p1).

l The guidance can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/adobepdf/165237/ltpguidance.pdf

News from the annual forecasting conference last month

New forecasting forum launched

AEA has won a new three year air quality forecasting contract for Defra. It is setting up a specialist forum in a bid to improve air quality forecasting.

SussexAir seeks research funding

The SussexAir airAlert service is keen to carry out research to see if it can provide a more targeted cost effective service.

l www.airalert.info

Heatwave SO2 peak

Last month’s warm weather has led to a number of sulphur dioxide events affecting London, Kent and further north into Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, claims ERG, which provides monitoring services in south east England.

Finalised 2008 air quality indicator released

The 2008 government air quality indicator has been finalised.

ERG reports on London bad air

Nitrogen dioxide and particles continue to pollute London’s air – but King’s College ERG warns that the health consequences of increasing background ozone concentrations in the UK and across Europe being worse than existing particle impacts.

l The fourteenth annual report of the London Air Quality Network (LAQN) can be viewed on www.erg.kcl.ac.uk

The annual Air quality bulletin consultancy rankings

AQB repeats its popular rankings and snapshot market analysis of the air quality market

Defra sets out ‘fair’ enforcement

Defra and the Welsh Government are consulting on changes to environmental enforcement policy.

l www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/env-enforcement

Biomass strategy recognises AQ impacts

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has released a biomass strategy which reflects fears that increased wood burning in urban areas could lead to air quality problems.

l The renewable energy strategy can be viewed on www.decc.gov.uk

PM rankings

European countries have been ranked in terms of population weighted exposure to PM2.5.

l http://air-climate.eionet.europa.eu/docs/ETCACC_TP_2009_1_European_PM2.5_HIA.pdf

Emission factors changed at last

For some years, air quality modellers have questioned whether emission factors are right. Now they’ve got some new ones, finds Jack Pease

H4 on odour wafts in

Draft guidance on odour released in 2002 was never finalised. Will the latest draft fare any better asks Jack Pease?

Low carbon strategy

Government has released its low carbon strategy.

l Low carbon transport: A greener future can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainable/carbonreduction/

Bus fillip

A £30 million fund has been set up by the Government to encourage the purchase of low carbon buses.

London strategy delay

 The London air quality strategy revamp has been delayed. Ozone remains high A European Environment Agency report attempts to explain why ozone is failing to drop despite success in cutting emissions.

l Technical report No 7/2009 www.eea.europa.eu

Electrification boost

The proposed £1.1bn electrification of the Paddington-Swansea rail line will reduce air pollution especially for some areas alongside the Great Western main lines that are vulnerable to pollution.

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July 2009 news

Potter proposes planning tool

Croydon’s Stephen Potter has revealed a new planning tool that could avoid arguments over significance.

AEA makes London air suggestions

AEA has submitted a series of recommendations to the GLA in a bid to influence the ongoing revamp of the London air quality strategy.

Tweeting on air

As temperatures climbed into the 30’s and moderate pollution levels forecast, King’s College London has launched a new service which provides real time air quality updates and summaries on Twitter. Last month the group launched an Iphone app for air quality

l More details can be found at www.londonair.org.uk

News from last month’s investigation of air pollution standing conference meeting held in Sheffield

Oxford finally cracks bus woes

Oxford City Council’s Roger Pitman told the Iapsc conference in Sheffield of the long running battle between the city council (which has the air quality responsibilities) and the county council (which has the transport responsibilities).

NOx eating paint leads to huge drop

Rebecca Pointon of Cheshire East revealed new data on trials of Ecopurer NOx-eating coatings in Congleton. The busy A34 sees traffic passing within feet of residential front doors.

Vaughan savaged

Defra air quality man Robert Vaughan suffered a Jeremy Paxman-style attack from Alan Walder of the London Borough of Redbridge.

Biomass baseline

Attempts have been made to establish a baseline for biomass emissions in London.

Vaughan sets out timetable for NO2

Defra is likely to consult on proposed measures to achieve NO2 compliance in late 2009 for submission in summer 2010.

Factors finalised at last

After a considerable delay, DfT emission factors have finally been agreed.

Report reveals FDMS teething problems

An AEA report commissioned for Defra and the devolved regions has revealed a number of teething problems with new FDMS particle monitors being installed into the automatic network.

l QA/QC Data Ratification Report for the Automatic Urban and Rural Network, October-December 2008, and Annual Review for 2008 can be viewed on the reports section of www.airquality.co.uk

Bamtastic! North Lincs happy with monitors

North East Lincs council has lots to monitor as its patch contains the UK’s largest port and the industrial town of Grimsby.

l www.et.co.uk

US tightens NO2 objective

US President Obama has pushed through a Bill that will pave the way for tighter NO2 standards.

Bus fleet emissions vary widely

A report prepared for Defra suggests that actual bus fleet composition may vary markedly across the country.

l Review of bus fleet compositions and implications for emissions reduction strategies can be viewed www.airquality.co.uk

Biomass works for Stansted Airport

A biomass plant built to heat Stansted Airport is said to have worked well through the recent hard winter.

Good data or your money back

A monitor support firm is offering money back if its kit fails to work. l www.supportingu.co.uk

Scotland becomes clean, claims report

Scotland can boast that for the first time, mean NO2 levels for both urban background and roadside/ kerbside locations in Scotland are below the strategy objective level of 40µg/m3.

l 2008 annual report for the Scottish AQ database project and A report on the results of a gravimetric particulate monitoring study can be viewed on www.scottishairquality. co.uk/reports

Epaqs finalises industrial standards reports

Experts have finalised standards for industrial pollutants such halogens and metals.

l Addendum to guidelines for halogens and hydrogen halides in ambient air & Guidelines for metals and metalloids in ambient air for the protection of human health can be viewed on the Epaqs website www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/panels/aqs/

GLA leans on consultants

Air Quality Consultants is to offer helpdesk-style assistance to London Boroughs under a new contract let by the GLA.

l The helpdesk can be contacted by email at LondonAQHelpdesk@aqconsultants.co.uk or by telephone at 0117 973 7761.

Major projects criticised on emissions

Exhaust clean up lobby groups have criticised organisers of the London Olympics and Crossrail for failing to adopt best construction practice on emissions.

Guidance released on totting up CO2

Defra and Decc has released a consultation on guidance on how to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions.

l The consultation document and guidance are available at www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/greenhouse-gas/index.htm

Slump affects green consultants

Environmental consultants have been ranked in a new in-depth survey carried out by Environment Analyst Publishing & Research.

l Market assessment of the UK environmental consulting sector 2009 is available to Environment Analyst’s Market Intelligence Service customers via the website, www.environ ment-analyst.com/intelligence

Call for clarity in new planning procedures

Epuk and Lacors have expressed concern at the “inadequate protection for local communities” in the 2008 Planning Act.

South Yorks rewards air quality champions

South Yorks Care4Air initiative has held a high profile awards night to recognise local air quality champions.

Shipping consultation

Government is consulting on tighter fuel standards for shipping fuels.

l Draft Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 can be viewed on www.mcga.gov.uk/

Shipping emissions studied by MPs

MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee have scrutinised the issues surrounding pollution and CO2 emissions from shipping. MPs says UK policy lacks coherence.

l Reducing CO2 and other emissions from shipping can be viewed on www.parliament.uk/eacom

6% it is then

UK medical experts settle on a 6% risk estimate of dying from air pollution. But is it enough.

The significance of significance

Members of the Institute of Air Quality Management met last month to debate significance of air quality in planning.

Cancer study update

The US Health Effects Institute has published an extended analysis of the American Cancer Society study of particulate air pollution and mortality.

l Report 140, and a commentary by the HEI review committee can be viewed on www.healtheffects.org

AAMG paper call

Measurement group AAMG is calling for papers for its Christmas air quality conference.

l The deadline for the submission of an abstract for an oral or poster presentation has been extended until 17th July http://rsc-aamg.org/Pages/ Meetings/MAA2009.html

German LEZ success

Measurements suggest air quality has improved as a result of a low emission zone in Germany.

l More information on German low emission zones can be found on www.lowemissionzones.eu

Top green cars

The Environmental Transport Association has named and shamed the best and worst cars in terms of their environmental impact.

l A fully searchable database of the results and full details on each car will be published at www.greencarawards.co.uk

Recession help

Firms that mothball industrial processes are eligible for reduced price permitting.

l Guidance proformas and revisions to the charging schemes www.defra.gov.uk/ environment/ppc/localauth/ fees-risk/fees.htm

Rights bid fails

A bid by Greenpeace to challenge German authorities on air quality has failed.

Climate change threat

Defra has released UK climate projections based on Met Office science, illustrating the extent of the changes the UK might face in the absence of global action to cut emissions – warmer and wetter winters, hotter and drier summers, increased risk of coastal erosion and more severe weather.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environ ment/climatechange/adapt/ index.htm

Ministerial shake up

Government wobbles has led to a shake up of the Cabinet and some official positions.

Rushlight set for 2009

The Rushlight Awards 2009 have now opened to entries. Now in their third year, the Rushlight Awards celebrate environmental excellence. An air quality category will be “awarded to the most significant technological development or innovation that reduces or treats pollution in the air.”

l More details on website www.rushlightawards.co.uk

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June 2009 news

Spotlight turns on modelling

A report on ozone modelling has revealed continued efforts to improve the ‘fitness for purpose’ of large scale models used to support Defra policy.

Elections prompt air quality enthusiasm

In the run up to the European and local elections, Lib Dems have pledged they will ensure the UK complies with European laws on air quality.

USAs delayed

Late guidance and the move to unitary authorities has been blamed for the delays in getting updating and screening assessments in on time. Defra has granted extensions to some local authorities.

l The reporting website can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/la_report_admin

Mayor hints at rethink on LEZ

London Mayor Boris Johnson has set out his thinking on low emission zones in his formal review of the transport strategy. This strategy could provide some hints as to the direction of the forthcoming revamp of the London air quality strategy.

l Transport Strategy Statement of Intent www.london.gov.uk/mayor/publications/2009/05/transport-strategy.jsp

Ozone progress

AEA has compiled a report to Europe on the UK progress on ozone.l UK and Gibraltar air quality modelling for annual reporting 2007 on ambient air quality assessment under Directives 96/62/EC and 2002/3/EC relating to ozone. www.airquality.co.ukreports

Europe can rely on US death rates

A large Health Effects Institute study of Dutch residents has confirmed that US pollution risk estimates can be used in Europe.l Effects of long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution on respiratory and cardiovascular mortality in the Netherlands: The NLCS-AIR study can be viewed on the Health Effects Institute website www.healtheffects.org

This year’s first warning issued

In early June, Defra issued its first smog alert of 2009.

Ministerial visit

Environment secretary Hilary Benn (left) has visited ERG’s air pollution unit (seen here with ERG’s Gary Fuller).

Kings and Imperial cooperate on air

A joint environment centre has been set up to focus research on the environment, including air quality.l website www.environment-health.ac.uk

Coke oven permit refused

The Environment Agency has refused an application from a South Yorkshire coke and chemical plant to bring back into operation nine old coke ovens.

Scottish company fined for burning caravans

A company from Silloth-on-Solway has pleaded guilty at Carlisle Crown Court to burning waste illegally on their own land.

Six year review of process notes

Defra is consulting on an indicative timetable for the review of the 80 process guidance (PG) notes on standards of air emissions regulated from industrial activities.l Information on progress will be available on the Environment Agency’s Local Authorities Unit website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/permitting/36421.aspx

Further agreement on vapour regs

European Parliament has voted to approve at the first reading legislation to cut harmful vapour emissions from fuel stations.

Mapping alternative launched

Users of Ordnance Survey mapping now have an alternative supplier. The maps may be of interest to mappers of air quality and noise.

AQMA maps revealed in GIS exercise

A list of UK AQMAs is contained in a new report from AEA. The report details AQMAs, flagging up recent changes, and how the areas have been set into GIS form. 2008

l Updated GIS dataset of air quality management areas can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports

Buses feature in Oxford LEZ

Oxfordshire County Council has affirmed its support for its shared plan with Oxford City Council to improve air quality by declaring a low emission zone in the city.

Quinn Glass saga continues

Quinn Glass of Chester has appealed against an enforcement notice requiring its plant to be dismantled.

Heatwave plan updated

New advice to help people with respiratory problems cope in a heatwave has been published.

l The Heatwave Plan can be viewed on www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_084670

Defra endorses low emission approach

Defra air quality head Martin Williams has praised the Low Emission Strategies (LES) Partnership and emphasised the importance for transport planners, land use planners and environmental practitioners coming together in a coherent and complementary way.

l The Low Emission Strategy Partnership has a new website which can be viewed at www.lowemissionstrategies.org

Scrappage scheme encourages small cars

The Government is claiming that the £2000 ‘new for old’ scrappage grants have succeeded in increasing car sales.

Openair opens its doors

Air quality professionals can now access a new way of manipulating data they collect through monitoring.

l Contact David Carslaw, www.openair-project.org

Opsis canyon monitoring for Sandwell

Sandwell MBC faced difficulties when considering the best way to monitor a street which, at ground level, had shops and offices and residents at first or second floor level.

l More on Opsis: www.et.co.uk

Mcerts confirms continued growth

Organisers of the recent Mcerts exhibition say visitor numbers grew by 10% in comparison with the 2007 figures.

World class places

New guidance aims to set out why and how quality of place matters and the practical steps the Government will be taking to improve things.l World class places: The Government’s strategy for improving quality of place www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/worldclassplaces

Planners told

Northern Ireland planners have been told that greater weight will be given in the future, where appropriate, to the economic consideration of planning proposals.

Welsh guidance

The Welsh Assembly Government has issued its version of technical guidance for air quality.

l  http://wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/epq/airqualitypollution/laqmguidance/?lang=en

Composting odour

AEA has produced guidance on composting and odour control.l Good practice and regulatory guidance on composting and odour control for local authorities, NANR 275 can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/environment/noise/research/pdf/composting-odour-guidance.pdf

More trees in

London Mayor Boris Johnson says he is expanding his street tree programme. He claims that street trees offer a range of benefits including attracting wildlife, providing shade and helping improve local air quality.

EPP consultation

Consultation has started on the structure and content of several pieces of draft Government guidance for the Environmental Permitting Regulations.

l www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/env-permitting-guidance

European quality

A report has been released on European quality of life. It reviews air quality and noise impacts.

l Ensuring quality of life in Europe’s cities and towns, EEA Report No 5/2009 can be viewed on www.eea.europa.eu/publications

Hydrocarbons down

The annual summary of data produced by the UK ambient automatic hydrocarbon air quality network shows continued falls in 2007.

l It can be viewed on the reports section of www.airquality.co.uk

GHG reports also

Two reports on greenhouse gas inventories have been published.

l UK greenhouse gas inventory, 1990 to 2007: Annual report for submission under the framework convention on climate change and Summary of differences between geographical coverages of reported GHG emissions can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/

Forecast meeting

AEA is repeating its popular annual UK Air Quality Forecasting Seminar. It will be held on Thursday 16th July at the Council House in Birmingham.

l Contact sue.powditch@ aeat.co.uk for further information and a booking form.

Sussex web update

The Sussex Air Quality Partnership (Sussex-air) has launching its new website (www.sussex-air.net) which provides new Google mapping of near-real-time data from the Sussex-network accessible to the public.

l www.sussex-air.net

Monitors move

Air Monitors has moved. Its new telephone number is 01684 857530 and new address is: Unit 2, Bredon Court, Brockeridge Park Twyning, Tewkesbury Gloucestershire, GL20 6FF.l www.airmonitors.co.uk

 

May 2009 news

Defra submits PM10 exemption

Defra has submitted the UK’s application to the European Commission for an extension to meet air quality limit values for PM10.l The application comprises a series of detailed forms and a technical report, which are available at: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/eu-int/eu-directives/airqual-directives/notification.htm

Recession measures could help air quality

The Government’s latest Budget includes some measures that may impact air quality.

National biomass impact proves very large

In response to questioning by Epuk, the Government has finally released its analysis of potential air quality impacts of biomass. They are large (up to £2.8bn).

EEA records more PM exposure

A report by the European Environment Agency attempts to use European monitoring data to estimate population pollution exposure.l EEA’s report Spatial assessment of PM10 and ozone concentrations in Europe (2005) can be viewed on www.eea.europa.eu

News from the IEH meeting held last month at Cranfield

NO2: real or imaginary?

Discussion continued at the Cranfield Institute of Environment and Health meeting on whether NO2 led to health effects in its own right, or is simply a marker for something else.

Approved analysis underestimated

Government assessment methods may underestimate the impact of particles on health according to Mike Ashmore of York University.

Noise ignored in air quality studies

Impacts of noise have been inadequately controlled for in air quality studies, Imperial researcher Lars Jarup told the IEH conference held in Cranfield last month.

News from the LAQN/ERG seminar held in London last month

Tensions erupt on data conflict

Delegates at the Environmental Research Group/London Air Quality Network conference held last month heard experts voice concerns about the growing gap between monitoring data and modelled projections.

New London study

Medic Chris Griffiths told the conference about a huge new study set up within the London area to look at air pollution health effects.

Defra accused of deceit

Retired medic Stan Prokop attended the LAQN meeting and has voiced his concerns.

Report calls for targeted London zone

The London Assembly has completed its inquiry into air quality in London.

Birkett scoops AQB award

Campaign for Clean Air in London leader Simon Birkett has won this year’s ‘most mentioned’ award from AQB.

Epuk on LTp guidance

Epuk has responded to the recent DfT consultation guidance for the third round of local transport plans.

Register updated

The UK Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (UK PRTR) has been updated.

l www.defra.gov.uk/prtr

New FAQs

New frequently asked questions have been posted on the review and assessment helpdesk website.

l Review and assessment www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review

Plan freedoms U-turn

Councils may once again be obliged to produce action plans in a U turn just announced.

l www.communities.gov.uk/corporate/publications/consultations

Three win AURN contracts

Lucrative monitoring contracts awarded by Defra were much discussed on the Mcerts stands.

13 gang up to challenge Heathrow

13 organisations have joined together to challenge the Government’s decision to expand Heathrow.

l www.2MGroup.org.uk

Metals remain low in network

Metals in the UK remained low, a report from NPL claims.

l www.airquality.co.uk

Biomass: sink or sinner

The Environment Agency has released a report on the carbon balance of biomass plants.

l Biomass: Carbon sink or carbon sinner can be viewed on www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Biomass__carbon_sink_or_carbon_sinner_summary_ report.pdf

Six year review

Government has consulted on the periodic review of process guidance notes which set out best available techniques to minimise air emissions from Part B installation.

l Consultation on the scope of the proposed 6-year review of process guidance notes for Part B installations www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/sixyear-review/index.htm

Biomass: how to handle it

Guidance has been proposed for local authorities and developers keen to handle biomass correctly

Mcerts 2009

The two-day Mcerts monitoring event held in Bretby last month attracted good numbers. Jack Pease reports from the exhibition which saw monitor firms in a sombre mood.

Training opportunities

Air Monitors is running a monitoring workshop and training courses on its AQ web software suite.

l www.airmonitors.co.uk/aqweb_seminars

Zones reported

AEA has released a summary of data submitted to Europe on the UK’s exceedence of objectives.

l UK air quality modelling for annual reporting 2007 on ambient air quality assessment under Directives 96/62/EC, 1999/30/EC and 2000/69/EC can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk

Ozone reported

43 UK zones will exceed the long term eight hour objective for ozone, the UK’s report to the EU suggests.

l UK and Gibraltar air quality modelling for annual reporting 2007 on ambient air quality assessment under Council Directives 96/62/EC and 2002/3/EC relating to ozone in ambient air can be viewed on the reports section of www.airquality.co.uk

Rich pickings likely from data mountain

Defra has completed a consultation on the INSPIRE Directive.

l The paper can be viewed at www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/inspire/index.htm

Tube update

The NO2 diffusion tube bias adjustment factor spreadsheet has been updated from the 03/09 version.

l The new spreadsheet (v. 05/09) may be downloaded from the helpdesk website www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review

Low carbon London

London Mayor Boris Johnson has allocated £3 million to develop 10 low carbon zones to cut carbon emissions.

Compost control

Guidance has been produced for local authorities on composting and odour.l NANR 275 – Good practice and regulatory guidance on composting and odour control for local authorities can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/environment/noise/research/pdf/composting-odour-guidance.pdf

Eco omission

Epuk believes the draft planning policy statement on Ecotowns should include low emission criteria.

Ozone dips

According to several indicators, ozone levels during the summer of 2008 were the lowest since 1997 according to an European Environment Agency report.l Air pollution by ozone across Europe in summer 2008 www.eea.europa.eu

 

April 2009 news

First look at NO2 plans

Defra has unveiled to the Air Quality Forum its early thoughts on what it plans to do about excess NO2.

Action plans are not working, inquiry told

A transport expert claims that air quality management areas are not working.l The meeting can be viewed via webcast: www.london.gov.uk/assembly/webcasts.jsp

London Assembly probes air

The London Assembly Environment Committee has held two hearings as part of its air quality probe. Findings will feed in to a revamp of the London Mayor’s air quality strategy which is due to be released in draft form this summer.

SupportingU wins London contract

Monitor support firm SupportingU has won a key contract to maintain and service air quality monitors. The contract was formerly held by Casella.l Website www.supportingu.co.uk

Strategy set for child health

The Health Protection Agency has finalised its children’s environment and health strategy. It consulted on a draft last year (AQB April p7).l A children’s environment and health strategy for UK www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&Page&HPAwebAutoListName/Page/1204707136075

Agency set to police aviation emissions

More details have emerged on the plans to have the Environment Agency regulating the aviation industry emission trading scheme. But as yet no further details have emerged on how the Agency will ensure Heathrow expansion complies with air quality limits (AQB February p5).

l www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/consultations.aspx

Pitt lined up for planning commission chair

Sir Michael Pitt is lined up to chair the Infrastructure Planning Commission. The Commission is being created as part of the Planning Act shake-up that will see major projects decided by the Commission rather than public inquiries.

l Pitt’s grilling can be viewed on www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/VideoPlayer.aspx?meetingId=3695

Dundee biomass plant allowed

Scottish Government has overruled Dundee City Council on biomass.

l Hillcrest Group Appeal decision P/PPA/180/232 can be viewed on the website www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk/casesearch.aspx

Lacors responds to PM10 plan

Lacors (The Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services) has criticised the consultation process for the draft UK notification to the European Commission to secure additional time to meet the limit values for PM10 (AQB February p1).

l www.lacors.gov.uk

How clean is Europe? New reports

Two reports have been released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) on Europe’s air quality.

l www.eea.europa.eu

Dixon departs

Janet Dixon is to leave Defra after nearly 13 years in the air quality division.

Muir moves on

Bristol City Council’s David Muir will shortly leave the council.

l From 31st May he can be contacted on 0117 979 1688 email Muirenvironment@aol.com

How to fix FDMSs

AEA has released a manual on how to maintain Teom FDMS particle monitors correctly. It uses pictures and diagrams to show how the new generation of particle monitors can be kept running correctly.

l Site operational procedures for Teom FDMS analysers can be viewed on the reports section of www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

London poll

The London Assembly’s Environment Committee (LAEC) is currently conducting a public opinion poll on air quality.

l The deadline is the 6th April. http://tiny.cc/zcLyK  or email david.bellman@ london.gov.uk

Teom discontinued

Thermo has announced discontinuation of the Teom 1400ab particulate monitor. Orders will be accepted until September and equipment will be supported for a further ten years.

l www.thermo.com/com/cda/product/detail/1,,10122682,00.html

All Coventry declared

All of Coventry has been declared an AQMA for NO2.

Quantitech: extra PhD

Quantitech, the Milton Keynes based supplier of environmental monitoring instrumentation has added yet another member of staff bearing doctorial qualifications.

l www.quantitech.co.uk

New London monitors

The London Borough of Hounslow has recently added two sites to the London air quality network.

ARTEMIS concludes

TRL has published findings from the massive pan European ARTEMIS project.

l PPR350 ARTEMIS: Assessment and reliability of transport emission models and inventory systems – final report www.trl.co.uk

Highways plans

The Highways Agency has released its Business Plan for 2009/10.l Highways Agency’s business plan for 2009-10 www.highways.gov.uk

INSPIRE data deal

Defra has launched a public consultation on the INSPIRE Directive.l www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/inspire/index.htm

Fees set for LAPC

Fees have been set for 2009/10 for local authority environmental regulation of industrial plant.

l More details can be found on Defra’s website www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/localauth/fees-risk/fees.htm

Risk extension

Risk-based regulation is being introduced for the following sectors from 1 April 2009l More details can be found on Defra’s website www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/localauth/pubs/guidance/notes/aqnotes/index.htm

Comeap on cement fuels

Aqeg’s sister group Comeap has updated its advice on burning of substitute fuels in cement kilns. on health of each proposed variation in fuel usage.”l www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/comeap

Indicator change

National indicators have been tweaked including NI 194 on air qualityl Updated definitions can be seen on www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/updatednidefinitions

Monitoring at Mcerts

We take a sneak preview at the two-yearly Mcerts monitoring conference and exhibition taking place later this month

Ozone: an intractable problem

The Air Quality Expert Group has finalised its report on ozone. Are there any simple answers in its latest report stretching to 240 pages?l Ozone in the UK can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/panels/aqeg

What next for Aqeg?

The stream of long reports coming out of Aqeg could (in theory) come to an end – Defra commissioned a review of its future – which reported last month.l Review of the Air Quality Expert Group Stage 1 can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/panels/aqeg/

 

March 2009 news

LTp guidance: too vague

Reactions are emerging to the recent consultation on guidance on LTP3.

AQ prompts Edinburgh parking scheme

In contrast to their rejection of congestion charge proposals a few years ago, Edinburgh residents appear to have backed a new parking charge scheme that will penalise polluting cars.

Pope sets out health benefits

A study by respected air quality researcher C Arden Pope has quantified the health benefits of fine particle reductions.l Fine-particulate air pollution and life expectancy in the United States, New England Journal of Medicine 2009;360:376-86.C. Arden Pope III et al, www.nejm.org

AQ features in Bristol rap

Bristol City Council has been criticised by the Local Authority Ombudsman over procedures for approving a stadium redevelopment scheme. Air quality officers featured in the judgement – but council deficiencies did not influence the decision.l Report ref 07B02878 can be downloaded from www.lgo.org.uk

2008 ozone episodes unpicked by AEA

AEA has analysed two ozone episodes that took place last summer.

l Air pollution forecasting: ozone pollution episodes report (May and July 2008), Rachel Yardley, can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

More emissions

Further data have been released from the 2007 National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) for UK air pollutants.

l www.defra.gov.uk/news/2009/090213a.htm

Caution costs?

Scottish Renewables says new technical guidance on air quality should allow councils to approve more biomass installations. Excessive caution to date has cost £4.5m, it claims.

Compliance plans criticised

The Campaign for Clean Air in London (CCAL) has responded to Defra’s draft submission to Europe explaining how it will meet PM10 objectives by 2011 (AQB February p1).

l Campaign for Clean Air in London website www.cleanairinlondon.org/

Pollution ‘driving people to early death’

The London Assembly has held a ‘courtroom style’ hearing into air quality in London.

Paint leads to NOx fall?

Application of NOX reducing coatings in Congleton has been coupled with a fall in NO2 concentrations. Longer term monitoring is taking place to see whether the drop is because of the paint or coincidental.

l www.ecopurer.com

More details emerge on planning changes

Further details have emerged on how the Planning Act will affect major developments.

Stansted Inquiry

A preliminary hearing has taken place as part of the Planning Inquiry for the expansion of Stansted Airport.

l www.stopstanstedexpansion.com

Pond dippers in airport warning

An academic at Edge Hill University has issued a health warning against the Government’s planned expansion at Heathrow Airport based on analysis of lakes.

l Annie Worsley, Edge Hill University, email Worsleya@edgehill.ac.uk

Heated Parliamentary debate on Heathrow

A heated debate in the House of Commons centred on air quality and noise aspects of the Heathrow expansion decision announced in January (AQB February p5).

Unitary arrangements slowly take shape

A handful of authorities are going unitary from 1st of April.

LAPC unpicked in latest review

Local authority pollution control statistics are revealed in the latest statistics for England and Wales.

l More details of the survey on www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/

Kensington wins apology over duff data

Kensington and Chelsea Council has hit back at Defra officials who have accused the council of not properly inspecting Part B premises, which include dry cleaners, petrol stations and paint sprayers.

Guidance manual amendment out

The local authority pollution control General guidance manual has been updated.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/localauth/pubs/guidance/manuals.htm

10-step plan for consultants

Performance of private sector consultants carrying out consultation for local authority review and assessments has been studied by the University of the West of England. New guidance is proposed.

l Environmental consultancies: Mediating consultation: Private sector consultancies engagement in air quality consultation can be downloaded freely at: www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/Mediating_Consultation

Planning permission no bar to nuisance

A decision in the High Court has reaffirmed that an injunction can be an appropriate remedy for nuisance even if planning permission has been obtained for the activity.

l Watson v.Croft: email AQB for a copy of the decision

Odours: £7,000 fine

The operators of a Cumnock landfill site have been fined £7,000 following a significant number of public complaints regarding odours at the site.

l www.sepa.org.uk

Better regulation?

A series of briefing notes have been released over the past few months by the better regulation office aimed at local authority regulators.

l The new local performance framework: LBRO briefing for local authority regulatory services, Applying the regulators’ compliance code and enforcement concordat and the survey conducted for the Local Better Regulation Office can be viewed on www.lbro.org.uk

EIC supports LEZ

Commenting Mayor of London’s announcement on the suspension of the next phase of the London low emission zone, the Environmental Industries Commission has warned that public health could be put at risk.

Trucks cause damage

Lorries cause far more environmental damage and congestion than previously thought, claims European green lobby group T&E.

l Are trucks taking their toll? www.transportenvironment.org/tag/noise/news/

Rushlight win

Connaught Engineering has won the recent Rushlight Awards with its idea of using large capacitors and an auxiliary motor to capture spare energy in van engines via the fan belt (AQB December 2008 p3).l The Rushlight Awards 2008 Year Book has just been completed and is now available on www.rushlightawards.co.uk

Vitamin D study

A study into the links between air pollution and vitamin D deficiency, and their impact on the respiratory health of children in east London, has received a £1.2 million grant from the National Institute for Health Research comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre.

Volatile correction model report out

The methodology behind the ERG Kings College London volatile correction model for correcting Teom readings has been published. a national scale.l Volatile Correction Model (VCM) for PM10 Application to hourly time resolution and AURN FDMS purge measurements, David Green, Timothy Baker and Gary Fuller can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

Dual fuel order

Alternative fuel specialist Clean Air Power has received an order from Sainsburys for five Genesis dual-fuel installations in trucks.l More details www.cleanairpower.com

 

February 2009 news

£3.3bn for doing nothing

The UK Government is proposing to argue its way out of air quality exceedences rather than mitigate them. By doing nothing, it will reap benefits of £3.3bn, it claims.l Consultation on the draft UK notification to the European Commission to secure additional time to meet the limit values for particulate matter for certain zones/agglomerations in accordance with the Council Directive 2008/50/EC on Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe can be viewed onwww.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/air-quality/index.htm

Planning Bill: little scrutiny for Heathrow?

New consultation is adding detail to huge changes to the planning system resulting from the 2008 Planning Act.l www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/consultationstatutoryconsultees

UK in the dock

UK publication of it’s plans to meet the PM10 directive by 2011 (see news, left) came too late to avoid legal action from the European Commission. The UK was supposed to have reported by last October.

Advice ignored on duff data

Defra has ignored advice to await further expert comment on dodgy gravimetric particle monitoring data and gone ahead and adjusted PM10 data.l Analysis of trends in gravimetric particulate mass measurements in the UK can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports

2008 air quality worsens, says indicator

There was a slight worsening in urban pollution, and a marked worsening in rural pollution in 2008 as compared to 2007, Defra has revealed in its provisional air quality indicator.l The indicator can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/news/2009/090129a.htm

Olympic body is not pushing traps, says EIC

The Environmental Industries Commission has renewed its plea for more take up of particle traps.

l website www.eic-uk.co.uk

LEZ in tatters as stage three scrapped

The London low emission zone has been massively weakened with mayor Boris Johnson abandoning the third phase of the low emission zone. The third phase would have seen low emission controls stretching down to vans.

Biofuels found mostly good

Uptake of biofuels – under most scenarios – leads to a reduction in pollutant emissions.

l Road transport emissions from biofuel consumption in the UK can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports

‘Auld Reekie’ plea from Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh Council is urging residents not to burn too much wood.

IPPC progresses directive revamp

The European Parliament Environment Committee is suggesting a further tightening of industrial regulation, but proposals still have a long way to go before they become finally agreed.

Scottish plan

The Scottish Government has published its Good places, better health implementation plan.

l Lorraine Tulloch, project manager tel: 0131 244 2504

Bus grant changes

A decision has been made on the future of the fuel subsidy given to bus operators.

l www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/buses/busgrants/

bsog/busserviceoperatorsgrantbsog3542

Hitchcock to Exeter

The University of Exeter has appointed Dr Guy Hitchcock as head of its Centre for Energy and the Environment. Hitchcock takes over from Trevor Preist.

Northern Ireland AQ

10 of Northern Ireland’s 26 district councils have air quality management areas in place, a new report by AEA on 2007 air quality reveals.

l Air pollution in Northern Ireland 2007 can be viewed on www.airqualityni.co.uk

Acid deposition

The third annual data report on the UK Acid Deposition Monitoring Network has been released. It contains a comprehensive summary of the measurements made in the network for the year 2007. Among other things it notes a slight rise in particulate sulphate in 2007 as compared to 2006.

l UK acid deposition monitoring network – data summary 2007 can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports

The environment in your pocket 2008

The twelfth edition of The environment in your pocket has been published by Defra.l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statistics/eiyp/index.htm

Crunch time at Heathrow

Our seven page feature on the air quality issues at Heathrow

Too much news!

Heathrow expansion, with its huge implications for air quality, dominates news this month in AQB. News and research bumped out of this issue will appear next month.

 

January 2009 news (2008 index included with this edition)

Legal threat mounts

The Knightsbridge Association is warning the Government that it may launch a legal challenge on poor air quality. A similar challenge mounted by a German resident against Munich City succeeded in European courts.

Infringement proceedings being prepared

The European Commission is preparing infringement proceedings against the UK.

Defra admits slippage

For the first time Defra has admitted slippage on tackling air quality.

News from the AAMG particles meeting held in London

Kobe justifies slow progress

European Commission air quality chief Andrej Kobe has admitted progress on air quality in Europe has not been as fast as hoped.

Way forward sought for mercury monitoring

Richard Brown of NPL described actions in Europe to try and agree monitoring of mercury concentrations.

Fairmode modelling thinktank kicks off

Fairmode, a pan European modelling grouping, has had its first meeting in Croatia.

News from the investigation of air pollution standing conference (iapsc) last month

Data loss: correction explained

Total loss of two years worth of EU-equivalent data will be patched up through ‘data correction’, it has emerged.

Manchester monitors establish road fall-off

Manchester postgrad Anna Leavey told the Iapsc audience of work using handheld particle monitors to establish the fall off of particles beside busy roads.

More detail emerges on flexibility

Defra air quality expert Robert Vaughan confirmed to the Iapsc audience the latest thinking on how the UK will apply for ‘compliance flexibility’ on air quality deadlines

European performance compared

A paper has compared air quality reporting progress across member states.

l Reporting on ambient air quality assessment: Preliminary results for 2007 ETC/ACC technical paper 2008/4 December 2008 can be viewed on http://air-climate.eionet. europa.eu/reports/ETCACC_TP2008_2_AQQ2006

EEA indicators update

The European Environment Agency has updated four key air pollution indicators

l Concentrations of air pollutants in urban areas http://themes.eea.europa.eu/ IMS/ISpecs/ISpecification20080701123452/IAssessment1219309276318/view_content

Epuk ponders chartered body role

Epuk is seeking views on whether there is demand for members to become chartered environmentalists.

Carbon minimonitor

At the recent AAMG particles meeting held in London last month, Air Monitors’ Steven Hoskins demonstrated the latest in miniaturised black carbon monitors.

l www.airmonitors.co.uk

Thermo filters recall

Thermo has contacted customers and UK monitoring network managers telling them of problems with Teom filters.

l Colin Craggs, Thermo, tel 07778 234173

AQB yardstick: slight worsening

 It shows that pollution slightly worsened in 2008 compared to 2007 because of increased ozone exceedences (nearly twice as many).

Cold weather brings on moderate episode

Between 2nd and 5th January ERG’s London air quality network reported a moderate air pollution incident.

l www.londonair.org.uk

Cement industry pleased with emissions

The UK cement industry says it has met its designated emissions target three years ahead of schedule.

l The report is available from the BCA or can be downloaded from www.cementindustry.co.uk

Yet more Teom turmoil

If you thought the Teom FDMS had solved long running concerns over particle measurement, think again, suggests Jack Pease

Biomass bluster

A freedom of information request has revealed the intense pressure put on Scottish Government, local authorities and consultant AEA to gloss over air quality problems with biomass.

NO2 fails to fall

NOx emissions may be falling, but NO2 concentrations at the roadside are not

Passing on the problem

Pollution may cause genetic damage – but what if it can be passed on to our children, asks Jack Pease

l Air pollution and mutations in the germline: are humans at risk? Christopher M. Somers and David N. Cooper was published online last month in Human Genetics, www.springerlink.com

LTP3 guidance

The Government has released a consultation on draft guidance for Local Transport Plans (LTPs) – so called LTP3.

l www.dft.gov.uk/ltp

Wales consults

Wales is consulting on the shape of guidance for local air quality management guidance for reviews and assessments.

l http://new.wales.gov.uk/consultations/environment/localairmanagement/?lang=en

California hits trucks

The Californian Air Resources has adopted two regulations directly aimed at cleaning up emissions from the estimated one million heavy-duty diesel trucks that operate in the state.

l www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2008/truckbus08/truckbus08.htm

European cuts too

European Parliament has agreed Euro VI limits for new lorries and buses sold in Europe from 2012-13.

Inventory consultation

The Environment Agency is consulting on the shape of its emissions inventory.

l Consultation on England and Wales Pollution Invent ory 2009 to 2011 can be viewed on www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/ documents/Pollution_Inventory_Consultation_v9.pdf

Biomass bung

The Government has set aside £12 million to help expand biomass heating in England Grants are being made available for industry, businesses and community organisations to help towards the cost of buying and installing biomass-fuelled heating and combined heat & power projects.

l More details www.bioenergycapitalgrants.org.uk

New research centre

A new centre has been set up to help the Government understand natural and environmental risk.l www.cranfield.ac.uk

Modelling resources

The European Environment Agency has reviewed modelling tools able to simulate future change at a European scale.l Technical report No 11/2008 can be viewed on http://reports.eea.europa.eu/technical_report_2008_11/en

Boost for Birmingham

Professor Jon Ayres, chairman of Comeap, has become Professor of Environmental and Respiratory Medicine in the University of Birmingham. He was previously at Aberdeen. The University of Birmingham is recruiting candidates for posts in environmental health sciences with a proven research track record in air pollution and health.l For further information, see www.vacancies.bham.ac.uk/vacancies

PVR2 sees VOC recovery at the pumps

The European Commission renewed efforts to clamp down on harmful volatile organic compound (VOC) leakage from petrol retail forecourts.l http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/transport/petrol.htm

 

December 2008

Technical guidance nears

New technical guidance should be finalised before Christmas – but it will not include fully automated income tax-style online reporting.

Scottish biomass report lowers air impacts

Estimates of air quality impacts from wood burning boilers have been slashed in the latest study carried out by AEA for the Scottish Government.

BAA promises to stick to limits

A Government announcement on whether it will support expansion at Heathrow is now due in January. Compliance with NO2 limits near the airport is a major constraint on the expansion.

Emission factors: more delays

DfT has still not finalised emission factors that underpin future air quality estimates.

DMRB screening method revisions held up

Long awaited revisions to the Highways Agency DMRB screening method are held up because of delays to DfT’s emission factors (see news above).

Autumn statement and Queen’s Speech: few new environmental initiatives

There have been few environmental surprises in the Chancellor’s pre Budget report which flags up what taxation changes are due next year.

Dust complaints suppressed

Epuk has expressed disappointment that the Planning Bill has been passed with clauses that will limit the ability to complain about dust and noise nuisance.

London sees green policy U-turns

Mayor Boris Johnson has announced a series of policy changes affecting air quality and the environment.

Early winter episode hits London

There has been a pollution episode in south eastern England following a relatively ‘clean’ year.

l www.londonair.org.uk

Thin air at GLA

GLA’s air quality team are recruiting.

Hybrid cuts emissions

A novel hybrid system has been developed that is claimed to cut emissions.

l www.connaughtengineering.com

Comeap endorses WHO findings

Comeap has scrutinised World Health Organisation conclusions on child health and agree that they apply to the UK

Dust in west Wales

The Welsh Air Quality Forum report that there have been dust deposits in Pembrokeshire on the evening of Sunday 28 September.

l The Welsh Air Quality Forum website www.welshairquality.co.uk

Please use ‘wellbeing’ powers

Councils have failed to use an obscure legal power that could be used to aid the environment in their area.

l www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/evaluationwellbeingpower

Better regulation relaxes three sectors

Attempts to cut red tape from the regulation of 61 Part B local authority regulated LAPPC light industrial sectors has led to just three sectors being simplified to date.

l Regulation review of Part B activities can be viewed on

www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/brr-partb-activities/index.htm

Notes updated

There is a second simultaneous consultation on plans to update Part B process guidance notes.

l Six-year review of process guidance notes for part B installations – can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/sixyear-review/index.htm

South Yorks’ Diva advertises London scheme

The London Airtext service is to use creative agency Diva to raise its profile. Diva is the agency behind the well respected South Yorks Care4Air campaign.

l www.airtext.info

Surrey councils agree

Surrey County Council has signed up to an agreement to cooperate on possible future development of Gatwick Airport.

Gravesham site

ERG has created a new industrial emissions website for Gravesham Borough Council. The site follows the same pattern of the Hillingdon’s emission site also run by ERG.

l Gravesham’s website www.erg.kcl.ac.uk/News.aspx?NewsId=Graveshamwebsite

Climate committee reports

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has urged the Government to commit unilaterally to reducing emissions of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the UK by at least 34% in 2020 relative to 1990 levels (21% relative to 2005).

l Building a low-carbon economy – the UK’s contribution to tackling climate change www.theccc.org.uk

Climate cuts give air quality benefits

A new study estimates that increasing EU emission reduction targets from 20% to 30% by 2020 could increase co-benefits between air quality and climate change worth between 6.5 and 25 billion Euros per year.

l The co-benefits to health of a strong EU climate change policy can be downloaded from: http://assets.panda.org/downloads/co_benefits_to_health_report__september_2008.pdf

NECD targets hit by transport emissions

The EU is set to exceed air pollutant limits due to growth in road transport.

l The finalised report can be viewed on http://tinyurl.com/57vxdf

Car makers cry help

Car makers are asking for Government help arguing it would help reduce emissions.

l www.acea.be

Biomass questions

MPs quizzed ministers in Parliament on what information Defra holds on trends in the level of sales of wood-burning stoves over the last 12 months; and what estimate ministers have made of the effect of such trends on emissions.

Unitary preparation

New regulations covering transition arrangements have been put in place for unitary councils due to be created in March 2009.

Airalert for Herts and Beds

 The Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Air Quality Network has launched an air texting alert service.l More details of the service on www.airalert.info

Unscheduled bias

The national bias adjustment spreadsheet has just received an unscheduled update.l www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review/diffusiontube131108.xls

More hybrid buses

Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled a range of new, single and double deck, eco-friendly hybrid buses. Some 300 hybrid buses will be in operation by 2011.

 

November 2008

£1.5m Teom spending spree

Defra has chosen Air Monitors to supply 70 Teom FDMS’s for the national air quality monitoring network. 35 are already in place, the rest will be installed by the end of the year.

Teom 1400 lives on

The old style 1400 Teom will continue to be available

More details emerge on Defra derogations

Speaking at the recent Epuk air quality update meeting held in Birmingham, Defra’s Jonathan Lartice revealed further details on how the Government intends to take forward ‘compliance flexibility’ – essentially a three year derogation from meeting the EU air quality directive.

Sanctions sought

The Campaign for Clean Air in London (CCAL) is encouraging the European Commission to take the UK to court for failing to meet its air quality obligations.l www.cleanairinlondon.org

Guidance nears on biomass installations

Ruth Calderwood of the City of London told the Epuk conference held in Birmingham about the development of guidance for biomass boilers.

Air quality Beacon year ends

The Beacon year is now over – but there is still some life in them yet, Sefton’s Gary Mahoney told the Epuk air quality update in Birmingham last month.

Agencies gears up for global warming

The Epuk conference in Birmingham last month heard how the Environment Agency is attempting to integrate climate change into industrial permitting.

All change – Shaw out, Hunt in

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s recent Cabinet shake up sees air quality and noise minister Jonathan Shaw moving on. He had been in office for a year

l  www.decc.gov.uk

Agency solicits views on Monckton works

The Environment Agency is consulting directly with local residents to see whether they are happy with levels of nuisance emissions from the Royston Monckton Coke and Chemical site near Barnsley.

Camden welcomes portable fuel cell pack

Camden has revealed details of a hydrogen fuel cell generator which can be used to power roadside emissions testing equipment. It is offering to lend the equipment to other London boroughs. .

l Further details email gloria . esposito @ camden . gov . uk

Royal Society targets ozone ...

The Royal Society says ozone is a growing problem and that current emission controls are not enough to reduce concentrations.

l Ground-level ozone in the 21st century: future trends, impacts and policy implications http://royalsociety.org

..as WHO also notes need to work harder

The World Health Organisation’s European centre has produced a report on the health risks of ozone.

l Health risks of ozone from long-range transboundary air pollution www.euro.who.int

WHO prompt child exposure summary

WHO has set out a table of exposure of children to particle pollution.

l www.enhis.org

Monitors spread the message

Air Monitors has teamed up with Solus to provide a broadcasting system aimed at spreading air quality messages to the public.

l www.airmonitors.co.uk

Design guide launched for waste facilities

Guidance has been released on good design for waste facilities.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/facilities.htm

£10m for 100 low emission vehicles

£10m of funding from the Technology Strategy Board will be used to launch 100 ultra low carbon demonstration vehicles to be on roads by end of 2009.

l Further details available on the Technology Strategy Board website – www.innovateuk.org

Renewable fears from Epuk

Air quality issues have not been covered sufficiently, Epuk says in its response to the Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy consultation

Benn visits Epuk in Brighton

Environment minister Hilary Benn has visited Epuk in Brighton.

Fresh air walking for west London

West London is launching an internet site that suggests fresh air walking routes to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

l www.walkit.com/showcase    www.westlondonairquality.org.uk

Use more traps

Particle trap makers have come together to call on the Government to adopt guidance for local authorities to reduce emissions from construction and demolition sites.

l www.eic-uk.co.uk

Cranfield call

Next year’s Department of Health/HPA indoor and outdoor air pollution research workshop will be held at Cranfield University on 20-21 April.

l www.le.ac.uk/ieh

Electric potential

Cenex and Arup have recently completed a study of the scope of the UK transport sector to switch to electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. This study considers a wide range of issues relevant to the development and roll out of electric vehicles.

l www.berr.gov.uk/files/file48653.pdf

Travelbuster launch

Epuk has launched a new online travel calculator to encourage kids to walk to school.

l www.travelbuster.org.uk

California gets tough

Californian legislators have proposed new rules to tackle truck emissions.

l www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/newsrel.htm

Emissions report out

A new NAEI report presents the latest estimates of emissions to the atmosphere from the UK for the period 1970 to 2006.

l UK Emissions of air pollutants 1970 to 2006 can be viewed on the reports section of www.airquality.co.uk

Climate challenge

As Beacons move on from air quality, the City of London is one of the authorities nominated as a climate beacon.

Ships cut emissions

The International Maritime Organisation’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has agreed revised pollution limits for shipping.

More Heathrow woes

Opposition to the continued expansion of Heathrow is building up. US wood burners US wood stove makers have agreed to cuts in emissions.

l Further information www.epa.gov/woodheaters

Oldies for IAQM

The Institute of Air Quality Management has decided to accept fellowship applications.

l www.iaqm.co.uk

Data done

2006 1x1km CO2 emissions data is now available by local authority area. Also 2006 1x1km emissions data has been posted on the NAEI data warehouse.

l www.naei.org.uk

Fees set out for LAPC

Defra has outlined the level of charges that can be levied by councils for their industrial regulation activities.

l Consultation on local authority environmental regulation of industrial plant: 2009/10 fees and charges can be viewed on

www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/localauth-plantfees09-10/index.htm

Biomass shift?

Allan Jones, appointed by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone to promote renewable energy on new developments through London Development Agency, has left his job.

Motorcycles tested

DfT has just released a 2004 report assessing the performance and exhaust emissions for motorcycles over three different emission drive cycles.

l Motorcycle exhaust emissions factors and test cycles programme: final report can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/environment/research/cqvcf/ricardomotorcycleemissions.pdf

US lead tightened

The US has tightened its standard on lead.l www.epa.gov/air/lead/actions.html

Good practice

The review and assessment website has recently been updated with a number of good practice examples of Round 3 progress reports and detailed assessments.

l More details on the review and assessment helpdesk website www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review

 

October 2008

More monitor scrutiny

Bureau Veritas is coordinating efforts to get particle monitors Mcerts-approved. In the process, monitors may also gain EU equivalence.

Particle standard fears from Maynard

The Government’s senior air quality health advisor Bob Maynard has warned that the EU directive represents a watering down of standards and less protection than found in the US.

News from South Yorks' Care4Air conference held in Sheffield

New Defra man Vaughan makes his debut

Defra air quality specialist Robert Vaughan made his ‘debut’ speech at the Care4Air air quality conference held in Sheffield last month.

Air feeds into public health

The South Yorks Care4Air consortium last month held a conference highlighting how air quality is a key part of a wider public health message.

Environmental inequality: triple jeopardy

Environmental and health inequalities provide a ‘triple jeopardy’, claims NHS Sheffield public health director Jeremy Wright.

Pollutants for poverty

The Sheffield conference was shown a table rankings of income against the proportion of population in ‘high’ pollution areas.

Eco stars to cut emissions

A scheme is about to be launched in South Yorkshire aimed at cleaning up fleet operators operating into South Yorkshire.

Agency restates air quality policy

The Environment Agency has updated its eight-year-old air quality policy. It includes a stronger commitment to prevent air quality exceedences near industry.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/local/pdf/regulation-improve-air-qualitypdf.pdf

Epuk on trucks

Epuk is urging the Government to support EU proposals for tough air pollution limits on new trucks and buses.

Pollutants totted-up for regions

Emission inventories for key air pollutants have been published for the period 1990-2006 for the UK regions.

l Air quality pollutant inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: 1990-2006 can be viewed on www.naei.org.uk/reports.php

AEA updates greenhouse gas inventory

AEA has updated its greenhouse gas inventory for the UK.

l Greenhouse gas inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: 1990 – 2006 can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/ reports/list.php

Local climate emissions set out

The Government has published statistics for 2006 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at a local level.

l A summary, together with the full report and data tables are available from the e-Digest of Environmental Statistics on the Defra web site at: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statistics/globatmos/galocalghg.htm

2008 website review click here for full pdf

Air trumps climate at DfT

DfT is consulting on the European Commission proposal for a new heavy-duty vehicle emission standard (Euro VI). Significantly, air quality appears to have won against climate change in a hard-fought battle.

l www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open/euroviconsultation/

Cerc air quality data pulled by Chinese

Chinese authorities slapped a ban on Cerc’s air quality forecasting system during the Olympic games, it has emerged.

l www.beijingairquality.cn

UK set to delay

Confirmation has been given that the UK will extend compliance dates for EU air quality directives – first on PM10, and later with NO2.

l Consultation on UK report regarding plans and programmes to meet EU air quality limit values (reporting year 2006) can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/air-limitvalues2006/index.htm

Bristol Barnes

Jo Barnes, formerly with the Cornwall Air Quality Forum at Cornwall College, has joined the UWE Air Quality Management Resource Centre, Bristol.

Planning bill will cut nuisance rights

A minor clause inserted into the Planning Bill could take away the right to complain about dust and other nuisances arising from large projects.

Wales steelworks ‘action’ plan

More talking, more studies and more ‘consideration’ are the central planks of a Welsh action plan prepared for the Europe.

l http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/epq/ airqualitypollution/swalesaction/?lang=en

Agency improves the air in AQMAs

The Highways Agency’s 2007/2008 annual report says that its air quality targets have been met.

l www.highways.gov.uk

Newcastle tackles home fires burning

Newcastle environmental health officers are visiting homes and businesses throughout the borough in a bid to improve air quality.

Low emission zone review

A TfL report sets out early impacts of the London low emission zone. It is also intends to set a baseline to assess future impacts.

l Low emission zone impacts monitoring baseline report www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/lez/about/2027.aspx

Congestion charge progress detailed by TfL

An updated impacts report on the London congestion charge continues to find minimal air quality impacts.

l Central London congestion charging scheme impacts monitoring – sixth annual report: July 2008 can be viewed on www.tfl.gov.uk/ assets/downloads/sixth-annual-impacts-monitoring-report-2008-07.pdf

Somerset get together

A draft air quality strategy has been produced by all of Somerset’s councils and sets out how air quality fits into planning, transport and land use throughout the county.

l www.somerset.gov.uk/con sultation (click on air quality)

Emission control costs

A study has costed vehicle NOx controls and estimated impacts on CO2 and primary NO2 emissions.

l www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/environment/research/co2no2emissions.pdf

Mendip smoke fine

A Mendip businessman has been fined £4,000 by magistrates for illegal bonfires in Frome.

Europe assesses exposure

The European Environment Agency has calculated the percentage of the urban population in EEA-32 potentially exposed to pollutant concentrations over selected limit/target values.

l http://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/atlas/viewdata/viewpub.asp?id=3133

Transport dominates

The European Environment Agency says road transport remains the key source of NOx, CO and non-methane volatile organic compounds and the second-most important source of fine particulate emissions (PM10 and PM2.5) in the EU-27.

l Data in the report will be made available through the EEA’s Dataservice later in 2008. website http://reports. eea.europa.eu/ technical_report_2008_7/en

Real vehicles tested

In service cars and vans which have passed MOT tests have been retested in a lab to see if their emissions meet standards.

l In-service vehicle testing programme 2007-08 www. dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/environment/research/cqvcf/inservicetesting/inservicetesting0708

Asthma exercise

In a recent Asthma UK survey, 76% of people with asthma reported that exercise triggers their asthma.

AB Teom withdrawn

Teom maker Thermo has announced withdrawal of the Teom 1400AB.l www.rpco.com/discontinue/index.htm

Going unitary

Nine applications for unitary status in 2009 have been successful.

Farm code

Defra is consulting on the revised Code of good agricultural practice to protect water, soil and air quality. It covers items such as minimising ammonia emissions.l www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/cogap-rev/index.htm

 

August 2008

Features this month:

Air Quality Grant: winners count their luck: we rank the winners and losers and ask what is being done with the money

2008 guidance arrives: New policy and technical guidance is proposed for consultation – what changes will it provoke, asks Jack Pease

Just one takes air challenge

Just one local authority – the City of London – has chosen to adopt air quality as a local target.l More details www.defra.gov.uk/environment/localgovindicators/index.htm

Emission factors released (at last)

Long awaited updated emission factors have been released by DfT for consultation.l The consultation documents can be found at www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open/consultvehicleemission/

Teoms corrected

Teom measurements can now be corrected online.l www.volatile-correction-model.info

Deadline for PM10 exemptions

The European Commission has set a deadline of 31st October 2008 for member states to submit applications for extensions to PM10 deadlines.

l http://europa.eu/rapid/press ReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1112&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&gui0Language=en#fn2

Sting in the tale for derogation

Applying for a derogation for poor air quality could have a sting in its tale, warns the Campaign for Clean Air in London.

l Campaign website: www.cleanairinlondon.org

Councils hit by NOx-eating hype

Councils are being targeted by firms trying to sell NOX -eating coatings to improve air quality. Some recipients of a mailshot are concerned that local authorities may install the coatings and be disappointed with the outcome.

l www.cleanaircampaign.co.uk

Trade associations argue on plant emissions

Trade associations are arguing over the need to tackle off road emissions from construction plant.

Probe demanded into monitoring flaws

The Campaign for Clean Air in London (CAiL) has called for an investigation into Defra monitoring problems that has jeopardised years of gravimetric particle data (AQB July p1).

l www.cleanairinlondon.org

Diffusion tube preparation analysed

Air Quality Consultants has carried out an exhaustive analysis of diffusion tube preparation techniques.

l Analysis of factors influencing diffusion tube performance can be viewed on the reports section of www.airquality.co.uk

Compendium of indicators released

Sustainable development indicators in your pocket 2008 has been released.

l Weblink: www.sustainable-development.gov.uk.

Norwich agrees LEZ for buses

A low emission zone – the first UK zone outside London – is being introduced in Norwich.

Biomass fears recognised in new strategy

The Government has unveiled its renewable energy strategy promising a huge increase in commitment to alternative energy such as wind and biomass.

l http://renewableconsultation.berr.gov.uk/

Biofuel backdown

The Government is adopting a more modest target for use of biofuels as a result of a new report listing emerging evidence on the impact on world food markets and concerns about sustainable sourcing.

Biomass guidance

AEA has completed its screening guidance for biomass boilers. technical guidance.

l Screening assessment for biomass boilers www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/cat18/0806261519_methods.pdf

Glasgow fire all-clear

Daily PM10 objectives were not breached following a large fire at a scrap metal merchant in Renfrew last month.

l www.scottishairquality.co.uk/reports.php?item=217

Ashtead buys in

Equipment supplier and rental firm Ashtead Technology Ltd has been subject to a management buyout for £95.6m from Ashtead Group plc.

l website www.ashtead-technology.com

All change in London

As planned, the London low emission zone now includes lorries over 3.5 tonnes, buses and coaches in the penalty charge scheme.

Late ozone alert

There has been an ozone alert – the first this year, rather late because of wet weather so far this year.

£100,000 bill

Cement campaigner Lillian Pallikaropoulos is facing a bill of over £100,000 following her failure in the High Court to revoke the Rugby plant’s permit.

Bodmin blues

North Cornwall District Council is declaring Bodmin Town Centre an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), and will introduce measures to reduce air pollution and improve air quality.

Beacon cash

16 Beacon councils – including Greenwich – will share £1.5m for

EEB slams delays

European environmental group EEB claims the National Emissions Ceilings Directive (NEC Directive), which was expected to undergo revision in 2008, has been put on hold for an undetermined period by the European Commission.

Luton alert

Luton is to adopt the Airalert service pioneered by Sussex authorities. Luton’s text, email and phone air quality alerting service will be jointly provided by Sussex-air and King’s College London (ERG).

l www.sussex-air.net

Waste fuels given all clear

Waste fuel burning in cement kilns will not create a significant health risk, believes Comeap.

l Statement on the use of substitute fuels in cement works can be viewed on www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/comeap/statementsreports/cement-kilns-statement.pdf

Rushlight call

Entries are being sought for the Rushlight Awards for environmental technologies and innovations 2008.l Awards website www.rushlightawards.co.uk

Heathrow later

A decision on expansion at Heathrow will not now take place until later this year. Further studies have been ordered into environmental equality aspects of the expansion.

 

July 2008

PM data unreliable

Recent years of UK particle data may be fundamentally wrong.l Monitoring networks analysis of trends in gravimetric particulate mass measurements in the UK by Richard Maggs et al, and Defra’s letter Analysis of trends in particulate matter in the UK: measurement issues can be viewed on the reports section of www.airquality.co.uk

Joined up warning to Government

A clutch of environmental groups have joined together in a bid to discourage the Government from applying for a derogation from EU air quality laws.

Gong for Pilling

Leeds University’s Professor Mike Pilling, outgoing chairman of the Air Quality Expert Group, has received a CBE

Directive published

The new European Union Directive on ambient air quality has now entered into force. The directive was finally agreed earlier this year (AQB May p1) and simply needed to be published as its final stage.

l The directive can be viewed on http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:152:0001:0044:EN:PDF

Air quality consultancies ranked

Air Quality Bulletin has contacted key consultants in the UK air quality market. We asked the question “how many full time-equivalent people work on UK air quality consultancy but excluding technical and support staff”?

News from the recent Iapsc meeting held in London

DMRB runs late – factors blamed

The long running update of the DMRB air quality screening model should be ready by the end of the year, the Highways Agency’s Michele Hackman told IAPSC.

Agency disagrees with councils on AQMAs

The Highways Agency air quality specialist Michele Hackman told Iapsc delegates of recent Agency initiatives. One shock finding is that the Agency disbelieves nearly half of all road-prompted air quality management areas (AQMAs).

Guidance soon on crushing triviality

Jonathan Lartice, Defra air quality expert, told Iapsc that guidance will soon be issued on small mobile crushers.

Technical guidance due soon

More details have emerged on technical guidance that is set to be released for consultation imminently.

Buncefield: could do better

The Environment Agency is being funded to set up an emergency air quality response capability.

Networks did pick up Buncefield plume

The London and south east England monitoring network proved crucial in picking up plume grounding from the Buncefield fire, Gary Fuller of ERG told the recent Iapsc conference.

Highways Agency tries real time sensing

The Highways Agency’s Michele Hackman revealed that the Agency is cooperating with a multi-disciplinary project to develop real time emissions sensing. The project aims to create a new sensing infrastructure based on a combination of ad-hoc mobile and fixed sensors.

l www.message-project.org

NOx eating barrier for Manchester route

The Highways Agency has shown off its new ‘Noxer’ barrier being installed on the M60 near Manchester. It features NOx reducing paint on a concrete noise barrier – corrugations offering up more surface area of reactant.

London LEZ toughens

The second phase of the London low emission zone starts next week.

Final low emission guidance released

The final version of the consultation on new guidance for use of low emission strategies has been launched

l The report is available from cenex  www.cenex.co.uk

Defra consults on European IPPC ‘greybits’

Defra is seeking comments on proposed changes to the European Commission’s proposed Directive on Industrial Emissions (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) (Recast).

l www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/emissions-greybits/

Bristol trials Trafficbox

Enviro Technology, working in partnership with Bristol City Council, has installed a Trafficbox compact air quality monitoring system in Bristol’s Old Market for evaluation purposes.

l www.et.co.uk

RCEP to continue

Defra will continue to support the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, it has said in its response to a review of the group.

l Copies of the review report and the government response can be downloaded from the Defra website www.defra.gov.uk/environment/rcep/review2006-07.htm

Vaughan vaults in

The replacement for Defra air quality expert Sarah Dudgeon is Robert Vaughan.

Jersey air scrutiny

A scrutiny panel looking at delays in implementing air quality action in Jersey has blamed an unclear division of responsibilities.

l www.scrutiny.gov.je

Airport review

Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly today called for evidence for its review into the economic regulation of airports.

l www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/aviation/airports/reviewregulationukairports

Best cars named

The Toyota Yaris has been named Green Car of the Year 2008 by the Environmental Transport Association. The least-green car is the 8-litre Dodge SRT-10 sports car.

l The car buyers’ guide is at www.eta.co.uk

Lincs biomass plan

Energy minister Malcolm Wicks has given the go ahead to Helius Energy to build a 65 MW biomass power station near Stallingborough in North East Lincolnshire.

Odour workshop

The Composting Association (soon to become the Association for Organics Recycling) is running four free workshops jointly with the Environment Agency. The first will be held in Birmingham on Wednesday 9 July.

l www.compost.org.uk

Manchester charge

The Government will invest £2.8 billion across Greater Manchester – if it adopts a peak time congestion charge.

l More details are available www.gmfuturetransport.co.uk

Walking guidance

Guidance has been released on producing maps to help walking and reduce pollution.

l Guidance and research on producing walking maps can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainable/walking/maps.pdf

AEA buys US firm

AEA has bought Project Performance Corporation for £33m. The US firm is an IT outfit which does environmental database work for the US Government. AEA hopes there will be synergies between its UK emissions inventory, climate change and energy efficiency expertise with work in the States. It will fund the acquisition with a rights issue.

l www.aeat.com

Lighthouse added

Air Monitors has added a “Lighthouse” to its product portfolio.l www.airmonitors.co.uk

Southwell for Thermo

Roger Southwell has joined Thermo’s Air Quality Instrument (AQI) division.

Taxi clean up

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced funding of £1m to trial low carbon technology in London’s taxi fleet.

 

June 2008

Web reporting soon says Defra

Defra has revealed that next year local authorities will be able to submit their updating and screening assessments and progress reports (but not detailed assessments) online.

Airport contribution lifts local ultrafines

Los Angeles airport lifts concentrations of ultrafine particles in the locality, say US researchers.

Biomass plea fails

Protesters against a huge biomass plant in Port Talbot have lost their High Court challenge against the plans.

News from the annual aEA air quality and forecasting conference held in London

2007 episodes explained

AEA’s Paul Willis told the forecasting conference about forecasting accuracy in 2007.

Cerc in Olympic forecasting push

Consultant Cerc is helping the Chinese authorities provide air quality forecasts for the Olympic games.l www.cerc.co.uk/ DRAGON2.pdf

Emergency role for EA?

At last month’s air quality forecasting conference held in London, it emerged the Environment Agency may be given a role for monitoring smoke during emergencies.

Network changes

Defra’s Janet Dixon also updated the forecasting conference on the progress of changes to the national monitoring network. Many changes are being implemented to comply with the new air quality directive.

Generators not to blame, say generators

Power stations should not be blamed as a major source of air quality health effects, Steve Griffiths of power generator Eon has told the forecasting conference. Eon cooperates with other generators for modelling.

Open source key to transparency

Open source (ie free) statistical analysis software could avoid allegations that data is being manipulated, Leeds University’s David Carslaw has argued.

 

Profits seized from crusher firm

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s environmental health officers claim they are the first in Wales to use the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover the money received by a firm carrying out illegal crushing.

Report demands more industrial monitoring

New, cheaper and more accurate ambient air quality monitors could reduce uncertainty in modelling, a report produced by Westlakes for the Environment Agency concludes.

l Integration of air quality modelling and monitoring methods: review and applications can be viewed on http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/pdf/SCHO0308BOAE-e-e.pdf

Green Government targets missed

A new report by the thinktank Policy Exchange claims that the Government will miss over half of the green targets it has set since 1997.

Boris takes London: the pledges

Last month Boris Johnson became London Mayor, replacing Ken Livingstone.

LEZs do make a difference

Emissions expert Lucy Sadler has refuted an assertion in last month’s AQB that low emission zones in Scandinavia prompted by road dust are not cost effective.

Extend machinery guidance, pleads EIC

The Environmental Industries Commission has asked the Government to extend London guidance on off-road construction plant to the rest of the UK.

l www.eic-uk.co.uk

Chris Smith is chair

(Lord) Chris Smith is taking over from Sir John Harman as chairman of the Environment Agency.

AEF highlights aviation impacts

Protest group the Aviation Environment Federation says it has unearthed data from an unpublished report that highlights the impact of airport expansion.

l www.aef.org.uk

UWE recruits

The UWE air quality management Resource Centre is looking for a replacement for Johanna Symons who is leaving AQMRC to return to her native New Zealand.

l The advert can be viewed on http://info.uwe.ac.uk/vacancies/jobdetails.asp?ref=RAF/AQMRWS

New site for Airalert

ERG has created a new website for Sussex’s Airalert air quality warning service.

l  www.airalert.info

EPA leads on lead

The US Environmental Protection Agency is considering toughening up lead standards.

l www.epa.gov/air/lead

In Parliament

Lord Dykes asked the Government whether, following the Environment Agency’s concerns on air pollution, it will cancel the third runway at Heathrow airport?

LEZ and fire ban for Glasgow?

Glasgow has updated its air quality action plan. It rejects congestion charging and car clubs, but will aim for a low emission zone and bonfire ban.

Tyrrell heads Grimm UK

The German dust analyser company Grimm Aerosol Technik has opened up a new UK division Grimm Aerosol UK Ltd. in Northampton.

l Grimm Aerosol UK, Chris Tyrrell email ct@grimm-aerosol.com

Power stations could cut emissions

NOX and SOX from power stations could have been considerably lower in 2004, says the European Environment Agency.

l Air pollution from electricity-generating large combustion plants www.eea.europa.eu

CEMS manager for ET

Phil Battye has become CEMS engineering manager at Enviro Technology.

European attainment of emission ceilings: deadlines missed

Preliminary analysis of data reported under the EU National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC directive) by member states at the end of 2007 indicates that more countries anticipate missing one or more of their legally-binding 2010 emission ceilings compared to last year.

l NEC Status preliminary results 2008 data can be viewed on www.eea.europa.eu

Summer smog

2008’s first summer smog warning was issued in May. High levels of ozone were forecast for England and Scotland.

Notts notice

The Environment Agency has issued Nottingham’s Eastcroft municipal waste incinerator with an enforcement notice and formal warning.

Defra admits slippage

Defra has admitted that it is slipping on meeting air quality targets.

l www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/deprep/2008/index.htm

2007 ozone down

Ozone levels during last year’s damp summer were the lowest in a decade, the European Environment Agency has recorded.l Air pollution by ozone across Europe during summer 2007 http://reports.eea.europa.eu/technical_report_2008_5/

Aqeg pronounces on ozone

The Air Quality Expert Group (Aqeg) has rounded off the first phase of its existence by drafting a report on ozone. Aqeg sets out scientific evidence to inform UK control strategies for ozone (despite most precursors coming from elsewhere).

 

May 2008

Bad odour hits Dunbar

A cement works has been issued with an enforcement notice because of bad smells caused by plume grounding. Despite the strength of the odour, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) says health limits are not being breached.

‘Europong’ wafts in from Europe

There was a widely reported ‘bad odour’ event over England last month.

Directive agreed

The new European air quality directive has finally been adopted after years of discussion. It replaces the previous framework directive and daughter directives.l The Directive can be found onhttp://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/07/st03/st03696-re01.en07.pdf

Rugby cement Lords appeal fails

Rugby protesters have lost their appeal in the House of Lords against waste burning at the cement plant.

l The appeal decision can be viewed on www.richardbuxton.co.uk/v3.0/?q=view/alltranscripts

Burn more waste wood, Government urges

The Government is encouraging burning of waste wood.

l Waste wood information report www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/topics/woodwaste.htm

News from 11th Institute of Environment and Health meeting held at cranfield

Waste fuels: ‘dread’ terms

Patrick Saunders of the Health Protection Agency outlined to the IEH conference the problems of communicating to the public that burning of waste in cement kilns should lead to no increased health effects.

No effect found for congestion charge

London researchers have found the congestion charge has had little effect on air pollution concentrations.

IEH Cranfield round up: smoking cuts PM2.5

The newly-implemented smoking ban has cut indoor air quality levels to that found outside, Sean Semple of Aberdeen University told delegates at the IEH meeting.

Metrics compared

Researchers have listed various pollution metrics side by side in a bid to see which is most likely to cause health effects.

IEH website revamp

The Institute of Environment and Health has revamped its website. Proceedings from past meetings can be downloaded www.cranfield.ac.uk/Health/ResearchAreas/EnvironmentHealth/IEH/page19562.jsp

London emitters pushed out

With the London low emission zone now over two months old, evidence suggests the number of non-compliant vehicles is falling.

Court upholds London emissions decision

Transport for London (TfL) has won a legal challenge against pollution equipment maker Eco-Power after a decision to withdraw approval of a modified emission reduction system.

Off-road emission scheme finalised

The Mayor of London has launched an accreditation scheme to encourage construction and demolition sites to cut harmful exhaust emissions.

Controls mooted for shipping

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) looks set to impose caps on sulphur in shipping fuels later this year.

Comeap given clean bill of health

A Government audit of the work of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution (Comeap) has given it a glowing report.

l www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/comeap

Agency rated in Hampton review

“Better regulation” within the Environment Agency has been assessed in a new review.

l Effective inspection and enforcement: implementing the Hampton vision in the Environment Agency can be viewed on www.nao.org.uk/publications/EA_Hampton_report.pdf

New EPR permits now in

New Environmental Permitting Regulations have come into force in England and Wales in a bid to cut red tape.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/epp/ or the Agency’s webpage www.environment-agency.gov.uk/epr

Ecotowns mention air

A consultation on Ecotowns includes one mention of air quality among measures aimed primarily at climate change.

l Eco-towns: Living a greener future – consultation paper

www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/ecotownsgreenerfuture

Tube update

The UWE helpdesk reports that further investigation has found that one of the co-location studies for Lambeth Scientific Services was provided with automatic monitor results in ppb rather than µg/m3.

l www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review/diffusiontube230408.xls

Airbase update

An update of AirBase with 2007 air quality data has been released. The data has become available through the new interactive AirBase viewer of the European Environment Agency (EEA) as well as through the new data file download page.

l EEA’s web site http://air-climate.eionet.europa.eu

Airwatch redone

The Heathrow Airwatch website has been relaunched.

l website www.heathrow airwatch.org.uk.

Betty Ng leaves agency for Jacobs

The Environment Agency’s head of modelling Betty Ng has left to join Jacobs Babtie.

Landscapes valued

An attempt is being made to place monetary values on landscapes as part of the NATA appraisal method for transport schemes.

l R105 – Valuing transport’s impact on the natural environment can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/economics/rdg/landscape/report.pdf

Roads Agency pledge

The Highways Agency, in its latest 08/09 business plan, aims to do work in three air quality management areas to “mitigate the potentially adverse impact of strategic roads and take opportunities to enhance the environment taking into account value for money”.

l Highways Agency Business Plan 08/09 can be viewed on www.highways.gov.uk

Roadside testing for Devon

A £20,000 Defra grant has enabled five local authorities in Devon to undertake a two-part study into vehicle emissions using Enviro Technology’s Accuscan 4600 roadside testing equipment.

BAM approved

Enviro Technology has announced that the BAM 1020 has become the first instrument to successfully be awarded US EPA Environmental Protection Agency Class III equivalency designation for a continuous PM 2.5 particulate monitor.

Heavy metals report for 2007

NPL has reported on levels of heavy metals in 2007.

l Annual report for 2007 on the UK heavy metals monitoring network

www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

UK emissions split into regions

An attempt has been made to split the UK emissions inventory and apportion emissions to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

l Air quality pollutant inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: 1990 – 2005 can be viewed on the reports section of www.airquality.co.uk

First ozone alert for SE England

A moderate ozone event was recorded on the weekend of 26th/27th of April, Kings College ERG has reported (the first ozone event of the year).

l www.londonair.org.uk

Air quality indicator finalised

The UK air quality indicator has been finalised.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statistics/airqual/index.htm

2006 forecasting performance logged

AEA has reported on forecasting success during 2006.

l UK Air Quality Forecasting: Annual Report 2006 can be viewed on

www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

Emission inventory updated

The latest (2006) National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) has been published covering UK air pollutants.

l Detailed data tables for these pollutants, together with many other environmental statistics, can be found on the Defra web site at: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statistics/index.htm

Biofuel increase

Forecourt fuels must now comply with the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) which requires 2.5% of all road fuels sold to come from biofuels, rising to 5% by 2010.

Cenex boost

The DfT has appointed Cenex (Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies) to run the new low-carbon vehicle public procurement programme.

O2 may air text

Mobile phone firm O2 is looking at the possibility of introducing a text alert service for areas of poor air quality.

Scotland reports

AEA has reviewed events in Scottish air quality as part of its contract to run the Scottish Government air quality website.

l The report can be viewed on www.scottishairquality.co.uk

Emissions explained

An analysis of how UK emission maps are produced has been published.l NAEI UK emission mapping methodology 2005 www.airquality.co.uk

Securing lower emissions

The Beacon low emission strategy group has completed its guidance. We take a quick look

Air quality enters London politics

The increasingly imaginative Campaign for Clean Air in London pulled politicians together to discuss air quality in London

 

April 2008

Dundee dumps boiler plan

Plans for a large biomass boiler to support a new greenfield development have been rejected by Dundee City Council because of pollution fears.l Planning documents can be viewed onhttp://idoxwam.dundeecity.gov.uk/WAM133/findCaseFile.do?apptype=DC&appNumber=07/00226/FUL

Low emissions

A pre-consultation version of a guide on reducing emissions from developments was launched at the Epuk workshop.l Low emission strategies – using the planning system to reduce transport emissions can be viewed on www.cenex.co.uk

5-yr term for AEA

AEA has won has won a further five year extension to its UK contract to manage air quality forecasting, emissions and data services.

Sharp increase in NO2 in Avon questioned

The Bradford on Avon Preservation Trust is highlighting the dangers of increasing NO2 in the town.

l Bradford on Avon Preservation Trust’s report is available on its website www.airquality.boapt.talktalk.net

News from the RECENT Epuk air quality spring workshop held in Warwick

Defra to seek exemption

Defra has confirmed that the Government fully intends seek an extension to EU deadlines for meeting objectives.

More updates on Defra air quality intentions

Jonathan Lartice is currently acting as head of local air quality following the departure of Sarah Dudgeon from Defra’s Air Quality Programme (Editor’s comment: Defra has phased out the word ‘division’ in favour of ‘programme’ – yugh!) . He outlined a number of issues including:

Biomass rethink

Defra is currently modelling the potential air quality impacts of widespread national uptake of biomass.

Medics outline expert action

The EPUK spring workshop was brought up to date on the work of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution (Comeap)

Aqeg’s ozone report nears publication

The Air Quality Expert Group (Aqeg) is set to conclude its draft report into ground level ozone in the next few weeks.

Emission factors

TRL’s Ian McCrae told the Epuk spring workshop audience about efforts to improve the accuracy of emission factors.

Iapsc looms

The 11th June IAPSC meeting will include topics on emergency response to incidents affecting air quality, transport and local air quality management (including biomass).

l More details www.iapsc.org.uk

Epuk counters that biomass has its place

Epuk (ex NSCA) and the Renewable Energy Association have joined forces to defend biomass against recent adverse publicity.

Small biomass is not necessarily beautiful

Biomass impacts have been studied not just during burning, but also in production by the University of Manchester.

l Environmental Research Letters website http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/futures/33527

Home fires burn

Over half of organic air pollution in Europe during winter comes not from fossil fuel burning, but from domestic chimneys, bonfires and agricultural burning according to new results published by the EU-funded Carbosol project.

l Carbosol project weblink www.vein.hu/carbosol

Lacors bio-fears

Lacors has written to the Government to call for a full review into the impact of biofuel use on air quality after research showed it could be doing more harm than good.

Agency drafts waste permits

The Environment Agency has proposed draft standard permits aimed at regulating waste activities.

l The draft permit for household, commercial and industrial waste transfer station with treatment (no building) can be viewed on www.environment-agency.gov.uk/commondata/acrobat/sr4_1853523.pdf

Best practice mooted for waste site dust

The Apple (Air Pollution Planning and the Local Environment) group is working with the Environment Agency to draft a code of best practice to minimise the air pollution arising from waste management sites.

New funding stream may be used for air

Air quality is included as a theme in a £10m research and development initiative by the Technology Strategy Board.

l Further information is available at the following website: www.technologyprogramme.org.uk

NI 194 finalised

Air quality indicator NI 194 has been finalised following a consultation earlier this year.

l The tool to be used to calculate these emissions is available at:

www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/local/indicator.htm  Further help will be included in the update of the technical guidance later in 2008.

LAPC charges agreed

Defra has announced that LAPPC and LA-IPPC fees and charges for 2008-2009 will increase by 3%.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/localauth/fees-risk/fees.htm

News from Greenwich’s Beacon planning and air quality event held on the Thames

Woolwich s106

Greenwich is involved in yet another high profile planning case that is including tight air quality conditions.

Guidance weak says Bull

Arup air quality expert Michael Bull says that air quality action plans and guidance are not tough enough.

Croydon suggests alternative tack

Steven Potter of Croydon told the Greenwich Beacon planning event of an alternative way of tackling air quality given the weakness of current guidance in reducing emissions.

l The report can be found on the planning section of www.croydon.gov.uk

08/09 grant guidance released

Defra has released details of the latest air quality grant programme. l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/local/aqgrant/index.htm

Defra chooses Aetholometers for smoke

Air Monitors is to supply Defra with 22 units of dual-wavelength Aethalometers for installation into the UK black smoke monitoring network.

l More information www.airmonitors.co.uk

Hoskin hops

On the stands at the recent Epuk spring workshop, it emerged that Steven Hoskin has left Enviro Technology and will join Air Monitors in June

HPA consults on children’s health

The UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) has set out how it aims to improve child public health.

l www.hpa.org.uk/cehape

Tube changes

A number of changes have taken place to the diffusion tube database since the last release in February 2008. The latest version (v. 03/08) can be found on www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review/diffusiontube310308.xls.

l The diffusion tube precision summary figure has also been updated at

www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review/tube_precision_2007(Mar_08).pdf

Bus subsidy reform mooted

Bus subsidies may be reformed finally addressing criticism that fuel grants discourage operators from greening their fleets.

l Local bus service support – options for reform can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open/bussubsidy

Porsche files case

Porsche officially applied for a judicial review challenging the Mayor’s £25 charge congestion charge in the High Court.l www.porschejudicialreview.co.uk

Budget measures

A series of measures were included in last month’s Budget that impact on air quality. introduction in 2011.l www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget/budget_08/report/bud_bud08_repindex.cfm

 

March 2008

AQMA houses refused

Plans for semi detached houses have been refused on air quality grounds in Halifax.l The judgement can be viewed on http://tinyurl.com/26ct3j

Heathrow debate heats up as consultation ends

As the consultation on expanding Heathrow closes, councils and pressure groups have submitted their responses to the Government. Replies are split between support on economic grounds, and opposition on air quality and noise.

Dudgeon departs

Defra air quality strategy boss Sarah Dudgeon has moved on.

Climate AQ impact

A report on the health and air quality impacts of climate change has been updated.l Health effects of climate change in the UK, February 2008 was produced by the Health Protection Agency and can be downloaded on www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_080702

BAA admits modelling mistake

BAA has admitted that dispersion modelling it carried out in support of its application to expand Stansted Airport was wrong. It now says that some areas will breach standards.

ADMS Airports launched for public use

Consultant Cerc has released the ADMS Airport modelling package.l www.cerc.co.uk

Hillingdon looks at own fleet emissions

A fleet audit has been carried out by the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Bath monitored

Bath schoolchildren have been monitoring carbon monoxide levels on the walking route between two school sites.

Doncaster heads back to school

Doncaster Council is going into schools to educate primary school children about the importance of air quality.l Further information www.doncaster.gov.uk/airq/index.asp

Sussex talks on climate change challenge

South east England councils have heard about the challenge of integrating climate change action with air quality.

Nano fears prompts research programme

Increasing fears about engineered nanoparticles have prompted more research funding on potential health effects.l website www.nihr-ccf.org. uk/site/docdatabase/prp/prp_nanotox_docs/PRP%20Nanotechnologies%20-%20research%20brief.doc

Permit revamp

Core guidance on the new environmental permitting regime has been released. l Environmental permitting core guidance can be downloaded from www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/localauth/pubs/guidance/manuals.htm

Coventry deaths?

 Incineration in Coventry is raising infant death rates, anti incinerator campaigners claims.

l www.ukhr.org

Swiss nanotalks

The 12th conference on combustion generated nanoparticles will take place in Zurich on 23rd–25th June.

l www.lav.ethz.ch/nanoparticleconf/index

Tube analysis guidance finalised

Guidance on the analysis and use of nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes has been released in a bid to harmonise practice among local authorities.

l Guidance can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/reports.php?report_id=499

EPUK forum to raise biomass fears

EPUK (formerly the NSCA) has put together a working group to consider the conflicting air quality and climate change issues concerning biomass installations.

Scots biomass boost

Scottish Government is being urged to encourage renewable heat (including biomass) despite fears about air pollution.

l Scotland’s renewable heat strategy: recommendations to Scottish ministers can be viewed on www.scotland.gov.uk/resource/doc/211131/0055786.pdf

London Councils link

London Councils has posted its biomass study on the web (AQB January p1). l It can be found at www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/doc.asp?doc=21683&cat=1027

Bristol cohort moves on to air

The recent UWE conference heard details of a huge study of babies born in Bristol and how they could help air pollution and health research.

Enviro Technology’s Trafficbox packs it in

Enviro Technology launched its Trafficbox at the UWE/EPUK Bristol conference – a small cabinet containing instruments designed to monitor various pollutants.

l www.et.co.uk

UWE and Cranfield in composting probe

UWE in partnership with Cranfield University is studying toxic emissions from composting activities.

LTp tie up rated

A postgrad student has studied the incorporation of air quality action plans in the local transport plan process.

Fresh air for London walkers

Central London walkers can now benefit from a new service that helps them plan out ‘fresh-air routes’ that avoid pollution areas.

l www.walkit.com

ERG releases annual London AQ report

The 13th annual report of the London Air Quality Network has been published. The report spans both 2005 and 2006 providing detailed results of measurements in 2005 and outlining the pollution changes during 2006

l www.londonair.org.uk

Early pollution event noted by ERG

Elevated concentrations of particles and NO2 have been measured at several monitoring sites across London and south-east England between 10th-13th February 2008.

l www.londonair.org.uk

Forecasting meet

This years National Air Quality Forecasting Seminar is to be held on May 14th in London. Themes will include health and advanced modelling.

l Contact AEA, Iarla Kilbane-Dawe email I.Kilbane-Dawe@aeat.co.uk

Yorkshire fleet event

Sheffield City Council and Cenex are holding a two day event on the 10th and 11th of March aimed at greening transport fleets.

l www.cenex.co.uk/news-industryevents.asp

Biofuel rethink

The Government is reviewing its biofuels policy.

l www.dft.gov.uk/rfa

Charge yields ‘modest’ benefit

The London congestion charge has led to a modest benefit in life expectancy London researchers suggest.

l Spatial and socioeconomic air pollution and mortality benefits of the London Congestion charge, Cathryn Tonne et al, Occupational and Environmental Medicine online. website http://oem.bmj.com

Congestion charge draws mixed views

London mayor Ken Livingstone is going ahead with plans to charge larger ‘gas guzzlers’ £25 through the central London congestion charge.

l www.porschejudicialreview.co.uk

Inspired data

Consultant Bureau Veritas is to develop and prototype Inspire directive-technical specifications for air, water, waste and biodiversity environmental monitoring facilities for the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Nanoparticles studied

A study has been released that sets out the risks posed by engineered nanoparticles.

l Characterising the potential risks posed by engineered nanoparticles can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/environment/nanotech/research/reports

More work on FDMS model

ERG has a won a contract to further develop a model that may save the Teom

Lacors gets its kit out

Local authority group Lacors has produced a user-friendly ‘toolkit’ for helping councils take action on air quality.l Air quality toolkit: local action for cleaner air can be viewed on www.lacors.gov.uk/lacors/upload/16825.doc

 

February 2008

Cank convenes civil action

A protest group formed of residents near the North Wales Padeswood cement plant is to launch a civil court action.

Rugby back in Court

Protesters seeking to clean up Cemex’s Rugby cement works have had their appeal heard in the High Court.

White Horse AQMA prompts Hip fears

Plans to declare an air quality management area in the Vale of White Horse has led to fears about house values.

10,000 dirties?

Ten thousand lorries may not be compliant with London low emission zone, the Freight Transport Association has claimed as the zone gets underway.

£50m up for grabs

The Department of Health and the ODPM have allocated £50m for technology systems for preventative health. The money could be used for air quality alerting services (such as Sussex Airtext) – but money is only available until April.

l email I.Kilbane- Dawe @ aeat.co.uk

Action plan toolkit

Lacors has produced an action planning toolkit. More details next month.

l www.lacors.gov.uk/lacors/ upload/16825.doc

Concentration conundrum

Air quality experts have questioned UK air quality policy given that action does not appear to be cutting pollutant concentrations.

Google Earth for airquality.co.uk

A Google Earth interface has been added to the UK www.airquality.co.uk website, following on from Sheffield’s adoption of the technology (AQB January p2).

Reports section of www.airquality.co.uk

Decline stalls

www.airquality.co.uk reports that data from the acid deposition network has been released for 2006.

UK summary report

Another report Air Quality in the UK summarises 2006 measurements from large-scale national air pollution monitoring networks operated on behalf of Defra and the devolved administrations. The report sits in a newly-created home page on www.airquality.co.uk.

Port pollution tacked by California

California is getting tough on port pollution by targeting ships and trucks.

London told incineration bad ...

A report commissioned by the London Mayor highlights disadvantages of incineration and landfill.

l The report Greenhouse gas balances of waste management scenarios can be viewed at: www.london.gov.uk/mayor/environment/waste/climate-change/index.jsp

.. but government highlights benefits

Dberr (formerly the DTi) has released a report highlighting the business opportunities from increased uptake of incineration technology.

l Energy from waste: a guide to opportunities in the UK www.berr.gov.uk/publications/whats-new/index.html

Whole life costing methodology proposed

The European Commission has proposed a revised directive for the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles. The move should make it easier for public authorities to specify cleaner vehicles without breaching competition rules.

l The directive can be viewed on http://ec.europa.eu/transport/ clean/index_en.htm and the table on http://tinyurl.com/3232wy

Euro VI limits set

The Commission has reaffirmed that it intends to cut emissions from trucks and buses of NOx by 80% and particulate matter by 66% compared to the Euro V stage. Euro VI comes into force in 2013/14 and matches US 2010 standards.

l http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/automotive/pagesbackground/pollutant_emission/index.htm

WHO sets out heavy metal risks

A report from the World Health Organisation sets out the risk from heavy metals in the air.

l Health risks of heavy metals from long-range transboundary air pollution website www.euro.who.int/publications

Action plans: could do better

London authorities have been told they could do better with their action plans.

New guidance manual for PPC

New guidance has been produced for local authority regulators of industrial installations.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/localauth/pubs/guidance/manuals.htm

Freight plan launched for London

Just weeks before introduction of the low emission zone (see page 8), Transport for London has launched the London Freight Plan. It sets out actions by TfL and truck operators aimed at reducing the environmental impact of trucks.

l The London Freight Plan can be viewed on www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/ downloads/businessandpartners/London-Freight-Plan.pdf

Foundry prompts Walsall AQMA

Following years of concerns about air quality near a metals foundry, Walsall is set to declare an air quality management area in Chuckery.

l www.walsall.gov.uk/index/ environment/pollution/air_quality_in_chuckery.htm

2007 air quality indicator published

Air quality in 2007 was better than 2006, the Government’s air quality indicator suggests.

l Final results will be available in the spring. The indicator can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/news/ 2008/080124a.htm

Air quality expert appointed to Olympic sustainability body

The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 has appointed of Dr Claire Holman of Peter Brett Associates, as commissioner.

Olympic air quality battleground

Clean air campaigners are seeking to draw on Olympics commitments in a bid to clean up London’s air quality

Wiring up a Leeds roundabout

The Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds, is carrying out studies in roadside air pollution and vehicle emission monitoring using monitoring equipment from Enviro Technology (ET).

Biomethane talks

A Biomethane for Transport conference will be held in Greenwich, London on the 3rd March.

l www.biomethane.org.uk

Lester leaves

Alaric Lester has left airports group BAA to set up his own consultancy. Lester, previously with Cerc, GLA and the London Borough of Croydon, will work from two offices, one in Kent and the other in Hungary.

l www.evanlester.com

Bristol conference

The South West NSCA and UWE are running their annual conference on the 21st February in Bristol entitled Environment and health: prevention before cure.

l Booking Enda Hayes, Enda.Hayes @uwe. ac.uk

Biofuels: no climbdown

The European Commission has taken forward its renewable energy directive which, among other things, insists on a binding 10% minimum target for biofuels in transport.

l Iwww.parliament.uk/eacom

RSK swallows Stats

RSK Group has acquired consultant Stats as part of its drive “to become UK’s number one environmental consultancy”.

l www.rsk.co.uk

2006 EU results

Member states’ preliminary results for ambient air quality assessments in 2006 have been released.

l http://air-climate.eionet.europa.eu/announcements/reports/ETCACC_TP2007_5_AQQ2006_prelim_analysis

Quick assessment

Defra and the devolved administrations’ preliminary assessment of performance against the air quality strategy objectives in 2007, based on national automated monitoring sites, indicates that the UK has met objectives for: sulphur dioxide, benzene, 1,3-butadiene and carbon monoxide, but not met the objectives for PM10, NO2 and ozone.

Sharing report

DfT has released a report on public experiences of car sharing.

l www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statist ics/datatablespublications/trsnstatsatt/pubexofcarsharing

Cars fail tests

Various Euro 3 and Euro 4 petrol and diesel cars were tested to see whether their in-service emissions conformed to the type approved emissions.

l In-service emissions testing of light duty passenger vehicles www.dft.gov.uk/pgr /roads/environment/cvtf/ vehicletesting

Planning FAQ added

A new ‘frequently asked question’ dealing with a planning conundrum has been added to the review and assessment helpdesk website.

EPA goes large

The US Environmental Protection Agency has launched a $7m research programme on impacts of nanotechnology on the environment. 21 universities will investigate potential adverse health and environmental effects of manufactured nanomaterials.l http://es.epa.gov/ncer/ nano/2008recipients.html

Costs outlined

The European Commission has produced a 300 page report setting out the external environmental costs of transport, including air quality. The handbook is intended to inform forthcoming European policy to establish fair costs for all modes of transport.l It can be viewed on http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road/policy/index_en.htm

 

 

January 2008

Biomass boilers cancelled

Seven planned biomass boilers in Edinburgh have been shelved because of air quality concerns.

Ammonia key in ecosystems revamp

Defra has published an action plan for the natural environment. A review of ammonia is included.l weblink www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/natres/eco-actionp.htm

News from the IAPSC meeting held in Birmingham last month

Community monitoring on show

Sheffield City Council’s Mark Daly told Iapsc delegates of the dual benefits of community diffusion tube monitoring.

Google Sheffield

Sheffield has launched a Google Maps-based website showing the location of community and council funded monitors. The map shows the locations of devices, clicking on them yields further information about that location

l It can be seen on Sheffield’s new site www.sheffieldairmap.org

Action plan helpdesk: best practice

l The website can now be viewed on www.airquality.co. uk/archive/laqm/actionplan.php

Tube guidance draws nearer

Guidance on how laboratories and users should handle NO2 diffusion tubes is drawing near.

Wasp joins nest of compliance schemes

Iapsc delegates learned of another scheme intended to improve diffusion tube data.

Port Talbot still dusty

Particles are still a puzzle at Port Talbot despite several years of intensive monitoring and numerous theories, Iapsc was told by Mark Broom of the Environment Agency.

LTp guidance updated

Guidance on the second Local Transport Plan (LTP2) progress reports due this year (2008) has been issued.

l More details can be found on www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/ltp/guidance/prog

Events overshadow cleaner year

ERG, which runs monitoring networks in South East England, reports high pollution events towards the end of 2007.

2007 cleaner than 2006, says ‘yardstick’

Pollution levels in 2007 appeared to mirror those of 2004 and 2005 (last summer was a washout, rather like 2004 and 2005), there does appear to be an increase in NO2 exceedences.

Directive nears completion

The European Parliament has agreed a compromise at the second reading of the air quality directive. The Clean Air for Europe directive replaces the air quality framework directive and first three daughter directives.

AQEG finalises direct NO2 report

The Air Quality Expert Group has finalised its report on directly emitted nitrogen dioxide.

l AQEG fourth report: Trends in primary nitrogen dioxide in the UK www.defra.gov.uk/ environment/airquality/panels/aqeg/index.htm

NI reports on air

Northern Ireland has produced its fifth air quality report. Gradual improvements in air quality

l Air pollution in Northern Ireland – 2006 www.airqualityni.co.uk LAPC survey released Defra has released its annual survey on local authority pollution control.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/localauth/pubs/reports/index.htm#stats0607

Labs: precision is ranked

The review and assessment helpdesk is highlighting good and bad performance of laboratories processing nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes. It aims to encourage local authorities to make sure they choose the best performing labs.

l Briefing sheet: www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review/diffusion_tube_precision.doc

Black smoke trials

Instruments measuring black smoke have been evaluated in an intercomparison trial. Black smoke is once again being considered an important metric because of its impact on climate change and correlation with health impacts.

l Marylebone Road Aethalometer trial can be viewed on www.airquality. co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

IEH sets meeting date

The eleventh annual review meeting on outdoor and indoor air pollution research will be held at Cranfield University on 15th-16th April, the Institute of Environment and Health has announced.

l Website http://www.silsoe.cranfield.ac.uk/ieh/

Beacon call

Sefton is organising an air quality seminar at Aintree on 22nd February.

l Beacon website www.beacons.idea.gov.uk/idk/core/page.do?pageId=6250584

UK meets NEC targets

A report from the European Environment Agency suggests that UK and ten other countries will meet their National Emission Ceiling (NEC) targets. l NEC Directive status report 2006 can be viewed on http://reports.eea.europa.eu/technical_report_2007_15/en

All change for the AURN

Defra has announced key changes to the running of the Automatic Urban and Rural (AURN) and Hydrocarbon Networks which provide data for UK air quality.

PPS4 released

Consultation has started on Planning policy statement 4: Planning for sustainable economic development.

l www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/614685

Climate change PPS

A new Planning policy statement (PPS): Planning and climate change has been issued. The new PPS, which has been issued as a supplement to PPS1, sets out how planning, in providing for the new homes, jobs and infrastructure needed by communities, should help shape places with lower carbon emissions and resilient to the climate change.

l www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/climatechange

Port pollution tackled

California is getting tough on port pollution by targeting ships and trucks.

EPUK’s webswap

Environmental Protection UK (formerly the NSCA) has launched its new website.l Its new url is www.environmental-protection.org.uk

 

December 2007

Heathrow: pollution cleared

Consultation has started for a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow. It will allow a near-doubling of traffic.l The consultation can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/heathrowconsultation

Indicator detailed

198 national indicators have now been agreed replacing 1,200 existing indicators. The detailed content of the new indicators have now been released for consultation.l Analysis to support climate change indicators for local authorities, Analysis of methods to measure the carbon footprint and NOX and PM10 emissions of local authorities and other public sector bodies, Tool for calculation of CO2 emissions from organisations and other resources can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk /environment/localgovindicators/cc-indicators.htm

Buncefield lessons ignored?

A fire at the Olympics building site in the east end of London produced a plume of black smoke reminiscent of Buncefield last month. ERG says more needs to be done to tighten up air quality responses to such incidents.

London hit by two further pollution episodes

Moderate and high air pollution was recorded in London on the 15th to 17th November.l www.londonair.org.uk

News from EPUK’s air quality update meeting held in Birmingham

‘R’ is for statistical analysis

Leeds University modelling expert David Carslaw says air quality experts should use ‘R’ to analyse data. Carslaw says ‘R’ analysis is free and can unlock value held in the vast quantities of data that has been collected – value that is often wasted.

Biomass balance is tricky

Biomass has its place, however there may be “significant” impacts on air quality, a study is likely to say.

Tackling local air quality in the US

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Jeff Clark told a recent EPUK conference of initiatives taking place in the US.

Technical guidance in Spring

Defra air quality chief Sarah Dudgeon told the EPUK conference that revised technical guidance is now expected to be consulted upon in Spring.

Timmis enthuses about directional sampler

Roger Timmis, air quality science manager of the Environment Agency, told the EPUK conference about the potential for low cost directional analysis of pollution.

15 minute headache for generators

“The 15 minute sulphur dioxide objective is a standard our power stations were never designed to meet,” RWE NPower’s Gill Hunter told the EPUK conference.

BAA Heathrow sets action plan to cut short term impacts

BAA released its latest air quality action plan for Heathrow Airport last month, just prior to the latest Government consultation on expansion.

Citizens probe air quality

Citizen’s juries are being used to test areas of government policy – including air quality.

Homes completed despite no-kids plea

Homes are now being completed near the Rugby cement works.

CO2 apportioned

Statistics have been released in a bid to be able to calculate CO2 emission statistics at a local authority level.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environ ment/statistics/globatmos/galocalghg.htm

Indoor air talks

Indoor air quality will be discussed at an Automation and Analytical Management Group (AAMG) of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Christmas meeting.

l  Website: www.aamg-rsc.org

Airalert extended

Sussex’s airAlert text and phone air pollution warning system will be operational again from May 2008 for locals to receive free alerts during elevated air pollution periods.

l www.sussex-air.net/

Wales LAPC charges

Wales local authorities are being consulted on 2008/09 risk based fees and charges for local authority regulated industries.

l http://new.wales.gov.uk/ consultations/currentconsultation/envandcouncurrcons/1812510/?lang=en

 

NO2 tube periods

Preferred exposure dates for NO2 tubes have been released for diffusion data to be compatible with the national data archive.

l Nitrogen dioxide diffusion tube monitoring – calendar of suggested exposure periods 2008 can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports

Parkin presents London action on air quality

The GLA’s Lucy Parkin outlined action in London to improve air quality.

Air appeal fails

Sevenoaks District Council has withdrawn its objections to an extension of a Tesco superstore.

Euro VI outlined

Euro VI commercial vehicle emission limits have been set out in discussions between the motor industry and the European Commission.

Cattle probe

Defra is letting research on the identification and mitigation of the environmental impacts of out-wintering beef and dairy cattle.

l www.defra.gov.uk/science/funding/competitions.htm

Smoke exposure falls

Cancer Research UK says hospitality workers’ exposure to smoke particles has fallen by 95% since the smoking ban came into effect.

Biomassive plant

A 350MW wood-chipped fuelled electricity generating plant in Port Talbot has been approved.

Renewables push

A new report from the Renewables Advisory Board (RAB), which advises Government on renewable energy, analyses the role of on-site energy generation for the Government’s policy of ensuring that all new homes are zero carbon from 2016.

Vans targeted

Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme money will be targeted at greening vans.l www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/scienceresearch/technology/lowcarbonvehicleprocurementprog

 

November 2007

Mixed news for EU directive

The European Café air quality directive has passed through a further stage in the European legislative process.

NSCA is dead. Long live EPUK

Environmental Protection UK is the new name for the National Society for Clean Air (NSCA). NSCA was the UK’s longest established environmental organisation having been set up in 1898 with the goal of abating city smoke.

Citizens’ jury rules on air quality

A citizens’ jury has told air quality minister Jonathan Shaw what should be done about pollution.l The citizen’s jury report can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/publications/citizens-jury/index.htm

PSA’s and indicators for Defra

The Government’s Public Spending Review, released in last month’s Pre Budget Report, saw the launch of the final set of indicators and public service agreements (PSAs) affecting Defra and air quality. These drive priorities for both national and local government.l More details: www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/pbr_csr/psa/pbr_csr07_psaindex.cfm

Government outlines transport policy

A Government ‘discussion document’ on transport strategy sets out aspirations to cut carbon in transport, and investment plans to expand the transport system.

l Towards a sustainable transport system: supporting economic growth in a low carbon world www.dft.gov.uk/about/strategy/transportstrategy/pdfsustaintranssystem.pdf

Appraisal ‘refresh’

The DfT’s key appraisal guide is set for a ‘refresh’.

l The NATA Refresh: reviewing the new approach to transport appraisal is on www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open/consulnatarefresh

Further rap for UK from Europe

Soon after it was censured by Europe for having sulphur dioxide exceedences (AQB October p3), the UK has been targeted for failing to meet particle objectives.

l http://europa.eu/rapid/ pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/07/1537&type=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

Space sensing can spot air quality impacts

Scientists at ESRIN, The European Space Agency Earth Observation Centre in Frascati, Italy, have highlighted the usefulness of satellites for monitoring nitrogen dioxide.

l http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SE MEYBJJX7F_environment_0.html

Scotland reports worsening emissions

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has published a summary of its Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI) online database.

l The Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI) online database can be viewed at www.sepa.org.uk/spri/index.htm

Defra in biofuels stock-take

Defra has outlined the “risks and opportunities” of biofuels in terms of air pollution and global warming.

l The statement can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/environment/rtfo/289579

Quantitech launch easy to use tester

Quantitech is launching two easy-to-use mid-infrared analysers for biofuels analysis.

l More details on website www.quantitech.co.uk

Hard shoulder running claimed to improve air

Modelling of the impacts from introducing variable speed limit controlled traffic on the M42 shows air quality gains.

l M42 active traffic management results – first six months can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tpm/m42activetrafficmanagement

Charge a ‘missed opportunity’

Environmental Protection UK (EPUK – formerly the NSCA) says plans for an emissions related congestion charge in London may be a missed opportunity.

Car ban ‘only hope’ for London emissions

Emissions targets for London stand little chance of being achieved unless the Greater London Authority (GLA) bans cars from both inner and outer London, according to a report published today by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the Oxford University Transport Studies Unit.

Nanoparticle threat leads to research

The threat to health caused by nanoparticles is to scrutinised in two studies being released.

l www.defra.gov.uk/science/funding/competitions.htm

Planning for Agency traffic

The Highways Agency has published its spreadsheet of air quality management areas prompted by its motorways and trunks roads.

l The list can be viewed at www.highways.gov.uk/knowledge/1798.aspx

Low carbon car report released

The King Review of low-carbon cars has been released to coincide with the Pre Budget Report. It examines vehicle and fuel technologies which could help to decarbonise road transport over the next 25 years.

l Review of low-carbon cars. Part I: the potential for CO2 reduction can be viewed on www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/pbr_csr/reviews/pbr_csr 07_king_index.cfm

Filter-less diesel meets petrol emissions

UK vehicle technology firm Ricardo claims it has developed a diesel engine that is as clean as petrol without the need to use aftertreatment.

Motor firms boast emission benefits

SMMT, the motor manufacturers body, has highlighted the progress made in improving emissions of vehicles.

l More comparisons on http://smmtlib.findlay.co.uk/ articles/news/News/Evolution%20of%20the%20Car.pdf

Euro V incentive

The Department for Transport has announced the details of a scheme to extend tax incentives to encourage hauliers and bus operators to buy cleaner Euro V vehicles.

Scania skips treatment

Truckmaker Scania reports that it now has an engine that can meet Euro 5 standards without exhaust aftertreatment.

Motorcycle emissions

Vehicle technology specialist Ricardo has tested a number of motorcycles against existing and proposed standardised drive cycles.

l Motorcycle exhaust emissions factors and test cycles programme – final report can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/environment/research/cqvcf/RicardoMotorcycleEmissions.pdf

Sheffield Beacon

As part of Sheffield City Council’s Beacon activities, the council is holding two events on air quality this month.

Long range emissions

The Annual European Community LRTAP Convention Emission Inventory report 1990-2005 has been published.

l http://reports.eea.europa.eu

Inspire consultation

The Commission is consulting on the shape of the Inspire directive which seeks to harmonise data provision (AQB October p4).

l www.ec-gis.org/inspire/public_consultations/metadata/index.cfm

WHO reports

A meeting report has been published for the World Health Organisation’s meeting on the health effects of particles held in Bonn earlier this year.

l Health relevance of particulate matter from various sources www.euro.who.int/Doc ument/E90672.pdf

Climate response

The Government has published a summary of responses to its consultation on a draft Climate Change Bill.

l www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/climatechange-bill/

Low carbon homes

Guidance has been released on zero carbon homes.

l www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/code_for_sustain able_homes_techguide.pdf

Agency retrunks roads

The Government has changed its mind on three roads that were to be detrunked based on the intervention of the Highways Agency.

Biodiesel trials halted

National Express has announced that it has suspended its ‘first generation’ UK biodiesel bus trial due to concerns over whether the benefits outweigh the risk to the sustainability of food crop sources.

Welsh 2006 episodes

The Welsh Air Quality Forum has released its 2006 annual report which contains a summary of air pollution during that year.

l Air pollution in Wales, 2006 can be viewed on www.welshairquality.co.uk/index.php

Cities ranked for sustainability

Forum for the future has ranked UK cities in terms of sustainability and found that Brighton & Hove is the best.

l More details can be found on Forum for the Future’s website on www.forumforthefuture.org.uk

Air NOx factor up

Airplane NOx emission factors need to be raised by 4.5% to take into account wear and tear, according to a study carried out for the Project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow.

l www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/avia tion/environmentalissues/heathrow/airquality/engineemissioncorrection

In Parliament: Heathrow…

Transport ministers were quizzed in Parliament about the Project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow – a project set up to investigate the difficulties in meeting air quality objectives near the airport.

... and gas vehicles

Transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick was quizzed in Parliament about the latest Government view on the benefits of LPG vehicles.

 

October 2007

Clampdown on livestock

Farmers are finding the habitats directive affecting their business more than expected.l The Agency has produced a briefing note on www.environment-agency.gov.uk/commondata/acrobat/briefing_1867292.pdf

Defra updates review & assessment progress

A proposed air quality performance indicator could be finalised later this month.

AEA in action

Bureau Veritas has lost the three year contract to run the action plan helpdesk for Defra.

News from the South Yorks Care4Air conference in Sheffield

Environment made a ‘duty’

Local Area Agreements will for the first time impose a duty on councils to consider the environment in partnership with other agencies, Government Office for Yorkshire and Humberside’s Tim Godson told the Care4Air conference.

New group sets low emission best practice

A team lead by Sheffield is developing good practice guidance on low emissions.

Freight groups spread

A South London freight quality partnership has been set up following the success of a West London partnership. The partnerships, often based on existing air quality cluster groups, aim to improve delivery practices to reduce emissions.

News from last month’s dispersion model users group meeting

Inspire: new duty to publish

A little known European directive will force authorities to publish information they have collected on issues such as air quality and noise.

Airtext aimed to cut London deaths

Cerc’s Iarla Kilbane-Dawe told the DMUG conference how London’s Airtext air pollution text forecasting service is put together.

Don’t bother with models?

Local authorities need not bother with complicated dispersion models if comparisons carried out by Bureau Veritas are to be believed.

Climate could alter emissions, DMUG told

Andrew Malby of Lancaster University told the DMUG conference that climate change could change assumptions about exceedences from industrial stacks.

Ship emissions mapped

AEA’s Chris Dore told the DMUG conference about efforts to improve knowledge of UK shipping emissions.

Further probe on NOx paint

Camden is undertaking a further trial to investigate the efficiency of NOX reducing paint. It already has trialed NOX reducing paving which suggested a 20% cut .

Taxi clean up upheld by court

The Royal Courts of Justice has rejected calls by the London Cab Drivers’ Club for a judicial review of the Public Carriage Office’s implementation of the London Mayor’s taxi emissions strategy.

Agency price rise less than inflation

The Environment Agency is consulting on its annual price hike for environmental permits. It is also consulting on new standardised waste permits.

IPPC news

Guidance has been produced for the ceramics sector.

l Final publication of IPPC SG 7: Secretary of State’s guidance for the A2 ceramics sector including heavy clay, refractories, calcining clay and whiteware and Consultation on a draft second edition of IPPC SG6 for A2 activities in the solvents sector can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk /environment/ppc/index.htm

Agency wins lottery with OPAL

The UK lottery is funding a huge £12m project that will take air quality and other environmental issues to the public.

l www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Good and bad in Agency end of year report

The Environment Agency reports good and bad outcomes in its summary of its activities in 2006.

l A copy of Spotlight 2006 is available online at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/spotlight or by calling 08708 506 506.

Diffusion tube update

The air quality helpdesk has announced a revision to the diffusion tube database The database, last updated in March, contains corrections to be used by tube users in a bid to standardise results.

l The updated database can be downloaded from www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/rev iew/diffusiontube300907.xls

Rushlight call

A new environmental award scheme will close for entries on 31 October 2007

l More details on website www.rushlightawards.co.uk

Green driving boost

The DfT is providing an extra £1.2million to train van drivers in greener, safer driving techniques.

l More details of the competition can be found at www.safed.org.uk

CO2 locally…

AEA has released a report commissioned by Defra that provides “nationally consistent” carbon dioxide emission estimates at local authority and regional level for the year 2004.

l Local and regional CO2 emissions estimates for 2004 for the UK can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

…and nationally

This report presents estimates of greenhouse gas emission inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for the years 1990, 1995, 1998 to 2005.

l Greenhouse Gas Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: 1990-2005 can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

Teom tip off

King’s College London ERG has launched an automatic notification service that will warn site operators when their Teom or FDMS filter needs changing.

l www.londonair.org.uk

Breckland no laggard

Breckland Council claims it has satisfied Defra that it is making satisfactory progress on its action plan.

Iapsc date agreed

Iapsc’s second conference of the year will take place in Birmingham on Monday 3rd December. Topics will include action plans, and NO2 diffusion tubes for local air quality management.

l www.iapsc.org.uk

HPA looks at kids

The Health Protection Agency has published a report summarising current initiatives which address children and young people’s environment and health issues in the UK .

l Publications for the child-ren’s environment and health action plan for Europe www.hpa.org.uk/chemicals/publications/cehape/index.htm

Free car checks

Middlesbrough is carrying out a series of free car emissions checks.

Vintage paint scheme

Old fashioned high VOC paint is set to be retained for use by specialist restorers.

l www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/paint-buildings-vehicles/index.htm

Campaign reveals EU sanctions

A London based clean air campaign has revealed that the UK is being pursued by the European Commission for air quality breaches.

l Campaign for Clean Air in London website www.bbc.co.uk/dna/ actionnetwork/G1956

Aermod hits version 6

Trinity Consultants has released a new version of its Breeze Aermod dispersion modelling software.

l More information on Aermod 6 or any of the other Breeze suit of models is available from Trinity’s UK reseller David Harvey (djh@ admltd.com, Tel 01252 794484)

Allergy epidemic

Allergy has now reached ‘epic proportions’ says a House of Lords report on asthma.

l Allergy: House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report website www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld/ldsctech.htm

Low Carbon Vehicles

£20m of funding has been agreed to support ‘near to market’ low carbon vehicle research, development and demonstration projects for public and private use.

l Details of the competition on the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform can be found on www.technologyprogramme.org.uk

VOC dilemma

Scientists have tried to calculate whether it is better to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) directly to the atmosphere or incinerate them.

l Climate change consequences of VOC emission controls can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/ reports/list.php

September 2007

Who's won our 2007 web review? Click here for pdf / html summary with live links

Air stalls Thames Gateway Bridge

Air quality has been cited as a key reason for deferral of planning permission to build the Thames Gateway Bridge.

l The decision is on www.persona.uk.com/thamesgateway/

Charge to target emissions

Soon after the Mayor approved the go ahead of the London wide low emission zone, an emissions based charge is being considered for the congestion charge.

l Further details can be found on www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/roadsandpublicspaces/5669.aspx

Local transport plan guidance suggested

Draft local transport plan guidance has been proposed which spells out more detail of what is required in terms of air quality reports for English local authorities outside of London.

l www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open/localtransportplanning/

Strategy dissension from Wallis

Further feedback has emerged on Defra’s new air quality strategy released last month.

Urban pollution changes mapped by Defra

Defra and the devolved regions have released a report looking at the impact of changing emissions of particles, NO2 and ozone on concentrations in 2010 and 2020.

l Sensitivity studies of concentrations of NO2 and ozone for London for 2010 and 2020 can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

Cornwall dust higher, but below limits

A report has found that levels of particle pollution within the China Clay mining area of Cornwall do not exceed objective levels.

l Further details, Graham Martin, email graham . martin @ restormel . gov . uk or www.cornwall-airquality.org.uk

Particle prosecution

A Knottingley firm has been prosecuted for air pollution offences.

Data now...

Mapped 2005 1x1km emissions data are now available for the latest inventory year (2005).

l Gridded data for various pollutants can be found in the NAEI data warehouse www.naei.org.uk

Pollutant register

Consultation is underway on the implementation of the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) and the UN-ECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers.

l Consultation on the implementation of the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) Regulation and the UN-ECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers can be viewed on Defra’s website www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/prtr-reg-implement/index.htm

Clearer future?

South Yorkshire’s Care4Air partnership is holding its third yearly conference on 20th September. A Clearer Future Conference 2007 – Delivering cleaner air and tackling climate change will highlight the work within air quality, transport and the climate change agenda.

l Further details contact events@divacreative.com

Waste research

A large research project looking at the air quality and other environmental impacts of waste disposal has been announced by Defra.

l www.defra.gov.uk/science/ funding/competitions.htm

Dioxins research

Defra is also seeking to “improve UK inventories of emissions of dioxins, dioxin-like PCBs, and HCB to air, land and water”.

l Weblink as above

Grants: who gets what

Defra has allocated this year’s air quality grant. English councils bid for £6.96m of grant, available money totalled £2.38m.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/local/aqgrant/index.htm

Indicators show good and bad

The latest edition of the Government’s Sustainable development indicators in your pocket has been released.

l Sustainable development indicators in your pocket 2007 www.sustainable-development.gov.uk

Beacon learning

Beacon authorities have put on a conference to publicise their efforts to improve air quality.

l Further details can be found on the beacon website www.idea.gov.uk/beacons

UK seeks to rubber stamp programmes

Consultees are being asked to rubber stamp the UK’s plans to meet EU air quality directives.

l Consultation on UK report regarding plans and programmes to meet EU air quality limit values (reporting year 2005) www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/air-limitvalues2005/index.htm

 

 

August 2007 headlines (issue 16)

 

New air quality strategy at last!

Pressure to relax seen off - but enhancements ignored

Calderdale told to pay up due to road fumes

Calderdale Council has released a draft action plan aimed at reducing pollution on many roads in the area. Excess noise and pollution on the road recently cost the council £25,000 in payouts to residents.

Emissions indicator?

Government has spelled out what it expects local authorities to do on the environment – and a new set of indicators. One will require local authorities to tot up all their emissions of NOx and primary PM10.l The proposed indicators can be found at: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/localgovindicators/index.htm

Environmental prospectus launched

Alongside the new indicators (above), a Joint Environmental Prospectus has been launched containing a checklist setting out how councils can tackle climate change, protect the natural environment and resources, and improve the local environment.

l More details about the Joint Environmental Prospectus can be found at: www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/delivery/landscape/local/

NSCA to become EPUK

NSCA members have voted at a special general meeting to change the group’s name to Environmental Protection UK (EPUK).

New minister chooses local environment brief

Tony Blair’s departure as Prime Minister has seen incoming Prime Minister Gordon Brown shake up ministerial positions. The expected merger of Defra and energy side of the DTi failed to materialise.

Multi-stage dust sampler

Quantitech has launched a new stack dust sampling device from sampling equipment specialist TCR Tecora.

Fourth consultation on EPP permitting

Defra has released a further consultation on the Environmental Permitting Programme which seeks to merge planning and pollution regulation for waste activities.

l www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/envpermitprog4/index.htm

New AQ notes

More air quality notes have been released

l The notes and PPC bulletin can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/ environment/ppc/index.htm

Emissions logged

Emissions of certain industrial pollutants in the European Union are still increasing, according to a review published by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency.

l The European Pollutant Emission Register can be found at www.eper.ec.europa.eu

RCEP’s future looks bright

An independent review of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution suggests it may be retained.

l The RCEP report can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/ environment/rcep/ review.htm#report

Euro VI consultation tightens diesel smoke

The European Commission has launched a consultation on the Euro VI heavy vehicle emission standards. Four scenarios of varying stiffness with some tying in to US standards.

Heathrow gets ‘world’s largest’ electric truck

DHL has officially presented its first ever zero emission vehicle to BAA for use at its Heathrow Consolidation Centre [HCC] operated on behalf of Heathrow Airport.

Stansted AQ unpicked

The planning inquiry into expansion of Stansted Airport includes arguments on air quality. Discussions will centre on habitats rather than human exposure – deposition of NOx that could breach objectives.

AURN site gets whizzy

The UK Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) website has been revamped and updated with new functionalities and mapping capabilities to enhance data sharing and usage of information to the public.

l The new website is available at: www.bv-aurnsiteinfo.co.uk

New look for IAQM website

The Institute of Air Quality Management website has had a facelift in a bid to make it more user friendly.

l www.iaqm.co.uk.

Ship talks stall

The International Maritime Organisation has failed to agree any action on air pollution from ships.

Action plan laggards named

Authorities in England who have failed to produce action plans have been named in Parliament. A list has been published showing that many authorities are nearly two years behind schedule.

Court prompts waste oil rethink

A court case concerning the status of waste oil has prompted Defra and the Environment Agency to consult on introduction of a test to determine whether oil is waste or not.l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/index.htm

NOx plane peaks

Air Quality Consultants has completed a report into short term NOx peaks from aircraft departing from Heathrow Airport.l Analysis of fast-response NOx measurements at Heathrow Airport can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports

July 2007 headlines (issue 15)

Air kills more than traffic

More people are killed by air pollution than traffic accidents, it is claimed.

Council indicators a ‘badge of honour’

The Lifting the burdens task force has studied Defra’s brief and identified initiatives to be scrapped – including indicators on air quality.l The Lifting the burdens task force review of Defra can be viewed on www.lga.gov.uk/ download.asp?path=/Documents/Publication/ LBTF_DEFRA.pdf

Agency wades into Heathrow growth debate

The Environment Agency has tabled its reservations about further expansion at Heathrow Airport.

Air consultancies ranked: AEA dominates

Air Quality Bulletin has contacted key consultants in the UK air quality market.

Time to tackle shipping emissions in Europe

A study for the European Commission has explored the cost effectiveness of measures with different options to reduce air emissions from shipping.

Filthy dirty ships

Brussels based campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E) and a coalition of environmental groups are calling for cuts in shipping emissions.

LTp fails to prompt air quality success

A review of local transport plan policy suggests progress has been ‘weak’ on air quality.

l Long term process and impact evaluation of the local transport plan policy www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/ ltp/research/ltpoutcomes

Councils left out of climate change efforts

NSCA has responded robustly to the Climate Change Bill consultation. The Bill omits mention of local authority involvement.

US animal emissions

The US EPA is to carry out its first nationwide study of air emissions from poultry, dairy and pig animal feeding operations.

l More information about the study: www.epa.gov/ agriculture/airmonitoring study.html

News from last month’s Waterfront conference on local transport and air quality

Pollution worse than Chernobyl

The impact of air pollution is worse than Chernobyl, CEH researcher Jim Smith told the Waterfront transport and air quality conference.

Non-London councils told to use LEZ powers

Laws used to introduce the London low emission zone could be used to introduce similar zones across the country, claims a planning lawyer.

Conference briefs

Nicky Woodfield: “Local development frameworks are being prepared and are failing to properly take into account air quality,” planning expert Nicky Woodfield told the Waterfront conference.

Sir John Lawton (in combatitive form) Sir John Lawton, head of the RCEP, said: “I’ve heard that major bus operators are using cerium oxide as an additive in the fuel which then comes out of the exhaust in the form of fine particles.

EPP manual: first glimpse

Defra has launched a consultation on the shape of the manual that will support new Environmental Permitting Programme (EPP) regulation.

l Consultation on the Environmental Permitting Programme: draft revision of the General Guidance Manual can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/epp-guidance/index.htm

EIC costs Part B review

The Environmental Industries Commission has challenged the merits of plans to deregulate Part B local authority regulated processes.

l www.eic-uk.co.uk

Virgin trial biofuel for cross country train

Virgin has launched Europe's first biodiesel blend train in scheduled passenger service from Llandudno to London.

Last but not least…

Scotland has finally got its own dedicated government sponsored air quality website.

l www.scottish airquality.co.uk

LAPC changes

Charges to cover the costs of local enforcing authorities in regulating petrol stations have changed.

l 2006 annual report for the UK black smoke network can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

Refinery emissions

Oil industry group Concawe has released a report detailing emissions of air pollutants, and how they are derived, to support preparation of data for the European pollution register (E-PRTR).

l Air pollutant emission estimation methods for E-PRTR reporting by refineries can be viewed on www.concawe.be/ Content/Default.asp? PageID=11

Mills to market the Magee

Air Quality Monitors’ Jim Mills is to market the Magee black carbon aethalometer. The exclusive distributor deal with Magee Scientific follows Thermo’s decision to directly sell Teoms itself rather than relying on solely on Mills.

l www.airmonitors.co.uk

Environmental expenditure tops £3bn

Defra has released its 2005 environmental protection expenditure survey.

l Environmental protection expenditure survey by industry 2005 can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk

Industry awards to reward air quality

The inaugural Rushlight Awards have been launched to promote and celebrate the achievements of the leading UK and Irish environmental technology and innovation.

l To find out more and to enter the awards (closing date 31 October 2007) visit www.rushlightawards.co.uk

Casella goes Swiss

Casella ETI has been appointed by Swiss firm Digitel as its UK and Ireland distributor.

l www.casellaeti.com

More intercomparison for FDMS

A minor modification to the Teom FDMS has prompted a new set of intercomparison trials being carried out at Teddington.

BAA backs Heathrow

BAA has joined Future Heathrow, the campaign for the sustainable growth of Heathrow Airport, saying that the expansion of the airport is vital to UK competitiveness.

King carbon call

The King Review of low-carbon cars will end next month.

l www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/king

Best practice guide

A guide on traffic and air quality impacts has been produced for the West London Alliance (WLA) air quality cluster group.

l The Guide to Traffic and Air Quality Impacts is available to download from the ‘Projects’ page of the West London Air Quality Group website www.westlondonairquality.org.uk

London seminar

Following the success of ERG’s London Air Quality Network seminar in January, it is planning to hold a further seminar on 9th July 2007.

l www.londonair.org.uk/lon don/reports/AgendaAQMeasurementSeminar9thJuly2007DraftAgenda.pdf

Physiotherapists again

A ‘new’ analysis of “highly toxic pollutants” has once again made national newspaper headlines.

l www.csp.org.uk

Agency prosecutes for smoke

A firm has been fined following release of black smoke.

Non-tailpipe emissions studied by TRL

TRL has completed a set of reports into non tailpipe emission from vehicles.

l The reports on road vehicle non-exhaust particulate matter can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

Heavy metal hotspots listed by AEA

A report has been released summarising levels of heavy metals in the UK.

l Annual report for 2006 on the UK heavy metals monitoring network is available on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/list.php

Dust done in Brussels

DustConf 2007 brought 285 people from 23 countries together to discuss the more obscure side of dust and particles.

l Papers can be downloaded from www.dustconf.org

 

June 2007 headlines (issue 14)

London will get LEZ

The final go ahead has been given to London’s low emission zone. Mayor Ken Livingstone is describing it as the ‘world’s largest’.l www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/lez/default.aspx

EU urged to take the UK to court

An increasingly vocal clean air lobby group has called on the European Commission to censure the UK for failing to meet UK air quality objectives.l www.bbc.co.uk/dna/actionnetwork/G1956

Euro 6 standard to count

Euro 6 vehicle emission limits are set to include a particle number limit as well as a particle mass limit.

AQ fears rejected

A planning inspector has rejected air quality and noise fears in a planning appeal judgement in Sandwell.

...and in Congleton

A Congleton family has had planning permission for a new bungalow turned down.

A raft of government policies affecting air quality have been released

Future energy plans unveiled

More nuclear, coal and renewables are a feature of the new Energy White Paper released by Government last month.

l Energy White Paper: meeting the energy challenge can be viewed on the DTi’s website or www.gnn.gov.uk/imagelibrary/downloadMedia.asp?MediaDetailsID=203153

Biomass encouraged with AQ safeguards

The Government has launched a biomass strategy to coincide with its new Energy White Paper (see news above).

l Defra’s biomass strategy can be viewed on www.defra.gov. uk/environment/climatechange/ uk/energy/renewablefuel/ index.htm

Incineration retained

Alongside new energy, planning and road pricing proposals, environment secretary David Miliband has announced a new strategy on waste.

l Waste strategy for England 2007 can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/ environment/waste/strategy/

Planning shake up laid out

The widely anticipated shake up of the planning system is outlined in a new White Paper.

l Planning for a sustainable future www.communities.gov. uk/embedded_object.asp?id=1510669

PPS23 vulnerable?

Rumours have been circulating that planning policy statements and guidance on specific issues (such as PPS23 on air quality and PPG24 on noise) will be axed in favour of more overarching policy statements contained in an expanded PPS1 Delivering sustainable development.

Local Transport Bill to cut emissions?

A proposed Local Transport Bill has been released for consultation by the Government. The Bill includes powers for local authorities to bring forward road pricing and includes stronger bus powers.

l Strengthening local delivery: The draft Local Transport Bill Volume 1: A consultation can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/ regional/localtransportbill/

News from the Met office/AEA air quality forecasting conference held in Exeter

(Conference papers can be downloaded from www.air quality.co.uk/archive/reports/ reports.php?action=latest)

May episode caused by fires?

Claire Witham of the Met Office told last month’s Exeter forecasting conference of efforts to prove that a high particle episode in early 2006 was caused by Russian forest fires.

Health forecasting: update from HPA

The Met Office released more details of the health savings possible from forecasting weather and air quality events.

2006 heatwave probe

Last year’s hot early summer period led to a heatwave and air quality event approaching the proportions of the 2003 heatwave event.

Negtap to be reformed

Janet Dixon, Defra air quality science manager, told the air quality forecasting conference in Exeter that Negtap (the National Expert Group on Transboundary Air Pollution) is to be reformed to update its 2002 report.

Help needed on ‘bridge’ AQMA

Renfrewshire is seeking advice from local authorities on what constitutes an air quality management area.

l Email heather.connolly @ renfrewshire.gov.uk

Council input needed on global warming

Councils are being asked to contribute to guidance on what they should be doing to combat global warming.

l Consultation on guidance to local authorities in England and Wales on climate change mitigation and fuel poverty www.dti.gov.uk/publications

New environmental indicators for councils

A report has been released on ways that local environmental quality can be measured.

l Local environmental quality – A new view on measurement www.communities.gov.uk/ index.asp?id=1510309

Brett lifts Holman

Dr Claire Holman has recently been promoted to director of environment and sustainability at Peter Brett Associates.

Climate health effects set out

A report on the health effects of climate change has been updated. A draft has been released by the Health Protection Agency for the Department of Health for consultation.

l The updated report is at www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publications andstatistics/Publications/PublicationsStatistics/DH_074439

ERG loses Kent county network to AEA

AEA has won a three-year contract for the management of the Kent & Medway Air Quality Monitoring Network previously managed by Kings ERG.

l The site can still be found at www.kentair.org.uk.

More details emerge on Mcerts

More details have emerged from the Mcerts conference held in Bretby in April.

Casella goes Bulgarian

Casella Monitor has won its largest contract in the history of Casella and probably in the European ambient market in the past decade.

l website www.casella measurement.com

Idiot’s guide to cost accounting

Defra’s PPC team has prepared a ‘lite’ version of its cost accounting guidance.

l The ‘lite’ guide can be found on www.defra.gov. uk/environment/ppc/ index.htm

Gas forum launched

A national forum on bio-methane as a road transport fuel was launched at the recent Naturally Gas conference on alternative fuels hosted by Cenex in partnership with the NSCA and the Natural Gas Vehicle Association.

l To join the forum email edearnley@nsca.org.uk

New PPC Certificate

A new training course has been established in Pollution Prevention and Control intended to provide the knowledge that underpins IPPC/PPC.

l www.nsca.org.uk

Responses outlined

Defra and the DCLG has outlined the responses received to its consultation Options for improving the way planning and pollution control regimes work together in delivering new development.

l Summary of responses to the planning and pollution control interface consultation can be viewed on the website www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1509556

New EPA tool to answer air quality questions

AirCompare, a new US Environmental Protection Agency-developed air quality tool has been launched to provide American householders with detailed air quality information.

l View AirCompare on www.epa.gov/aircompare/

Scheme appraisal update

There is to be a ‘strategic refresh’ of the whole New Approach to Appraisal (NATA) guidance being carried out in anticipation of its 10th anniversary in 2008.

l WebTAG web site www.webtag.org.uk

Tube database update

A number of changes have taken place to the Diffusion Tube Database since the last release in February 2007.

l New version download www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review/diffusiontube300307.xls

Indicator finalised

The Government’s air quality indicator has been finalised. 2006 figures showed a significant worsening on the previous year when launched in draft form (AQB February p1). The rural indicator was confirmed at 56 days rather than the 57 in draft indicator.

l The indicator can be viewed on www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/

ET not ETI

In our report on Mcerts last month, early editions of AQB ascribed Enviro Technology (ET)’s Opsis monitor to ETI. Opsis is of course marketed in the UK by Enviro Technology. We apologise for this error.

l www.et.co.uk

IPPC costed

An early analysis of the costs and benefits of the implementation of the IPPC Directive in the UK was commissioned by Defra and the devolved administrations.

l Mid-term review of the UK’s implementation of the PPC regulations www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/index.htm

PPC responses posted

Responses to the recent consultation on merging waste planning and pollution regulatory regimes has been posted.l www.communities.gov. uk/embedded_object.asp?id=1509793

EU polls on IPPC

The European Commission is carrying out an internet consultation on the future of industrial IPPC regulation.l http://ec.europa.eu/your voice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=ippc

 

May 2007 headlines (issue 13)

NOx shift lifts NO2 by 20%

The realisation that modern engines produce more direct nitrogen dioxide has prompted the update of the official NO2/NOx calculator.l www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review/mfaqroad.html#ROAD13

Oxford miracle?

The Oxford transport strategy has had a direct impact on child health, claim researchers.

Monitors miss NOx eating effect from paint

Monitors placed to record the impact of NOX eating paint in the City of London have failed to see any effect.

News from the NSCA spring workshop held in Didcot last month

Highways Agency in DMRB revamp

The Highways Agency’s Michelle Hackman told NSCA spring workshop delegates that that research was underway with a view to updating the commonly used DMRB air quality screening module.

Councils help agency with tube survey

50 local authorities have helped the Agency study the impact of its roads.

Dixon updates on Defra network revamp

Defra is now well into its expensive upgrade of its monitoring network to comply with EU directive requirements.

Groundhog Daly

Mark Daly of Sheffield, winner of the AQB ‘most reported’ person award presented at the NSCA workshop

Opal bid mounted

Air quality is a theme of a huge £12m bid for Lottery funding.

LTP2 reporting note

DfT has indicated there will be no local transport plan progress reports required from local authorities in 2007

l More details in a frequently asked question on the action plan helpdesk which can be found on www.bv-actionplan.co.uk/faqs.asp

Air quality target to be merged

The joint Defra-DfT public service agreement (PSA) on air quality is set to be replaced.

More delays for strategy

The revamped air quality strategy is being delayed yet further. It was due by the end of last year, but it looks like it may be much later this year – essentially a year late due to the complexity of the task.

NSCA has vision – and seeks name change

Acting NSCA chief Phil Mulligan updated workshop delegates on progress for the organisation’s revamp.

Tidmarsh marches

Defra local air quality number two Carole Tidmarsh has moved to the Government Office Partnership Unit.

News from tenth Institute of Environment and Health meeting at Cranfield

PM worse than cigs

Particle pollution has a far more important health impact on individuals than second hand tobacco smoke or traffic accidents, Edinburgh researchers suggest.

Seaton: heart drugs protective?

Aberdeen researchers came up with a ‘completely unexpected result’ when extending a study into air pollution and heart problems.

Black smoke effects explored by APHEA2

Results from the pan European APHEA2 project have thrown up some ‘unexpected’ results says Athens’ Klea Katsouyani.

SO2 to blame for heatwave deaths?

Analysis of the 2006 early-summer heatwave suggests that SO2 may be to blame for increased deaths.

Stone: PM not all the same

Napier University’s Vicki Stone told the audience that not all small particles are the same, and that nanoparticles and ultrafines should not be confused.

Black smoke affects birthweight?

A study by Newcastle University suggests that black smoke might affect birthweight.

Arsenic: what to do with high concentrations

Jo Barnes of the Cornwall Air Quality Forum, speaking to the Institute of Environment and Health meeting at Cranfield last month, said that there was over 720 sq m of land contaminated with arsenic in the south west of England, more than half in West Cornwall. The arsenic arose from heavy mining activity in the past both as a waste product and having been mined in its own right.

Big shift

Defra’s Tim Williamson told the conference that the move towards exposure reduction “is the biggest shift in policy since the Clean Air Act”.

No infant mortality?

 A large study of infant deaths suggests that air pollution is not to blame.

Epaqs and Comeap to be merged

Two air quality expert groups are to be merged, Defra and the Department of Health have announced.

l Independent report: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/panels/aqs/index.htm

Good and bad news for FDMS

New-style FDMS Teoms particle monitors are being rolled out into the Welsh air quality network – but their performance has been patchy.

l Welsh Air Quality Forum: www.welshairquality.co.uk

Sussex extends text alerting....

Sussex authorities’ Airalert text service has restarted again for the summer.

l www.sussex-air.net

and London text extended...

 Croydon’s Airtext service, based on Cerc modelling, is being extended across much of London.

l www.airtext.info

UK weather prompts ozone damage to crops

Sussex crops and vegetation are at risk from ozone, delegates were told at a recent conference. Complaints have led to spot checks on firms operating under the mcerts monitoring equipment certification scheme.

Monitoring on show

Jack Pease visited the popular mcerts exhibition and conference held at Bretby last month

MCERTS spot checks

Complaints have led to spot checks on firms operating under the mcerts monitoring equipment certification scheme.

Gas analyser wins mcerts approval

Casella Measurement, which includes Casella ETi has recently been successful in attaining mcerts approval for its four ME 9800 range of air quality analysers.

Casella: new gravimetric device

Casella also had the DHA 80 high volume sampler on its stand.

Opsis monitors mcerts car park

Enviro Technology (Not ET as in early editions of our paper edition - apologies) was demonstrating its Opsis equipment which has mcerts approval.

Many pollutants for Airpointer

Air Monitors is continuing to make progress with its Airpointer multiple pollutant monitor.

Bad air v climate change

AQEG has completed its huge and intricate report into air quality and climate change

Oops, sorry we’re late

Defra has apologised to local authorities and operators for forgetting to point out that operators of Part 2 processes must start gathering data for the European pollutant register.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/index.htm

Good weather, bad air

Kings College ERG reported widespread moderate PM10 particulate was measured throughout London and south east England between the Sunday 25th March and Wednesday 28th March.

l www.londonair.org.uk

PM petitioned on air

A London residents’ group is coordinating a petition demanding that the Government meet World Health Organisation air quality standards in London.

l The petition can be signed on http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/LondonCleanAir/

Last but not least…

Scotland has finally got its own dedicated government sponsored air quality website.l The site can be found at www.scottishairquality.co.uk

R&P works closed

R&P’s factory near New York is to be closed, Thermo has announced.

 

April 2007 headlines (issue 11)

Air quality ‘top priority’

A high level Government review of local authority regulatory priorities has seen air quality ranked top.l  The Rogers Review can be viewed on http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/regulation/reviewing_regulation/rogers_review/index.asp

Urban environment scrutinised by RCEP

Air quality features highly in a high profile report on the UK’s urban environment.l  The Urban environment is the Commission’s 26th report and can be viewed on www.rcep.org.uk/ urbanenvironment.htm

Huge risk for women

The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution is pondering a study that suggested air pollution has a huge effect on women.l  Long-term exposure to air pollution and incidence of cardiovascular disease in women – Miller et al (2007) http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/356/5/447

ET conquers network

Defra has decided to install BAM1020 PM10 monitors from Enviro Technology within its AURN (Automatic Urban and Rural) air pollution monitor network.

Budget rounds on pollution

Gordon Brown’s March Budget contained many measures that will affect air pollution, both short term and long term.

Thermo to discontinue older Teoms

Thermo Scientific has announced it is discontinuing manufacturing (and eventually support) of some of its older Teoms and other instruments. The old Teoms were developed by R&P which was recently taken over by Thermo.

l  Discontinuation notices are published on the Thermo Fisher Scientific – Air Quality Instruments website, www.thermo.com/air

Four scoop Beacon award

Four authorities – Sefton, Sheffield, Croydon and Greenwich – have won their bid for Beacon status for air quality excellence. Kensington and Chelsea was the only entrant not to win but was highly commended.

Climate change coup

Beacons take place in distinct rounds and the choice of air quality in round eight was welcomed by Defra’s air quality team.

l  http://beacons.idea.gov.uk

Action plans and LTPs: reporting guidance

New guidance has been produced for councils who have wrapped up their air quality action plans with their local transport plans.

l  Frequently asked questions on action plans can be seen at www. bv-actionplan.co.uk/faqs.asp

News from the PTRC/Bristol transport & air quality conference

Winchester performs Miracles

Winchester is taking part in an EU Miracles project which aims to demonstrate ways of improving air quality.

London low emission zone: dates revealed

Delegates to the Bristol conference were updated on how plans for the London low emission zone were progressing.

Microscale action planning in Coventry

The Bristol conference was told how action was being carried out at the very local level in Coventry.

NOx-eating paving gives 20% cut

The Bristol PTRC transport and air quality conference heard from Camden which has been trialling NOX -eating paving. Early results suggest the paving may have cut local NOX concentrations by 20%.

Lowdown on low emission zone studies

Tom Parker of Transport and Travel Research told the Bristol conference of his thinking behind low emission zones. The firm has been involved in some high profile studies of cities such as Sheffield and Bristol seeking to cut emissions.

Air quality fears prompt London study

The Central London Air Quality Cluster Group (central London borough air quality officers) has set up a working group to look at the current drive towards sustainable development, with regard to the way that emerging policies have the potential to impact on local air quality.

Bristol nags 700 gross polluters

Over 700 drivers of high polluting vehicles in the Bristol area have received letters from the council.

Near-road impacts studied

Defra has released a report showing the impact of pollution near major roads. It was completed some time ago but has only just been made public.

l The report is available from www.defra.gov.uk/science/project_data/DocumentLibrary/AQ03507/AQ03507_4703_FRP.doc

Dioxin discussions focus on future monitoring

Monitor firm Quantitech recently held a seminar discussing current dioxins monitoring issues and a new MCERTS-approved system developed to sample dioxins over longer periods.

l More details from Quantitech 01908 227722

Sheng joins SLR as Cambridge principal

SLR Consulting has appointed Dr Xiangyu Sheng as a new principal at its Cambridge office.

California tightens NO2

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has approved new, stricter standards for nitrogen dioxide.

l  www.arb.ca.gov

Hull tests drivers

Hull City Council is working with enforcement officers from VOSA to test vehicles entering the city.

Ozone high in Europe

Summer ozone levels exceeded the EU’s long-term target level in 2006, threatening the health of Europeans, according to a report released by the European Environment Agency.

l  Air pollution by ozone in Europe in summer 2006 http://reports.eea.europa.eu/technical_report_2007_5

Model used to predict direct NO2

Defra has released a report showing how a rudimentary model could be used to predict direct NO2 emissions.

l  Primary nitrogen dioxide emissions from road traffic can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/archive/ reports/list.php

Cutting CO2 and emissions

The Department for Transport is sponsoring a campaign on ecodriving aiming to cut CO2 and other vehicle pollution. Radio adverts urge drivers to change gear earlier to reduce emissions in DfT’s Act on CO2 campaign www.dft.gov.uk/ActOnCO2

Own indicator for NI

Northern Ireland now has its own air quality indicator.

l  Air quality trends in Northern Ireland www. airqualityni.co.uk/reports

National burner plan

Defra is consulting on the operation of the UK National Emission Reduction Plan

l  www.defra.gov.uk/corp orate/consult/emission-reductionplan/index.htm

West London talks

The air quality cluster of the West London Alliance is holding a free workshop on the afternoon of 17th April

l  www.westlondonairquality. org.uk/default.asp

Charges agreed

Local authority pollution control charges will increase by between 2% and 3%, it has been decided.

l  www.defra.gov.uk/environ ment/ppc/localauth/fees-risk/fees.htm

Bull to direct

Arup has promoted air quality planning and modelling specialist MIchael Bull to director level.

Hybrid double decker

 The world's first hybrid diesel electric double-decker bus has gone into service on route 141 in London, Transport for London (TfL) has announced.

EMAQ+ seminars

EMAQ+ is running a seminar in May entitled Action Planning – examples to be held in Bradford on 3rd May, Birmingham on 17th May and London on 23rd May. In June seminars cover emission monitoring and are entitled Monitoring problem particulates and will be held on 14th June in Bradford, 20th June in London and 26th June in Bristol.l  www.emaq.aeat.com/ seminars.php

Short haul cut

Aviation protest group HACAN ClearSkies has called for a cut in short haul flights at Heathrow to improve air quality in London.

March 2007 headlines (issue 11)

MPs savage air progress

MPs on the House of Commons Transport Committee have torn into the Government for its lack of progress in meeting targets – including one on air quality.l Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Defra’s Departmental Report 2006 and Defra’s budget Second Report of Session 2006–07 www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmtran/95/95.pdf

Time to bid for £2.4m

Air quality grants worth £2.4m – the same as in previous years – are up for grabs.l The 2007/08 letter, applic- ation forms and 2006/07 pro- gress forms can be seen on www.defra.gov.uk/ environment/airquality/ local/aqgrant/index.htm

Air quality thwarts Tesco extension in Kent

An extension to a Tesco store has been refused planning permission with air quality cited as a key reason.l Tesco’s air quality assessment can be viewed on http://publicaccess. sevenoaks. gov.uk/upload/ publicaccess/0602765_T9-5%20(12117).pdf

Rugby given OK to burn tyres

The Environment Agency is to allow Cemex to burn waste tyres at its Rugby cement plant – despite a recent £400,000 fine against the operator for excess emissions.

Enviro mailshot earns rebuke

In the latest episode of the Teom v Bam particle monitoring saga, Bam-seller Enviro Technology has been criticised by Defra for over-enthusiastic sales literature.

NB: In our print edition we inadvertently suggested Enviro had said that 2006 was the key switchover date - that was our mistake and the correct date is 2008. Apologies for this error.

Royal Society probes climate and air quality

UK science institution the Royal Society is launching a probe into air quality and climate change. It will report at the end of the year.

l The deadline for submissions to the inquiry is 23rd March. www.royalsoc.ac.uk/policy.

Wilts: Pig farmer in trouble

A pig farmer in Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire has lost his appeal against failing to get a permit for his rendering plant.

Abatement notice first, demands High Court

Newcastle City Council has lost a High Court case and been told it should have first served an abatement notice on a farmer causing a nuisance through open burning.

l The Barns (NE) Ltd v Newcastle Upon Tyne CC [2006] Env LR 25 (Court of Appeal, Civ. Div.)

Blow for persistent complainers

The Information Commissioner has struck another blow to persistent complainers in a new ruling. The news comes a month after the Local Authority Ombudsman issued guidance on how to deal with persistent complainers (AQB February p6).

l Full decision notice www.ico.gov.uk

Vehicle size key to savings?

A study carried out for Camden council tries to rank the ‘greenness’ of various vehicles in terms of air quality

l The report was commissioned by the London Borough of Camden email Gloria.Esposito@camden.gov.uk

Local authorities declare and undeclare AQMAs

While more and more authorities appear to be declaring air quality management areas, some are revoking – and some can’t make up their mind

Port to declare?

Another coastal port may have to declare for sulphur dioxide from shipping.

l www.suffolkcoastal.gov. uk/yourcouncil/haveyoursay

Green fuels consultation

The Government has launched a consultation on the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), and how it will operate.

l More details can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/ consultations/open/draftrtfo

 

Emission plan probe

Defra has launched a consultation on establishing the operation of the UK National Emission Reduction Plan (NERP) under the Large Combustion Plants Directive (LCPD).

l www.defra.gov.uk/corporate /consult/emission-reduction plan/consultation.pdf

Virgin cuts ground emissions

Aircraft operator Virgin is cutting emissions of planes on the ground using ‘starting grids’.

Welsh list monitoring activities

Welsh local authorities have been told of monitoring activity carried out in the country in the last year.

l The Welsh Air Quality Forum newsletter can be seen at www.welshairquality.co.uk/ index.php

Congestion charge extended: London busier

The London congestion zone has been enlarged to include an area of west London as well as central London.

Roadbox fit for hotspot monitoring

Enviro Technology Services, has launched its Roadbox compact air quality monitoring system designed for roadside and hot-spot monitoring applications.

l Enviro Technology email Stephen.hoskin@et.co.uk

Cold snap pollution

London’s ERG has reported a PM10 alert in London following recent snow falls.

Threat to biofuel growth

Biofuels – held out as a panacea to global warming and pollution problems – are under threat because of soaring commodity prices.

Further push by Sheffield for ecodriving

Sheffield’s Care4Air’s marketing firm Diva is encouraging local businesses to train their drivers in ‘ecodriving’.

Test to include ecodriving

The UK theory driving test is being expanded from 35 to 50 questions and will include topics such as ecodriving and other environmental issues, the Driving Standards Agency says.

More LEZ gripes

London’s low emission zone has come in for more criticism from logistics firms.

Nottingham goes for ethanol

Nottingham City Council is to examine the environmental, technical, operational and business case for using buses fuelled by ethanol.

Aviation pollution talks

Manchester’s Centre for Aviation and the Environment is holding a conference titled Safeguarding airport air quality: angles of approach on 12th April in Manchesterl www.cate.mmu.ac.uk. AQB was barred from attending the conference.

 

February 2007 headlines (issue 10)

Air pollution worsens

The government has admitted that air quality is getting worse.

l The indicator can be viewed on www.sustainable-development.gov.uk.

Bexley declaration: treat roads as car parks

Bexley is to declare its entire borough joining the majority of London boroughs who have taken this approach.

Odour judgement questions H4

The Environment Agency’s failure to ratify its H4 guidance on odour has drawn criticism from a planning inquiry judge.

News from the Sussex Air quality steering group health message conference

Sussex sufferers get 27 alerts

Asthmatic Sussex residents received 27 bad air warnings last year, coordinator Nigel Jenkins told the Sussex Air Quality Steering Group conference last month.

Croydon’s alerting service set for expansion

Croydon’s Clive Simmonds, also speaking at the conference, outlined how his borough’s alerting system (AQB December 2006 p5) was working.

Met Office reveals impact of episodes

The Met Office told the Sussex Air conference of its episode alerting service for COPD.

Duplicated systems?

The conference heard that there were now three different and competing systems in operation in the UK for warning patients of bad air and weather. Speakers from Europe said that systems were also up and running

News from the January ERG London air quality network meeting

Primary PM10 is increasing

ERG’s Gary Fuller, speaking at the ERG London network conference held in London last month, warns that primary PM10 is increasing rather than falling as expected.

Modern vehicles not as clean as hoped

Legislation has not delivered emissions savings as had been expected, claimed Jurgen Schneider of the German Umweltbundesamt talking to the ERG meeting held in London last month.

Congestion charge to promote clean cars

The London congestion charge may be tweaked to encourage use of cleaner vehicles, Sarah Legge of the GLA told the ERG conference.

Traffic linked to air quality in CC monitoring

ERG’s Ben Barratt told the conference that new monitoring would plug the gap between traffic data and air quality.

Child lung damage

In a widely reported article, medical weekly The Lancet has said that motorway pollution has serious impacts on child lung development.

l The article can be viewed on www.thelancet.com

Alfred McAlpine swallows Enviros

Civil engineering firm Alfred McAlpine plc has bought environmental consultancy Enviros.

Permit deregulation leaflet proposed

A draft of a leaflet explaining how permits are to be deregulated under the Environmental Permitting Programme has been produced by Defra and the Welsh Assembly for consultation.

l EPP website: www.defra.gov. uk/environment/epp

l Consultation on the principles of a unified charging framework website www.environment-agency.gov.uk/yourenv/ consultations/1692070/

Latest LAPC statistics released by Defra

Defra has released its yearly survey of local authority pollution and control activities.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ ppc/localauth/pubs/reports/pdf/manage-summary-stats0506.pdf

Consultation: how to do it

UWE has produced a guide on proper consultation and offers ‘ten steps’ to doing it better

l www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/esrc

Scotland promotes

Ecodriving A new campaign to encourage car commuters in the Central Belt to adopt eco-friendly driving habits was launched today by celebrity commentator Murray Walker.

Persistent complainers: help

The Local Government Ombudsman has issued advice on how to deal with persistent complainers.

l www.lgo.org.uk

Portsmouth consultation includes ‘Portair’

Portsmouth has held a conference to explore possible action to improve air quality.

l www.portair.co.uk

Europe agrees cleaner fuel standards

A decision has been delayed on vehicle emissions standards, but Europe has agreed on tougher fuel limits that will improve air quality.

Defra explains how to tot up damage costs

Air quality damage costs were explained in Defra methodology released before Christmas.

l Air quality interim damage cost guidance can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/panels/igcb/guidance/ index.htm

Good marks for best value

Local authorities appear to have done quite well in the ‘best value’ rankings of their performance in air quality.

l 2005/06 Comprehensive best value performance indicator guidance can be viewed on www.audit-commission.gov.uk/performance/guidance.asp

l BVPI results can be found on www.audit-commission.gov.uk/ performance/dataprovision.asp

PPC web upgrade

Defra’s PPC webpages have been updated and re-styled.

l www.defra.gov.uk/ environment/ppc/index.htm

Fenland reviews

Air Quality Consultants has been appointed to assist Fenland District Council with all its air quality work for the next two years.

Ozone event analysis

An AEA report details an ozone incident in the hot weather last year.

l Air pollution forecasting: Ozone pollution episode report (June-July 2006)

www.airquality.co.uk/ archive/reports/reports.php?action=latest

LEZ ‘a shambles’

Mayor Livingstone and Transport for London’s plans to introduce a low emission zone regarding the operation of lorries within the M25 are very seriously flawed claims the Freight Transport Association.

Wycombe monitored

Wycombe District Council is using a £15,000 grant from Defra to set up a new air quality monitoring in the district.

Bus quality corridors

The Government has announced a rethink on bus policy that could lead to a shake up of the way bus operators are reimbursed.

l Putting passengers first can be viewed on www.dft. gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_localtrans/documents/divisionhomepage/613801.hcsp

Broadmead bung

A developer in Bristol has promised £475,000 for air quality work in a huge planning gain (section 106) agreement.

Rugby legal and planning challenge

Protesters against Cemex’s Rugby cement plant have won the right to appeal against a judgement that went against them in 2006.

Emissions inventories in print

AEA has released an update of its comprehensive guide to UK emissions across the period 1970-2004.l UK Emissions of Air Pollutants 1970 to 2004 can be viewed on www.naei.org.uk

Cash for ‘green’ fuel

The DTi and private investors have giving an Oxfordshire biotechnology firm half a million pounds to develop a new low-cost

Flurry of air reports released

AEA has released reports on air quality in 2005 for Wales, Northern Ireland and the UK.  The Welsh report is available on www.welshairquality.co.uk the Northern Ireland report on  www.airqualityni.co.uk and the UK report on  www.airquality.co.uk/archive/reports/reports.php?action=latest

 

January 2007 headlines (issue 9)

Upgrade to cost millions

Defra is struggling to find money to comply with new EU air quality testing requirements.

Thermo reigns in Teom

Teom manufacturer Thermo has announced it will sell its own Teom particle monitors, endings its preferred seller arrangement with Jim Mills at Air Monitors.

News from the December iapsc meeting held in London

New results question FDMS intercomparison Just as it was thought that some certainty had been agreed in particle measurement, new results presented to the latest Investigation of Air Pollution Standing Conference (Iapsc) held in Birmingham suggests the newly Defra-approved FDMS Teom is not as equivalent as first thought.

Dust dominates Fuller’s 50

ERG’s Gary Fuller outlined his ‘top 50’ monitoring sites headed up by many with exceedences caused by waste dust.

FDMS: ERG reveals teething problems

Iapsc delegates heard from the King’s London ERG team how the FDMS Teom particle monitor was working in practice.

Exposure reduction: is it fair?

Exposure reduction – the term given to ‘evenly’ improving air quality, may reduce the burden of bad air quality on the poor.

Delays creep into network update

Installation of new FDMS Teoms into the national automatic monitoring network (AURN) has been slightly delayed, Bureau Veritas’s Richard Maggs told the Iapsc audience.

Budget disappoints

There were few measures contained in the December pre Budget report to please those seeking further curbs on transport and pollution.

Rugby seeks £500,000 monitoring partner

Rugby Borough Council is seeking bids for provision of air quality consultancy services for the next five years. The European Journal procurement website suggests the contract is worth £500,000.

News from the Society of Chemical Engineers AAMG meeting  www.aamg-rsc.org/

Shift from equity to efficiency

Air quality policy is moving from one based on social equity to social efficiency, policy expert Paul Watkiss told the RSC AAMG conference.

Air quality policy driven by particles

Continuing his discussion on the use of cost benefit analysis for air quality decision making, Watkiss said that health costs of particles dominate economic benefits.

Holgate: particle mass measurement ‘banal’

Southampton air quality and asthma specialist Stephen Holgate told the AAMG conference of the impact of pollution on respiratory health – especially children.

Cardiff bucks trend to undeclare

Cardiff council is undeclaring two of its four air quality management areas (AQMAs).

Rushcliffe undeclares

Rushcliffe Borough Council is formally undeclaring its Barnstone AQMA.

Reigate sets out action to deal with Gatwick

Reigate and Banstead has agreed an air quality action plan for Horley – an area hit by pollution from Gatwick Airport.

Drax trial extended

The Environment Agency says it needs extra time (until June 2007) to assess any health risk from burning petcoke at Drax power station.

Aviation act tackles air

The Civil Aviation Act received Royal Assent before Christmas. Among other things, it clarifies the ability of airports to set charges that reflect local air quality emissions from aircraft.

Progress report: wait and see on air quality

The much heralded air transport White Paper progress report has been published by the Government.

l The progress report can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_control/documents/contentservertemplate/dft_index.hcst?n=17484&l=2

Stern review

The ‘Stern’ review of transport has reiterated the Government’s view that airports should seek to meet growing aviation demand, arguing the economic benefits outweigh environmental damage.

LTp air efforts ranked

DfT has published its ranking of final local transport plan bids. Air quality input into those bids has been judged to be much improved.

AQB ‘yardstick’ sees 2006 rise

Analysis by Air Quality Bulletin sees 2006 as a bad air year - but not as bad as 2003.

Scotland’s green laws

The Scottish Executive is consulting on its environmental regulations.

l Strengthening and streamlining: the way forward for the enforcement of environmental law in Scotland can be viewed on www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2006/11/22152827/0

LEZ fleet impacts

London boroughs are consulting on the impact of the London low emission zone on council vehicle fleets.

l Details email jared.boow@londoncouncils.gov.uk

Dioxin seminar touted

Quantitech has issued an open invitation to attend a seminar on techniques and technologies to monitor dioxins. The seminar will take place at the Open University in Milton Keynes on Thursday 22nd February 2007.

l Anyone interested in attending should email their contact details to quant@quantitech.co.uk.

NSCA ponders its future

NSCA has been through some difficult months with staff uncertainties and worries about funding and membership. It is currently consulting members on what it should do now.

New face for www.airquality.co.uk

Defra and the devolved region’s air quality website (www.airquality.co.uk) has received its first major facelift for four years.

ERG produces local pollution site for Hillingdon

ERG’s emissions team has developed new web based service to host local authority information relating to industrial sites – essentially an online public register.l website www.emissions.hillingdon.gov.uk

December 2006 headlines (issue 8)

Traffic light row halts AQMA

Politicians have declared an air quality management area in Bromley – but it will only come into force if they are given control over traffic lights.

Bonfire night smog ‘worst since 2001’ says ERG

Still, misty conditions led to last month’s bonfire night being the worst (in pollution terms) since 2001.

TIF bids: More grants

Further money has been allocated for authorities bidding for Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) pump priming funding.

News from the NSCA air quality update conference in Birmingham

Mixed response to LEZ findings

South Yorks has received a report from its consultants on the benefits of a low emission zone. The report could prompt argument among member authorities when it is discussed.

‘Wilful individual’ prompts air actions

David Muir of Bristol outlined some novel actions that the city was carrying out to improve air quality – some of which were prompted by ‘wilful individuals’.

Foster: filthy buses

Newcastle City Council’s Ed Foster told the NSCA conference how his authority was taking advantage of the Local Transport Plan (LTP) process to bring forward air quality action.

Clean emission firm fined for IPPC breach

Vehicle catalyst maker Johnson Matthey has been fined for breaching its IPPC licence.

ADMS 4 model nears completion

Software developer Cerc is nearing completion of ADMS 4 – a ‘major update’ on the current ADMS 3 dispersion model.

London network seminar

The 2007 London Air Quality Network seminar will be held on 19th January.

l www.londonair.org.uk/lon don/reports/Agenda_LAQN_ Seminar2007_provision

NECD consultation

Defra and the regions are consulting on a draft updated UK national programme in accordance with the European National Emissions Ceiling Directive.

l www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/current.htm

Nuneaton to declare

Nuneaton is consulting on declaration of an air quality management area centred on the Leicester Road traffic gyratory system.

Strategy responses revealed

Defra and the Scottish Executive have released a summary of responses to the consultation on the air quality strategy carried out earlier this year (AQB May p7).

l Summary of responses can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/ corporate/consult/responses.htm

Croydon extends Airtext across London

Over 20 boroughs are likely to join up with Croydon to offer a mobile phone texting service warning of poor air quality.

Helpdesk FAQs answer PM10 questions

New ‘frequently asked questions’ have been added to Defra’s review and assessment website.

l The UWE review and assessment helpdesk is on www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review/ mfaqpm.html

H2 buses worldwide

Six cities and regions in Europe and Canada are joining forces and buying zero-emissions hydrogen-powered buses under the major EU-assisted hydrogen and fuel cell bus project CUTE (Clean Urban Transport for Europe) scheme.

l www.hfpeurope.org/ www.global-hydrogen-bus-platform.com/

Leaf burning

The useful US Airnow website is urging residents not to burn leaves because of poor air quality.

l http://airnow.gov

Sussex health meeting

The Sussex Air Quality Steering Group (Sussex Air) is holding a seminar in Brighton on the 22nd January 2007 .

l www.sussex-air.net

LEZ standards studied

With local authorities around the country looking at low emission zones, what are the best standards to adopt?The report is now being considered by the Commission, and comments are welcome. Additional material can be found on www.airqualitypolicy.co.uk, or from Lucy.Sadler@airqualitypolicy.co.uk

Beacon cash prompts beauty contest

The announcement that there might be money for air quality in the Beacon scheme has prompted a number of councils to bid for the cash. Five have been shortlisted.

London plots shape of LEZ

After years of talking about it – what could be the final consultation on the London low emission zone (LEZ) is taking place.

November 2006 headlines (issue 7)

Double rap for Rugby

Anti cement plant campaigners are jubilant that Rugby plant operator Cemex has been hit with a huge £400,000 fine.

Review group adds to woes

Tyre burning has been heavily criticised in a Rugby Tyre Burning Review Group report.l The report is available at: www.rugby.gov.uk/site/scripts/download_info.php?downloadID=1080&fileID=2024

WHO gets tough on PM and sulphur dioxide

The World Health Organisation has tabled guidelines that propose a step change in particle and sulphur dioxide limits – and a small tightening of ozone limits. l WHO air quality guidelines for particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide can be viewed on www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/ 2006/pr52/en/index.htmlDownload our wallchart or ask for a free copy in the post

The Beacon five

Five authorities – Sheffield, Sefton, Kensington & Chelsea, Greenwich and Croydon – have been shortlisted to become beacon authorities based on their air quality performance.l www.idea-knowledge.gov.uk

Agency cuts AQMA

The Environment Agency is hailing the use of best available technology to avoid the need to declare an air quality management area in Barnsley.

Air directive see-saws back

The latest stage in the progress of European air quality directives sees some acceptance of the need for tight standards.

All go for £4m Message project

A new £4.1 million research project aimed at reducing traffic pollution through the use of mobile sensors has been revealed by transport minister Stephen Ladyman.

Biofuels could improve or worsen air quality

A huge report on the use and impacts of biofuels has been released by the Scottish Executive.

l Review of greenhouse gas life cycle emissions, air pollution impacts and economics of biomass production and consumption in Scotland can be viewed on www.scotland. gov.uk/Publications/ 2006/09/22094104/14

News from last month’s dispersion model users group meeting

Ammonia control ‘not easy’

The CEH’s Mark Sutton told the DMUG audience of the dangers of ammonia: “It’s difficult to control ammonia – if it was easy, we’d have already done it.”

Bull clears poultry farms of bird dust risk

Delegates at last month’s Dispersion Model Users Group meeting heard from Arup’s Michael Bull about tests near a South Norfolk poultry farm.

Defra to deploy FDMS in AURN

Defra will shortly begin deployment of Teom FDMS particle monitors in the automatic monitoring network, claims distributor Air Monitors.

l www.airmonitors.co.uk

Ireland splits Mott Macdonald’s

Matt Ireland is leaving to set up his own consultancy. I

l see MNA Advisory website www.localcarbon.co.uk

Petrol regs now in

Petrol Vapour Recovery stage II controls (PVRII) have come into force that will ensure larger petrol stations fit vapour recovery apparatus before January 2010.

l www.defra.gov.uk/news/ 2006/061023b.htm

US equivalence trials mooted

While the UK appears to have concluded that the Teom FDMS can be considered as equivalent to the European reference method

l http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/ 7/257/2422/01jan20061800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/pdf/06-8478.pdf

NSCA revamps key planning guide

NSCA has relaunched its guidance on how air quality should be handled within the planning process.

Association of London Government approves its guidelines

Meanwhile the Association of London Government (rebadging itself as London Councils) is updating its planning and air quality guidance, last revised in 2001. It has been prepared by the APPLE (Air Pollution Planning and the Local Environment) working group.

Yearly round up shows continued stall

The Environment in your Pocket, a booklet published annually detailing environmental trends and statistics, has celebrated its tenth anniversary.

l The environment in your pocket 2006 www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/indicators/ headline/index.htm

Monitoring key to chicken manure emissions

Quantitech has recently installed a multi-component FTIR gas analyser at the world’s first poultry litter fuelled power station in Eye, Suffolk.

l www.quantitech.co.uk

LAPC charges rise by 2% plus

Consultation is taking place on ‘risk based’ charges for local authority environmental regulation of industrial plant.

l Local authority environmental regulation of industrial plant: 2007/2008 risk based fees and charges can be viewed on www.defra.gov. uk/corporate/consult/localauth-plantfees07-08/index.htm

Small burner conundrum for Defra

Defra and the Welsh Assembly have released an air quality note on small burner regulation under LAPC.

l AQ17 (06) – Small waste oil burners and the WID www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/lapc/aqnotes/index.htm

Landfill burners deregulated

 A proposed amendment of PPC regulations aims to relax controls on landfill gas engines.

l www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/ppc-amendregs3/index.htm

Tractor emission plans

DfT is consulting on changes to emission standards for agricultural and forestry tractors.

l www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/ groups/dft_roads/documents/page/dft_roads_613 458-01.hcsp#P23_453

Enforcement quick win

Enforcing speed limits would lead to a quick win in reducing vehicle emissions.

l www.ukerc.ac.uk

Widening cuts AQMA headcount

The Highways Agency says £122m rebuilding of the A2 Bean to Cobham road will reduce the number contained within an air quality management area.

Richmond taxes polluters

The London Borough of Richmond is consulting on plans to levy a higher parking charge for larger cars. Coupled with a 50% increase in charges for a second car, the aim is to encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport and use of smaller cars.

l www.richmond.gov.uk/ home/council_government_and_democracy/council/contacts_consultation_feedback/current_council_consultations/co2_consultation.htm

Tube data changed

The University of the West of England review and assessment helpdesk has announced a number of changes that have taken place to the diffusion tube database since the last release in March 2006. These are summarised in a new document and database containing tube factors.

l It can be viewed on www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review/diffusiontube060906.xls

Further assessment example

A new example of a further assessment report has been added to the review and assessment helpdesk website.

l It can be found in the examples section of the review and assessment helpdesk website www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review

 Scottish planning note revised

The Scottish Executive has reissued its PAN51 planning advice note on environmental protection and regulation.l PAN 51 (revised 2006) planning, environmental protection and regulation can be viewed on www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2006/10/20095106/11

Late pollution event

Widespread moderate (up to 45 µg/m3) PM10 pollution was measured throughout London and south east England between Friday 13th and Tuesday 17th October 2006.l  www.londonair.org.uk

Harrogate skipped

Harrogate was inadvertently missed in our review of air quality websites (AQB September p5). We are happy to say that the borough has a bright and cheerful website complete with ‘traffic light’ pollution levels that would easily have made three stars!l The webpage can be found on: www.harrogate.gov.uk/ harrogate-916

October 2006 headlines (issue 6)

Defra updates AQ progress

Defra air quality expert Carole Tidmarsh briefed last month’s South Yorkshire Care4Air conference on new developments in air quality.

London planning guide hits ‘final’ draft

A guide to air quality and planning in London may hinder attempts to build new homes in areas of exceedence – in effect nearly all of London.

Working group to probe particles from waste transfer sites

A London borough plagued by dust from a waste transfer site is calling on councils to share information on the problem.

News from the South Yorks Care4Air conference

Paving and paint to cut NOx

Trials of NOx ‘eating’ additives in paint and paving are showing early signs of success

Air grants: bids revealed

More details have emerged on the shape of air quality grant handed to local authorities in the current year (2006/07).

Air Monitors hits the web

Air Monitors says its latest Airpointer monitoring system can be hooked directly up to the web to allow near-real time interrogation by the public.

l Further information on Air Monitors website www.airmonitors.co.uk

Late summer pollution episode in London

In the unseasonably hot weather seen in September, widespread moderate PM10 particulate was measured throughout London and south east England on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th.

l www.londonair.org.uk

Tougher PM2.5 standards for US: PM10 revoked

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed a tightening of particle standards.

l More information www.epa.gov/pm/naaqsrev2006.html

Planning and pollution merge

A consultation has been launched aimed at merging planning and pollution controls for new development.

l Planning and pollution control: joint DCLG and Defra consultation on options for improving the way planning and pollution control regimes work together in delivering new development can be viewed on www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1502826

‘Nuts and bolts’ PPC consultation

Defra is consulting on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of a simpler pollution regulation regime aimed at combining waste regulation and PPC permitting.

l Environmental permitting programme: Second consultation on proposals for creating a streamlined environmental permitting and compliance system can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/environment/epp.

Widen scope of LAPC probe, says EIC

The Environmental Industries Commission is urging Defra to extend the scope of its probe into LAPC regulation of 17,000 smaller processes.

l www.eic-uk.co.uk

Euro 5 car standards agreed

Government is set to lobby Europe to tighten Euro 5 car emission standards agreed last month.

l www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/ groups/dft_roads/documents/ divisionhomepage/612515.hcsp

Vehicle tests prove direct NO2 fears

Tests on modern cars have confirmed fears that direct NO2 emissions may swamp the air quality benefits of cleaner cars.

l Effects of emerging vehicle technologies on emissions not currently regulated www.info4local.gov.uk/searchreport.asp?id=30409&heading=e-mail+alert

ADMS lifts estimates?

Users of the ADMS Roads dispersion model fear that a new revision could lead to higher estimates of air pollution near new roads.

l www.cerc.co.uk

Waste dust exposed at Iapsc

As Iapsc (the Investigation of Air Pollution Standing Conference) approaches its 40th anniversary, it is finalising its programme for its forthcoming 5th December meeting.

l http://www.iapsc.org.uk

Daly takes helm as Iapsc hits 40 year anniversary

High profile Sheffield City Council environmental health specialist Mark Daly is becoming chair of Iapsc.

Defra science in crisis

Civil servants have warned that science and research at Defra is ‘in crisis’

l Prospect union website www.prospect.org.uk

Small sources included

The European Commission has published its first inventory of pollution from small or non-industrial sources It includes scattered sources such as cars, airplanes, ships, household boilers and small farms – previously data has only been held on larger sources.

l www.eper.ec.europa.eu

New climate change office

The Government has set up a dedicated Office of Climate Change (OCC).

Price rise for PPC

The Environment Agency is proposing to lift its general regulation charges by an average of 2.3% for 2007/08.

l Charges consultation: proposed 2007/08 charging schemes www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/444669/587152/587236/504812/564216/

Taking precautions

Northern UK grouping SNIFFER has published two sets of guidance on the application of the precautionary principle following recent workshops.

l www.sniffer.org.uk

Two new AQ notes

Two new AQ Notes providing additional guidance notes on local authority industrial pollution control issues have been issued by Defra and the Welsh Assembly.

l AQ16 (06) – Latest PPC Amending Regulations; and AQ15 (06) – Environmental Permitting Programme – second consultation can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk/ environment/airquality/lapc/ aqnotes/index.htm

UK fails to transpose

A survey has shown that the UK is lagging behind in implementing EU environmental legislation.

l Seventh annual survey on the implementation and enforcement of community environmental law 2005 can be seen on http://ec.europa.eu/environment/law/as05.htm

Car tax switch

A scheme to shake up vehicle taxation has survived its first reading at the European Parliament.l www.europarl.europa.eu/ news/public/story_page/008-10383-247-09-36-901-20060906STO10382-2006-04-09-2006/default_en.htm

Beacon awards near

Round eight applications for Beacon status are due to be shortlisted this month.l  www.idea.gov.uk

September 2006 headlines (issue 5) 

 

Website Review:

Chiltern is our local authority winner, Care4Air wins our 'other' category

We've ranked hundreds of air quality websites - we'll happily send you a free copy of the survey - drop us an email with your snail address to jackpease @ empublishing.org.uk (please remove spaces

Top local authority sites:

1: Chiltern

2: Doncaster

3: Ellesmere Port

4: Bristol

5: Brighton

Top 'other' sites

1: Care4Air

2:Bucks Air Quality net

3: Londonair

4: (ex) Aric Encyclopedia

5: Kentair

Direct NO2 emissions fear

The Air Quality Expert Group (Aqeg) has issued a draft report on direct emissions of nitrogen dioxide.l Trends in primary nitrogen dioxide in the UK draft Air Quality Expert Group report has a deadline for comments on 7 November 2006. The final report is expected to be published in spring 2007. The report can be viewed on Defra’s website link www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/aqeg/index.htm

Three year probe on traffic pollution sensor network

A three-year research project jointly funded by the Department for Transport and EPSRC is to create a network of traffic and pollution sensors that will allow traffic pollution to be reduced by managing vehicle movements in real time.

l website www.pmesg.org.uk

Grants: £2 a day for Harrow

Sheffield has won a whopping £116,000 – and Harrow a measly £600 in Defra’s air quality annual grants (full list here)

Comeap close to report on ozone effects

The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution (Comeap) is close to completing its report on ozone.

l www.advisorybodies. doh.gov.uk/comeapAir targets missed

The Environment Agency has released its annual report including an analysis of regulated air emissions.

Gloves off in Teom v Bam war

Two leading monitor suppliers are scrambling to pick up business following Defra’s recent reanalysis of particle monitoring equipment.

l Air Monitors has a produced a Teom v Bam factsheet available for download on www.airmonitors.co.uk/fdms

l Enviro Technology: Mike Webley on 01453 733200 or email mike.webley@et.co.uk

High speed vans pollute more than thought: predictions recast

Vans being driven at higher speeds pollute more than previously thought, a Netcen study for the DfT suggests.

Discount offered on ‘bible’

A discount is being offered on a book that many will see as a ‘bible’ on air quality pollutants.l UK Air Pollutants digest is available from http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/epages/ eapublications.storefront

Defra submits progress report to Commission

Defra and the devolved regions are consulting on their statutory report to the European Commission on the state of air quality in the UK in 2004.l Consultation on the UK’s plans and programmes to meet limit values set in the First Air Quality Daughter Directive (1999/30/EC) of the European Parliament and Council (2006 reporting year) website link www.defra.gov. uk/corporate/consult/ air1daughter2006/index.htm

Clearer Future rerun South Yorks

Care4Air grouping is holding its second annual Clearer Future conference on Thursday 21st September.l www.care4air.org

Two new R&A FAQs

Two new frequently asked questions have been added to the review & assessment helpdesk website

l R&A website FAQS: www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review

Spondon declaration

Derby City Council is extending its air quality management areas to include more of its ring road and an area in Spondon.

CO2 effects outlined

Defra has released a key report used to inform the recent Aqeg probe into pollution and global warming impacts.

l The report can be viewed on www.airquality.co.uk/ archive/reports/list.php

New ERG site as TfL bolsters monitor network

The Environmental Research Group (ERG) has taken delivery of a new air quality monitoring station.

Methane stats redone

UK methane emission statistics have been recast to reflect latest thinking.

l www.defra.gov.uk/environment

US to study emissions

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has approved over $5 million in funding for researching air pollution, including shipping emissions.l www.arb.ca.gov

EU looks at costing

An EU study has found that business tends to overestimate the costs of environmental measures, much as has been seen in UK studies. 

l http://ec.europa.eu/environment/enveco/ex_post/costs.pdf

POP consultation

Consultation has started on the shape of the European plan to cut Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). l http://ec.europa.eu/environment/pops/consult_en.htm

Bristol maps air and noise effects of LEZ

Bristol City Council has embarked on a project to map environmental noise which will examine how the noise climate in the city might be affected by the introduction of a low emissions zone (LEZ) for air quality.l SILENCE project www.silence-ip.org

August 2006 headlines (issue 4)

Heathrow: meet or cheat?

The all important Heathrow air quality panels have completed their work – the way is now clear to decide whether a third runway or mixed mode operations are possible without breaching EU air quality objectives. Or whether to apply for a five year derogation to avoid having to meet 2010 limits.

Air people move on

A number of key air quality people are changing. Defra air quality front man Davide Minotti left two months ago and has now been replaced by Sarah Dudgeon.

Meanwhile NSCA policy man Rob Pilling is leaving and Phil Mulligan is joining to take a senior policy role filling the role vacated by Martin Joseph.

Sadler leads European probe to compare clean up options

Sadler Consultants is leading a consortium conducting a research project for the European Commission on how the EU can support the greater use of technical measures, such as after-treatments, fuels, oils and tyres, that can help reduce the emissions from existing heavy duty fleets.

l Lucy Sadler, Sadler Consultants, website www.airqualitypolicy.co.uk.

ERG plots course of heatwave

Warnings from King’s College ERG summarised the effect of the heatwave in July – the hottest since records began.

l www.erg.kcl.ac.uk

NI gets new website

Northern Ireland now has its own dedicated air quality website, joining England and Wales – but leaving Scotland as the odd UK region out in terms of not having a website.

l www.airqualityni.gov.uk

Ozone tracker for Europe

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has launched Ozoneweb which offers users the opportunity to monitor and track ground level ozone incidents on a pan-European scale for the first time.

l  http://eea.europa.eu

News from the NSCA biofuels conference held in Greenwich

‘Commercial disaster’ for Volvo

Don Potts of Volvo said that his firm’s efforts with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) had been a ‘commercial disaster’.

Lessons learned for biogas in Europe

Peter Boison of the European Natural Gas Vehicle Association said that biogas from wastes and crops had the potential for a 50% reduction in fossil fuel CO2 emissions. “It also has less harmful air quality emissions than any other fuel apart from hydrogen produced from renewables.”

Dual fuel trucks are viable with no grant

Gas vehicle converter Hardstaff says that gas trucks have now reached the point where they are viable without the need for a grant.

Go ahead for London LEZ

Following consultation on the shape of the London low emission zone, London mayor Ken Livingstone has confirmed he intends to go ahead in 2008 – one year later than his election pledge of 2007.

Emission based congestion charge

The mayor is also pledging to apply differential charges to the London congestion charge such that the largest engine cars (for example large ‘Chelsea Tractor’ 4x4s) will pay up to £25 while there will be reductions from the current £8 charge for smaller engined vehicles.

Taxi clean up

Meanwhile previously announced plans to clean up taxis are coming into force – this month taxis that were previously pre-Euro and Euro 1 emissions standards, will now have to present themselves for their annual licensing inspection with approved emission reduction equipment.

Congestion charge benefits diluted

Air quality benefits of the congestion charge are less than initially thought, the latest annual congestion charging report suggests.

Screening key to remote testing

TRL has published its full report on local authority roadside emission testing.

l  A review of roadside emission testing by local authorities in the UK is published by TRL, Publications Unit tel 01344 770297

New site for Bristol

Bristol City Council has launched a new website with detailed air quality monitoring available to the public. It was launched alongside a new monitoring site.

l  Website can be viewed at www.bristol.airqualitydata.com

ET trials remote tests in London and Glasgow

Enviro Technology is launching a bespoke roadside testing service following success of trials in London and Glasgow

l  Enviro Technology Stephen Hoskin 01453 733200 .

 Dry cleaning reminder

Defra is reminding all dry cleaners who don’t yet have a permit to operate that there are less than four months to go to the 31 October deadline when applications must reach local councils.

l  Defra guidance on dry cleaning can be downloaded at www.defra.gov.uk/ environment/ppc

Sussex gets the text

Sussex has followed Croydon by using texts to warn residents of high pollution levels.

l   website www.sussex-air.net.

Indicator ‘improves’

Defra has released its annual ‘traffic light’ air quality indicator and once again claims air quality is improving.

l  Sustainable development indicators in your pocket is available at www.sustainable-development.gov.uk.

Buncefield update

The Health Protection Agency has released a glossy report focusing on the public health impact of the Buncefield fire.

l  The public health impact of the Buncefield oil depot fire can be viewed on www.hpa.org.uk/publications/2006/buncefield/default.htm

Rugby reprise

Protesters are seeking leave to appeal against a decision that the Rugby Cement permit was legitimate.

Off road emissions

The DfT is consulting on changes to standards for non road engine emissions.

l   NRMM emissions final RIA can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk

Waste burning guidance

A third edition of the Guidance on directive 2000/76/EC on the incineration of waste has been published.l  AQ14 (06) – Publication of the 3rd edition of WID guidance can be viewed at www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/wasteincin/index.htm

Holliday award

Colourant producer Holliday Pigments has won a Chemical Industries Association sustainable development award following its £20m investment on in flue gas desulphurisation plants at its Hull and Comines’ (North France) sites leading to a large reduction in SO2 emissions.

Ships to plug in

The European Commission has adopted the recommendation on the promotion of shore-side electricity for use by ships at berth in EU ports in a bid to cut emissions.

l  http://ec.europa.eu/environ ment/air/transport.htm

July 2006 headlines (issue 3)

Monitor shake up imminent

Failure of the Teom particle monitor to conform to EU equivalence standards will lead to a huge shake up of monitoring in the UK.l The intercomparison report is available on the reports area of www.airquality.co.uk and on www.laqmsupport.org.uk

Cement protesters lose appeal against Rugby plant – Agency fails to rescind criticism

Both cement protesters and the Environment Agency lost in a high court appeal.

Ships prompt AQMA

Dover council may have to declare an area of the port based on hourly nitrogen dioxide exceedences.

2006 heading for another 2003?

2006 looks set to be heading towards another 2003 in terms of pollution and heat.

Three declare on NO2 Three local authorities have declared air quality management areas recently.

Carlisle has declared an air quality management area for annual mean NO2 for part of Currock Street, a heavily trafficked road with narrow pavements and housing close to the kerbside.  Meanwhile Guy Sharp of Bournemouth said his authority was declaring areas with busy traffic: and Chichester has also declared.

Waste incinerator for Belvedere

The waste incineration debate is set to ignite once again with news that the DTI has authorised a large waste incinerator in Belvedere, south east London.

EU ozone continues to breach limits

A report suggests that ozone levels across Europe breach objective limits.

Clean transport grant cut leaves EIC fuming

Government abolition of four clean transport grant schemes has angered the Environmental Industries Commission.

UK strategy thoughts aired

Defra last month held a meeting to gather feedback on the recently released UK air quality strategy consultation

Strategy criticised

One criticism of the strategy is its shift from local authority ownership towards national policy measures..

European air directive pushed and pulled

European legislators are changing Commission plans for a new all embracing air quality directive. There will be a tightening of targets – but more flexibility as to when they are met.

The Netcen air quality forecasting meeting focused on Buncefield

Buncefield response analysed

The annual air quality forecasting meeting run by Netcen devoted a whole day to discussing the air quality impacts of the Buncefield fire.

AQ response delayed by bad communication

Air quality professionals appear to have responded to the Buncefield fire in an ad hoc, rather than organised manner, it emerged at the conference.

ERG insists peaks are due to Buncefield

Kings College ERG’s Gary Fuller said that it had now carried out modelling of air quality during the Buncefield incident. He said the modelling backed up the theory that monitored particle peaks were caused by the Buncefield fire.

Revamp for modelling and emissions desk

The Local Authority Air Quality Support Helpdesk has a new website aimed at providing monitoring, modelling and emissions advice to local authorities.

l www.laqmsupport.org.uk

Agency cautions on red tape review

The Environment Agency is adding its voice to fears that the ongoing red tape review might worsen environmental regulation.

News from the Investigation of air pollution standing conference (iapsc) meeting held in London

Croydon expands text warnings

The London Borough of Croydon has expanded its Airtext scheme to include automated landline telephone messages.

... and tackles bus idling

Simmonds reported on Croydon’s experience with using anti-idling powers.

Care4Air delivers

Mark Daly of Sheffield City Council updated Iapsc delegates on how the South Yorkshire Care4

Dutch limits raised

Some speed limits in Holland have been increased from 50mph to 60mph as emissions had been found to increase. Drivers were going too slowly to avoid getting a speeding ticket, says ecodriving expert Martin Kroon speaking at Iapsc.

Carslaw calls for nitrogen dioxide inventory

Direct emissions of NO2 will worsen the ability of the UK to meet hourly as well as annual mean objectives, says David Carslaw of Leeds University.

‘Doom and gloom’ follows tunnel studies

TRL’s Ian McCrae told the Iapsc conference about the ‘doom and gloom’ surrounding increases in emissions of primary nitrogen dioxide: “The actual mass of NO2 is increasing with very high emissions from the latest Euro 4 vehicles – albeit with lower total NOX emissions.”

Jack Pease reports from the Antwerp AAMG particles conference

Dixon reveals Teom failings

Defra’s top air quality scientist Janet Dixon unveiled to the AAMG particle conference in Antwerp new research that shows that Teom particle monitors have failed to meet European standards for particle measurement. Dixon was introducing the research that was concurrently released by Defra on its website.

Commission ceases to listen to experts

Café steering group head Peter Bruckmann says that the European Commission is no longer taking advice on air quality policies as it used to in the past.

Gravimetric method flawed in any case as recommended filters prove inconsistent

European persistence in requiring use of the gravimetric system of measuring particles is flawed, say Belgian researchers.

Euro standard-setting frustrates delegates

There was barely concealed anger on standard setting at the European conference on particles held last month by the AAMG in Antwerp.

Gamekeeper turned poacher?

Don Munns is former chairman of CEN and his words were hardly reassuring in terms of standards setting.

Kelly: diet and PM

Kings College ERG’s Frank Kelly updated the Antwerp particle conference about health effects of particles. He reiterated the benefits of a good diet in mitigating ill health effects of pollution.

The conference was run by the AAMG, part of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Contact Gail Rafferty, AAMG-RSC Administration email conference@aamg-rsc.org

Air included in quality bus partnerships

Guidance has been issued by the DfT on how quality bus partnerships can work. Local authorities can use partnerships to include conditions on bus contracts to clean up emissions.

l www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_localtrans/documents/page/dft_localtrans_611921.hcsp

Consultation on EIAs

Consultation is taking place on amendments to environmental impact assessment circular and guidelines.

l Amended Circular on Environmental Impact Assessment: A consultation paper can be viewed on www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1500995

Infant deaths caused by PM2.5

Californian researchers say that fine particle (PM2.5) pollution is killing young infants.

Asthma incidence link to traffic?

Despite accepted wisdom that asthma incidence is not linked to pollution, Los Angeles researchers think they may have found a link.

Low levels of NO2 in death link

Nitrogen dioxide is blamed for causing increased deaths in European cities.

Below-objective pollution affects kids’ lungs

Air pollution at levels less than European limits affects the lung capacity of children, Austrian researchers suggest.

June 2006 headlines (issue 2)

Buncefield: no significant air quality impacts, claims report

A new Defra report says there were no significant air quality impacts resulting from the explosion last December at the Buncefield oil depot in Hertfordshire.

Defra-commissioned report shows that official modelling underestimates future concentrations

Defra’s preferred means of predicting future nitrogen dioxide concentrations seriously underestimates exposures, according to a new modelling study.l Modelling of current and future concentrations of PM, NOX and ozone London using ADMS-Urban (draft report) can be viewed on the reports section of www.airquality.co.uk

No winter gas relief

The Environment Agency is warning that gas supplies will be tight next year and given the advance notice – emergency permit waivers are unlikely.l www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/444217/444663/298441/1248174/?version=1&lang=_e

Zoom in and fly over London air quality

London academics, with the support of the BOC Foundation, have produced a web-based interactive air quality map.

l  www.londonair.org.uk/london/asp/boc.asp

Boilers could breach NO2 limits

Gas heating boilers could breach objective limits, an AEA Technology report suggests.

l Review of the Clean Air Act provisions for dispersion from small gas boilers can be viewed on the reports section of www.air quality.co.uk

London venue for roadside testing demo

Enviro Technology is holding a demonstration of its remote roadside vehicle testing equipment in London next week.

l www.et.co.uk

Lobby to fight red tape cuts

Environmental interests have set up a lobby group to counteract pressure on the government to cut environmental regulation.

... as EIC objects to Part B dilution

The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) has criticised plans to remove some Part B permitting activities from the local authority pollution control regime.

l www.eic-uk.co.uk

Glasgow continues roadside testing

Glasgow is continuing its campaign of roadside emissions testing in 2006/07 with the help of a £260,000 grant from the Scottish Executive.

New guidelines aimed to help dispersion modellers ...

New guidelines have been agreed to help dispersion modelling of short term releases.

l Guidelines for the preparation of dispersion modelling assessments for compliance with regulatory requirements – an update to the 1995 Royal Meteorological Society guidance can be viewed on http://admlc.org.uk/ model_guidelines/index.htm

...as planning guidance nears completion

NSCA is in the closing stages of updating its planning and development control guidance.

Russian fires and Danish pollen affect UK air quality

Defra had to rush out an air quality alert due to seasonal agricultural fires across Russia which were thought to be responsible for an increase in the levels of particles (PM10) which have been recorded at sites in Scotland and the North of England early in May. May usually sees ozone alerts.

Teom, FDMS and Bam compared

US researchers have compared the benefits of new style Teoms against older Teoms and Bams.

Genetic defects linked to poor air quality

New York researchers say that poor air quality can cause genetic abnormalities.

l More details: www.columbia.edu/cu/news/05/02/pollution_pregnancy.html

Air quality blamed for end to brickmaking

Air quality permit requirements are being blamed for closure of a brickworks in Bedfordshire.

Rise in vehicle weight threatens pollution and global warming

A leading air quality expert has warned that the trend for increasing vehicle weight is likely to affect ground level pollution as well as carbon dioxide emissions.

More bad news for cleaner transport grant schemes as Government opts for education

NSCA expressed its disappointment at transport minister Stephen Ladyman’s plans to scrap four clean transport grant programmes.

Hybrid savings prove elusive

A US energy research firm says hybrids use up more energy on a life cycle basis than conventional vehicles.

Ricardo delivers diesel hybrid V

ehicle research firms Ricardo and Qinetiq have worked with Peugeot Citroen to create a diesel electric hybrid vehicle.

Pigs on notice

Pig and poultry farmers are being targeted by the Environment Agency to remind them they will shortly be covered by Pollution Prevention Control (PPC) requirements.

Grimm push

Environmental monitoring firm Quantitech has increased its stock of Grimm particle monitors available for loan.

l Chris Tyrrell 01908 22 77 22 or by email ct@quantitech.co.uk

Green red buses

39 British-built Alexander Dennis double-decker buses are being delivered to London General bus company creating the first UK fleet that meets higher Euro 4 standards of emissions.

Emissions derogation

DfT is consulting on regulations intended to pave the way for new, cleaner commercial vehicles.

l Consultation on a proposal to amend the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986) to introduce revised emission requirements www.dft.gov.uk

Defra tinkers with IPPC regs

Defra is consulting on sundry technical changes to integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) regulations.

l Further details on http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/ppc-amendregs-2006/index.htm

Heathrow move

The Town and Country Planning Association says that Heathrow should moved to an artificial island to free land, and reduce air and noise pollution in West London.

l website www.tcpa.org.uk

AQ v CC

The European Environment Agency has produced a briefing on air quality and climate change policy interactions.

l Air quality and ancillary benefits of climate change policies, www.eea.europa. eu/main_html

Cross Channel schools on ozone watch

Ten schools across Sussex (and 10 in France) are examining the effects of ozone pollution on sensitive nicotiana plants.

l Phil Gervat 01273 878785

Manchester College wins aero-funding

Manchester Metropolitan University is to lead a £5m international aviation project MMU is leading Project Omega to assess known and newly-emerging environmental challenges that the air transport and aeronautical industries must overcome during the next 50 years.

l www.mmu.ac.uk/interna tional/news/news_item.php ?id=432

Emissions update

DfT is consulting on an update to the booklet, In-service exhaust emission standards for road vehicles.l Consultation with motor vehicle stakeholders annual update of emissions standards for MOT testing can be viewed on www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_roads/documents/divisionhomepage/611654.hcsp

NSCA promotes biogas

NSCA is organising a conference on biogas on 11th July in Greenwich, east London.l Contact Sally May, NSCA, 01273 878770

Review for biofuels

 Three years following introduction of the biofuels directive, the European Commission is reviewing its progress.l http://europa.eu.int/ energy/res/legislation/ biofuels_en.htm

Glasgow road panned

Friends of the Earth Scotland welcomed the publication of a letter, signed by over 20 health experts and local GPs, calling for Britain’s biggest motorway project – the Glasgow M74 motorway – to be scrapped.

May 2006 headlines

Cleaner vehicles threaten widespread NO2 objective failure

An apparently minor and change to the amount of nitrogen dioxide emitted from vehicles may jeopardise achievements of air quality objectives across the UK.

ODPM becomes DCLG

David Miliband has been appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs replacing Margaret Beckett.

Meanwhile the ODPM ‘superministry’ is to be shaken up with the brief taken off Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. The new Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will come under Ruth Kelly’s leadership

Buncefield latest

As AQB went to press, a report into the Buncefield plume was released suggesting there were no lasting public health impacts.

News from the nsca Spring workshop held in Didcot last month

Defra rounds up local air quality progress: laggards lambasted

A record number of local authorities now have air quality management areas, Defra air quality head Davide Minotti has revealed.

Real money – but less of it

A grant scheme has replaced borrowing approvals for air quality – but less cash will be available.

Heathrow dodge?

At the NSCA spring conference, Hillingdon’s Rob Gibson asked Defra air quality head Davide Minotti if it was the UK government’s intention to apply for a derogation for the Heathrow area which is not expected to meet EU air quality objective requirements.

Minotti heads off after three years in air quality post

Air quality head Davide Minotti is leaving his post. A successor has yet to be announced.

Tidmarsh urges ‘cream of the crop’ to bid for Beacon status to unlock AQ funding

Local authorities have been given more detail on how they can apply for Beacon status based on their air quality record.

First pollution alert

Hot and sunny conditions and easterly winds produced the first widespread ozone incident of the year earlier this month. And as AQB went to press, smoke from Russia was tripping PM monitors in the north of the UK.

l www.londonair.org.uk

Final indicator

The Government has finalised its 2005 air quality indicator.

l  www.sustainable-development.gov.uk

AQ notes help out

Use the press

Local authority regulators are being urged to publicise environmental prosecutions more widely in this year’s seventh air quality note.

Buncefield advice

AQ8 warns local authorities of their responsibilities for fuel depots in the wake of the huge Buncefield explosion in December.

Crematoria rethink

Baseline calculations of mercury emissions from criteria have been changed according to air quality advice note AQ 09.

l Air quality notes can be viewed on www.defra.gov.uk /environment/airquality/ lapc/aqnotes

Heathrow fight reaches crescendo

Technical deliberation on air quality issues at Heathrow is concluding – a report is due within a month.

BA: Air quality conditions met

British Airways claims NO2 limits that might prevent airport expansion have already been met.

Heathrow air is “illegal”

A report from airport protesters claims the Government may be acting illegally over air pollution limits at Heathrow.

Highways Agency pledges to halt upgrades if air is worsened

The Highways Agency appears to be taking a firmer line on air quality issues. It is pledging not to carry out works if those works worsen air quality in air quality management areas.

l The 2006/2007 business plan can be viewed on www.high ways.gov.uk/news/index.htm

Merseytravel charges extra for dirty buses

Public transport executive Merseytravel is pledging to use differential charging at its bus stations in a bid to encourage bus operators to use cleaner buses.

Barnsley air on TV

Barnsley residents can find out about air quality on their TV.

NSCA chief Joseph to leave

National Society for Clean Air secretary general Martin Joseph is to leave the National Society for Clean Air after just months in the post. Joseph intends to work for acoustic consultants. Previously he was head of noise at Defra.

New WHO AQ limits

The World Health Organisation has updated its advice on air quality objectives. Experts are recommending objectives that are tighter than those being proposed in the UK and European air quality strategies.

l www.euro.who.int/air

Salford fines

A Salford cement company has been made to pay almost £10,000 after a catalogue of air pollution incidents.

Buncefield ‘wisp’

Buncefield will be the subject of the next air quality forecasting meeting.

Code to cut odour

A voluntary code of practice on smells from sewage treatment works aims to set out good practice for controlling bad smells and how best to respond to complaints of odour.

l  www.defra.gov.uk/ environ ment/localenv/odour/index.htm

Traps best measure for clean up

The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) is throwing its weight behind diesel particulate filters as the best means of cleaning up pollution.

Measurement sale ends Casella uncertainty

Months of speculation have ended with the announcement of the sale of Casella Measurement by US firm Ideal Industries.

Enviro goes remote for Leeds testing

Monitoring firm Enviro Technology (ET) has become the UK distributor for vehicle emissions monitoring specialist Environmental Systems Products (ESP).

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ODPM becomes DCLG

In Prime Minister Tony Blair’s recent shake up of the Cabinet, David Miliband has been appointed environment secretary, replacing Margaret Beckett.

Ombudsman rap for Weymouth

The local authority Ombudsman has criticised Weymouth and Portland Borough Council for failing to adequately carry out its nuisance responsibilities.

Casella sold as new dosebadge launched

Noise monitoring firm Casella Cel has launched the new Cel350 dosebadge. Meanwhile parent firm Casella Measurement has been sold to US firm Ideal Industries.

l More details on the Cel350 on www.casellacel.com

Chinook payout

The Ministry of Defence has paid £7,000 in compensation to a homeowner in Hampshire who said noise and vibration from Chinook helicopters had damaged his house.

Tesco softens image

Tesco supermarket chief Sir Terry Leahy has pledged new stores will be better neighbours in future.

Noise reduction toolkit from TRL

TRL has published details of a traffic noise reduction ‘toolkit’. In the second of a pair of TRL reports, noise barriers are reviewed.

l TRL project report PPR046 Noise barrier review  PPR047 Traffic noise reduction toolkit  www.trl.co.uk/ press/archive.asp?pid=135

Eviction for noisy Tyneside tenants

North Tyneside Council has used tenancy agreements to evict noisy neighbours in one of its housing developments.

Joseph to leave NSCA

National Society for Clean Air secretary general Martin Joseph is to leave the NSCA after just months in the post.

Logging software out

Improved logging software for the long term monitoring of broadband and spectrum data is now available to support Bruel & Kjaer’s Type 2250 fourth generation hand-held analyser.

Website: www.bksv.com

Noise action week imminent

Noise Action Week, coordinated by the NSCA, is taking place from 22 – 26 May.

l Further details, see www.noiseactionweek.org.uk

PPG24 still holds

A planning appeal inspector has told developers that PPG24 noise exposure bands still hold sway despite the ongoing review of the noise planning guidelines.

Heathrow night flight cap accepted

A temporary cap on night flight numbers has been accepted by the Government to avoid a further setback for the Civil Aviation Bill.

Looney joins Temple

Dr John Henry Looney is joining Temple as operations director.

Highway plans

The Highways Agency says it will treat 110 lane km of roads with low noise surfaces in its forward business plan.

Harmonoise delivers

A new version of the Harmonoise Point-to-Point propagation model is available free of charge.

l www.imagine-project.org

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EMP homepage click here

Issue one?

News from the EPUK Scotland’s conference held in Glasgow

Scotland goes its own way

Scottish local authorities work to tougher standards than their colleagues south of the border – but there is more money allocated from Scottish government.

Objection not always best policy

Objection is not always the best option for dealing with air quality concerns about major retail developments, Glasgow City Council air quality officer James Crawshaw told the conference.

Air quality importance grows for Glasgow

“Air quality is growing in importance for Glasgow,” Alastair Brown, air quality chief of Glasgow City Council said as he opened Epuk Scotland’s air quality conference last month.

Breakaway forum?

Scottish air quality experts are considering setting up a separate Scottish Air Quality Forum. It will mirror the UK air quality forum run by Defra.

Burners are back in the news

A spate of incinerators are being planned or approved across the UK as local authorities rush to meet landfill targets.

l Well disposed: responding to the waste challenge can be viewed on www.audit-commission.gov.uk

Government tries to reassure on planning

The Government has tried to justify its attempts to exempt major infrastructure projects against nuisance claims. Epuk has highlighted the issue that dust and noise complaints during construction of major projects and during use will be disallowed according a clause in the Planning Bill.

London air is worst in Europe

The European Commission has carried out a “health check” on 321 European cities. Based on annual average NO2, London is the most polluted city.

Westminster revamps action plan

Westminster City Council – the first to declare an air quality management area, and first to complete its action plan – is carrying out a pre-consultation on an action plan revamp.

l Developing a new air quality strategy and action plan – consultation of issues can be viewed on www.westminster.gov.uk/publications/publications_detail.cfm?ID=3405

Cycle couriers struggle with bad air

The developer of an air pollution mask system says ambient air pollution in London can affect the performance of healthy cyclists.

l www.purebreathe.com

Early take on guidance revamp consultation

Early indications suspect broad support for AQ guidance revamp

Helping to cut taxi emissions

A west London council has set out a best practice guide for reducing taxi emissions

l A best practice guide for reducing emission from taxis in London, TRL report no PPR349 is available from TRL  01344 328038

Ecodriving boost

Motorists are to be advised on how to drive in a way that saves money, saves fuel and cuts emissions in changes introduced into the practical driving test.

l www.dft.gov.uk/actonco2

Ammonia logged

A device which can detect levels of ambient ammonia quicker than traditional methods is being marketed by Enviro Technology.

l Enviro Technology www.et.co.uk

LEZ for market town?

A low emission zone is one option being considered for Chipping Norton.

New gas probe

Monitor firm Enviro Technology has added the Teledyne 200EU photolytic gas analyser to its list of instruments.l www.et.co.uk

Incinerator web map

The UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) website has a new facility – a clickable map of the UK with existing and potential incinerator sites, and information about local campaign groups.l www.ukwin.org.uk

London advised

Months after Boris Johnson took office, the London Mayor now has an environmental advisor, Isabel Dedring

Biomethane trials

Two trials of biomethane-powered vehicles began over the summer, reports Epuk, which manages the biomethane working group.l www.biomethane.org.uk

Heathrow inequalities

A decision on expansion at Heathrow is set to be delayed until the end of the year at earliest while the Government carries out an equality impact assessment of the proposals.l www.dft.gov.uk/heathrowconsultation

Tube update

A number of changes have taken place to the diffusion tube database since the last release in April 2008, UWE’s air quality helpdesk has reported.l To download the latest version (v.09/08) please follow this link: www.uwe.ac.uk/aqm/review/diffusiontube300908.xls

Agency on carbon

The Environment Agency has thrown its weight behind the need to introduce carbon capture at new coal fired power stations.

AQB launched from the ashes of AQM - May 2007!

Jack Pease launches Air Quality Bulletin having let Air Quality Management. AQM subsequently folded and AQB goes from strength to strength