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March 2020  Headlines       Issue 167

Loss of one species acceptable

As details emerge of the update to DMRB, it appears that habitats species may be expendable. Calculations suggest the loss of one species is not significant when assessing highways schemes or developments.

Heathrow stalls as NPS found lacking

The planned expansion of Heathrow has stalled following a court warning.

Epping habitats prompt further limbo

Epping Forest council says it continues to be hamstrung by failure of Natural England to approve building near the nitrate sensitive Epping Forest.

Environment Bill still weak

Government has made cosmetic improvements to the Environment Bill but not strengthened air quality provisions.

Cases warning

Greenpeace is warning that environmental cases already underway will be affected by Brexit.

‘Clean’ asphalt

Hanson is marketing a reduced emission asphalt to help minimise the impact of asphalt production and laying on local air quality.

Coal to go?

The government will consult on bringing the deadline for ending unabated coal forward from 2025 to 2024, part of its drive to go further and faster on decarbonising the power sector, as it works towards net zero by 2050.

Newham parking fee

Newham is using parking charges to improve air quality and CO2.

Model clash fails to stop burner

An incinerator has been approved despite air quality modelling concerns which fill out most of a 40 page planning appeal.

First breach in London is for PM10

Provisional data from the London Air Quality Network (LAQN) at King’s College London has shown that the Vauxhall Bondway Interchange has become the first place in London to breach objectives for 2020. This breach is for PM10 particulate – in previous years it has been NO2.

PDR in Parliament

An extension debate has taken place in the House of Commons on the problems of PDR conversions of offices into homes. MPs noted that the policy was leading to substandard housing.

Drive thru fumes

Coventry University and the BBC collaborated to measure air pollution levels outside drive through restaurants.

Eustice in

George Eustice has replaced Theresa Villiers as Environment Secretary as part of Boris Johnson’s cabinet purge. He was previous a farming minister.
Villiers had been in place since July 2019.

Wales brings AQ into planning

Wales continues to shake up its air quality policy. Its latest move is to consult on bringing air quality thinking into its TAN planning guidance.

More directions

Sheffield, Rotherham, Bradford and Coventry are the latest councils to receive ministerial directions on the need to comply with the NO2 plan.

Defra checker

Defra has released on online checker to support clean air zones outside of London.

Particles up

The latest UK emissions statistics reveal a rise in coarse and fine particles – but ammonia is down, breaking years of continued rises.

Tree frenzy

Government has endorsed a report pledging to plant two million street trees within five years.

Spending bonanza extends to bus services

The Go-Ahead Group is rolling out its ‘Air Filtering Bus’ nationwide to help tackle pollution in UK’s biggest towns and cities.

Electric double deck buses spread further across London

London’s 94 bus, operating between Acton Green and Piccadilly Circus, became west London’s first all-electric double-deck bus route.

Ammonia shock to the system?

Just when it seems air quality is sorted, someone spoils the moment and comes up with a new problem – ammonia.

CREAM calculator for roadside ammonia

AQC has released an easy to use emissions factor tool (Calculator for Road Emissions of Ammonia (CREAM)) so that others can test its thinking.

Regulation chosen to cut smoke

Government has chose regulation of sales rather than regulation of use to bear down on smoke from domestic premises, finds Jack Pease

Stove makers’ plea

Stovemakers have once again highlighted what they see as flaws in assumptions on damage caused by domestic burning.