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February 2018 Headlines

 Knightsbridge plan pushes air

Developers in Westminster look set to have to comply with tougher air quality conditions as part of a new-style neighbourhood plan. The Knightsbridge neighbourhood plan will have statutory standing once approved.

NHS cost calculator could be misleading

A Public Health England-funded project has asked Imperial College to model the health burden of air pollution on local and national health boards.

PM2.5 strengthening

Comeap believes evidence on the health effects of fine particles is increasing.

M1 speed limit U-turn

Variable speed limits are being used to reduce air pollution despite an earlier veto by ministers. The precedent creates opportunities elsewhere. 

Emissions worse than expected

Nitrogen dioxide is not falling as quickly as Defra believes.

Slow speed errors

A vehicle emissions report completed in 2014 but only just released reveals that emission factors are so high at low speeds that modellers have been told to ignore them.

Hourly NO2 drop

Kings researchers are scratching their heads following dramatic drops in hourly NO2.

Brixton clean-up

Brixton has been named as the second London low emission bus zone. A further ten are promised to target hotspots caused by bus emissions.

VW fixes compared

Modifications required by US regulators to VW diesel engines designed to cheat emissions tests are more stringent and more effective than in Europe, says the International Council on Clean Transportation.

One in 10 new homes was a former office

New analysis by the Local Government Association reveals nearly one in 10 new homes over the last two years was converted from an office.

Fracking court case fails

A High Court challenge against fracking has failed.

Systematic fiddling in trucks

Roadside tests have found that there is systematic fiddling of emissions in UK fleets.

Operator claimed Adblue ignorance

A truck operator ran trucks for years without topping up the anti pollution additive.

The naughty nine are summoned by Europe

Nine member states have been summoned to Brussels to explain why they continue to breach air pollution limits.

Shipping change leads to emissions leap

Use of accurate shipping data has led to a leap in UK shipping emission data.

AURN ‘passes’

Data collection from the automatic monitoring network met targets in 2016, the latest annual report notes.

Fry to Ramboll

Chris Fry has joined Ramboll as a director, he was previously managing director of the Temple Group. Steve King leaves RSK to join Ramboll’s Manchester office.

SEA guidance

The RTPI has published new guidance on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). It lists four “tips for success”:

New Clean Air Bill tabled

Clean Air in London’s Simon Birkett has drafted a Clean Air Bill which he believes Parliament could approve if supported. It aims to plug any regulatory gaps on air quality should the UK leave the EU.

Another Bill

Meanwhile MP Geraint Davies already has a separate Clean Air (Private Members) Bill due for a second reading imminently.

Plug in record

2017 was the best-ever year for 100% electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle registrations, up 27% year on year with sixth consecutive annual rise. The total number of plug-in cars on UK roads has passed 130,000 and Go Ultra Low says 2018 registrations could reach 60,000.

Cheating continues

The Environment Audit Committee has written to government demanding to know why a third of VW cars with cheat devices remain unfixed.

Online help for low cost sensors

The Air Quality Expert Group (Aqeg) has rushed out an online guide to low cost sensors.

Sensor output shows London hotspots

Results emerged before Christmas based on the mass use of low cost air pollution sensors in London.

1,000 sensors

London will trial a £750,000 air quality sensor system to boost capital’s fixed air pollution monitoring systems from over 100 to up to 1,000 locations.

Big win

Monitor firm Enviro Technology Services (ET) has been awarded part of a large contract with the Environment Agency to supply new and replacement particulate monitors for the AURN.Meanwhile  Air Monitors has won the buik of the contract to provide particle monitors.

Leipzig success

A low emission zone in Leipzig has led to a significant decrease of black carbon and ultrafine particles in urban air

Welsh MPs’ consensus on air

Welsh Assembly MPs appeared to reach a rare consensus on the need to fix air quality in Wales.

Defra issues advice on woodburning

Defra has responded to concerns about growing wood burning pollution by issuing an advice note.

Bonfire ban closer

Croydon Council has approved a plan to further consult on a ban on bonfires between 6am and sunset.

Port consults

The Port of London is consulting on an air quality strategy.

Heathrow consults on expansion

Heathrow has launched a consultation on how it intends to expand the airport. Is there anything new on air quality?

Fanfare for 25 year strategy

The long promised environment strategy is out. Was it worth the wait, asks Jack Pease?

Aether analysis

Aether analyses the warm words of the 25 year plan