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December 2021 Issue 188

‘Illegal’ data centre refused

Part of a large four-hall data centre has been refused an Environment Agency permit due to emissions from a huge bank of standby generators.

Environment Bill finally becomes law

The Environment Bill has become the Environment Act – nearly three years after it was first introduced to Parliament. A crescendo of argument both inside Westminster and outside has accompanied the passage of the Bill most latterly with repeated rejection of attempts to strengthen air quality laws.

Bristol redirection

Bristol has been given a second ministerial direction to get on with its clean air zone.

178,000 saved with cleaner air

At least 58%, or 178,000, of the annual 307,000 European air quality deaths annually could have been avoided if all EU member states had reached the WHO’s new air quality guideline level of 5µg/m3, says a new report.

Ammonia abatement cheaper than NOx

A study suggests cutting ammonia is more cost effective than cutting transport emissions (see research p10).

Havering challenged

The London Borough of Havering is being asked to provide evidence that a living wall works

Brexit for Scotland

The UK Withdrawal from the EU (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021 sets out how government ministers and other public authorities to ensure they pay due regard to the five guiding principles on the environment.

Assembly motion on burning

The London Assembly has called for the Mayor to begin a Londonwide awareness campaign to highlight the environmental evidence relating to wood burning fires.

Wood stove complaints not followed up

Mums for Lungs pressure group used freedom of information requests to councils to show the large number of complaints but little action.

Wood lobby demand enforcement

The wood fuel lobby is demanding extra enforcement of wood burner and fuel rules.

20% wood dilemna

Scottish MEP Rachael Hamilton asked the Scottish Government: “Whether it plans to decrease the moisture content limit for the sale of firewood to 20%, as set out in its consultation paper, Cleaner Air For Scotland 2, and, if so, whether it will provide details of the reasons for choosing the 20% limit, in light of hardwood that is airdried for two years in the traditional way reportedly having a moisture content of between 17% and 23%, which may mean that half of all such hardwood is unfit for sale?”

Woodburn bad

European pressure group EEB has restated fears that wood burning stoves are bad.

Champion for Scotland

A University of Stirling lecturer has been appointed Regional Clean Air Champion for Scotland, to help develop solutions to air quality challenges as part of the UK’s Clean Air Programme.

Emissions Toolkit

An updated version of the Emissions Factors Toolkit (EFT v11.0) is now available.

Eco posts for Stafford

A new initiative in Stafford will allow residents and visitors to monitor the town’s air quality.

Portsmouth charging clean air zone launches

The government-mandated charging clean air zone (CAZ) has launched last week (Monday 29 November) in Portsmouth. Drivers of private vans, cars and motorcycles will not be charged to drive in Portsmouth, no matter how old the vehicle is, unlike some other clean air zones in the UK such as Birmingham.

Shore power for Portsmouth

Portsmouth City Council's cabinet has approved a strategy for shore power provision at Portsmouth International Port, which will allow visiting ships to switch their engines off whilst alongside.

Further detail on air quality tucked into Environment Bill

The Bill introduces a legally-binding duty on the government to bring forward at least two air quality targets by October 2022.

ULEZ success questioned

Imperial College researchers (Not ERG!) have questioned the benefits of London’s ultra low emission zone

Neutral and positive spelled out

Where London goes others follow – so GLA’s consultation on air quality neutral and air quality positive is welcome, finds Jack Pease