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March 2018 Headlines       Issue 143

Clientearth wins for third time

The Government has been beaten for the third time in the High Court. 36 more local authorities must now do more to show they are planning to reduce NO2.

Further fines from Traffic Commissioners

More commercial vehicle operators are facing Traffic Commissioner sanctions having been caught with faulty emission control equipment.

Birmingham censured for CAZ foot-dragging

Birmingham City Council joins Derby on being censured for not moving quickly enough with developing their clean air zones.

Success for school green screen

An ivy-coated fence has been shown to cut air pollution at a school in Enfield, north London.

More road closures near schools

Another London borough is closing roads near schools to reduce air pollution and traffic.

ULES (sic) in east London

A new term can be coined to go along side ULEZ – ULES.

London breaches – but later than usual

London has breached hourly NO2 exceedences for 2018 – but at the end of January rather than at the beginning. The year’s allocation of breaches are usually on the sixth day.

Channel toxic cloud remains a mystery

Scientists have been unable to explain a ‘toxic’ cloud of gas that hit the Seven Sisters cliffs near Brighton in August last year.

Train clean up

Diesel-only trains are set for cancellation – eventually.
Government has announc-ed a new “ambition” to take all diesel-only trains off the track by 2040. It describes this goal as “ambitious”.

DPF warning

DfT has stiffened its warnings to motorists who disable or remove pollution clean up equipment.

Nitrogen analysis

A new report provides an overview of critical loads, deposition data, and exceedence calculations and metrics, followed by summaries of the trends in critical load exceedences for acidity and for nutrient nitrogen, by habitat and country.

Fracking probe

The Commons Communities and Local Government Committee is to examine whether guidance for local authorities taking planning decisions on fracking applications needs to be updated or improved.

Defeat devices to be penalised

DfT is consulting on tougher penalties to deter sale and use of emission defeat devices.

London guide to low cost sensors

The GLA has published guidance in a bid help the public monitor air pollution using low cost monitors.

Battery electric dustcart to serve City

The UK’s first fully electric refuse truck will be trialled in the City of London next month as part of an initiative to drive down air pollution in the Square Mile.

NERC funds three supersites

Three new urban air pollution research laboratories – so called supersites – are to be set up in London, Birmingham and Manchester by the end of 2018

Odour ‘n drone

Enviro Technology is to market three Scentroid devices including the Scentinal SL50 compact air quality and odour monitoring station which provides odour emission monitoring based on ppb level detection of gases such as H2S, ammonia, VOCs, SO etc.

Clean bus funding promised

The latest chunk of clean bus funding has been announced.
Funding will be awarded to 20 local authorities as part of the Clean Bus Technology Fund, which was launched in 2017 and is run by the Joint Air Quality Unit.

News from the Ricardo Scottish database seminar in glasgow

Scottish sceptics bite back

Health impacts and low emission zone benefits have been questioned by officials in Scotland.

Scottish models and forecasts

Speakers at the Scottish database meeting (see facing page) went on to provide detail of forecasting and modelling changes.

Aqeg appointments

New members have been appointed to the Defra Air Quality Expert Group.

£10k burning fine

A South Derbyshire resident has been fined £10,000 after illegally burning commercial waste on his land and exposing residents to potentially high levels of pollution.

Police probe

Another air quality data dispute has prompted a police probe. This time dodgy air quality data has been referred to Surrey Police while police are still investigating the legalities of manipulated data in Cheshire East (AQB October p1).

Cheshire challenge

A High Court judge has backed Cheshire East’s Local Plan for shaping future development in the borough by throwing out an appeal from a developer which claimed dodgy air quality data rendered the plan invalid (AQB Oct p1).

Guidance for the few

AQB carried out a freedom of information request in a bid to view guidance given to clean air zone authorities. After some tortuous filibustering and breaching of legal time limits, the Joint Air Quality Unit has finally come clean.

Logburning under scrutiny

Defra has rushed through a mini consultation in a bid to stem the rise of fireplace emissions. Jack Pease reports

66% break woodburning laws

We report on a London Assembly probe on woodburning over Christmas

Woodburning reports show threefold underestimation of emissions

Two reports have been released which form the background to current consultation.