Every year we are required to carry out an assessment of air quality in our district. The Government has laid down a set a of health based standards called Air Quality Objectives for the following seven key pollutants:
The assessment uses a range of screening methods such as the identification of specific pollution sources like busy roads or junctions, certain industrial processes and local pollution monitoring data and considers whether there is a possibility of any of the national Air Quality Objectives being exceeded at, for example, houses (but not workplaces). If this initial screening assessment suggests that there is a risk of a breach of any of these standards we are required to carry out a more in depth study called a Detailed Assessment to obtain more accurate data. This may involve detailed monitoring and pollution modelling.
If after a Detailed Assessment it is found that there is a breach of any of the Air Quality Objectives we have to declare the affected area (which may be no more than a few houses) as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). We have to be very careful to control any additional pollution in an AQMA, usually through the planning system or by imposing tighter emission limits on some types of industrial activities. We would also work with other organisations to develop a plan, called an Air Quality Action Plan, to reduce the pollution within the AQMA.
Eden District Council Air Quality Assessment Reports can be downloaded using the links below:
Air Quality Updating and Screening Assessment 2009 (PDF:311Kb/25pages)
Air Quality Progress Report 2010 (PDF:563Kb/43pages)
Air Quality Progress Report 2011 (PDF:1963Kb/54pages)
Further technical information on air quality in the UK can be found here. Information on air quality statistics, current air quality and the pollution forecast are all provided by DEFRA.
For further information:
Contact: Environmental Protection Team
Telephone: 01768 212490
Fax: 01768 890732
Address: Eden District Council, Mansion House, Penrith, CA11 7YG