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Air Quality Management

The Environment Act 2005 (and associated regulations) requires Local Authorities in England and Wales to monitor and record the levels of certain air pollutants within their area. In order to comply with the legal requirements, Bassetlaw District Council monitor and record the levels of nitrogen dioxide within the borough. The monitoring is carried out using a network of 25 passive diffusion tubes which are situated at key locations across the borough.

Nitrogen dioxide is one of the principal pollutants associated with petrol and diesel exhaust fumes. It is a known respiratory irritant, and exposure to high levels of nitrogen dioxide has a proven link to elevated levels of childhood asthma and other aggravated respiratory conditions. Nitrogen dioxide disperses quickly in the atmosphere, therefore the closer to the side of a busy road a property is situated, the greater the risk of exposure. The risk of exposure is especially high where roads are associated with lots of HGV movements or queuing traffic at busy times.

The results of any monitoring undertaken must be reported annually to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The air quality objectives applicable to England are set out in the Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000. Any areas where pollutants are found to be exceeding the air quality objectives must be examined in depth to determine the extent of the pollution, the impact the pollution could have on residents and the likely cause of the exceedance.

Technical Description

The council must produce a Detailed Assessment for the street/streets in question, the results of which could lead the authority to declare all or part of its borough as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). The declaration of an AQMA is normally followed by the authority producing an Action Plan detailing how it intends to tackle the areas of pollution within the AQMA. Bassetlaw District Council currently has no AQMA’s, however, several streets within the borough have been highlighted as having elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide. These streets are currently under detailed assessment.

To fulfil its legal duties under the Environment Act 2005, Bassetlaw District Council publishes an annual air quality report.

Further Information

 

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Tags

  • Air
  • Quality
  • Pollution
  • Pollutants
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