New government plans aimed at cutting regulations to save money may see up to 600 air pollution monitoring Stations face closure. Ministers want to remove obligations on local authorities to assess air quality in their areas, resulting in less monitoring. Environmental campaigners however are accusing them of trying to hide the fact that Britain is breaching set European air quality limits throughout the country, with London being the worst offender.
It is proven that air pollution has adverse health effects and it’s estimated that minuscule particles from diesel engines, fossil fuel power stations and other sources is killing up to 29,000 people a year in the UK.
According to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the limits for nitrogen dioxide which is the air quality pollutant attributable to most road traffic exhaust emissions were exceeded in all but three air quality zones back in 2010 with a high possibility of further pollution to date.
Defra is now proposing a radical overhaul of the local air quality management regime that has been in place for the past 15 years in the UK by eradicating the need for councils and local authorities to make detailed assessments of air pollution leading to the closure of up to 600 air pollution monitoring stations. Meaning the measurements of nitrogen dioxide and pollution from tiny particles will be ceased in major areas.
Scottish governments have rejected the proposals on the grounds that they “would deliver no obvious benefit” but DEFRA insist that the aim is to “reinvigorate and refocus” local air quality management and that the current regime was both “diagnosis driven” and “the level of local reporting can distract resources from air quality improvement”. Responses to the consultation period which concluded last month will now be summarised and published in November.
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Call us on 01274 738668 or fill out our Envirocare Enquiry Form for any queries regarding air pollution monitoring or if you feel that you could benefit from our services in this field.