Part IV of Environment Act 1995, and the Air Quality Regulations 2000 (as amended), set in place the National Air Quality Strategy. The Strategy requires local authorities to determine the air quality of a number of pollutants within their area. These pollutants being, Benzene, 1,3-butadiene, Carbon monoxide, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Particles (PM10) and Sulphur dioxide. If any of the pollutants exceed or are likely to exceed a set concentration level by a specified year (Objectives), then there is a requirement to designate an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) for the areas affected.
Initially, the first round of review and assessment in the early 2000s did not predict any Objective to be exceeded in East Staffordshire.
A second round of review and assessment was then undertaken, which involved an Updating and Screening Assessment to identify changes since the first round. A Detailed Assessment followed in 2004, which accurately assessed the likelihood of air quality Objectives being exceeded.
More recently in 2005, a Progress Report was completed to provide a general overview of air quality in East Staffordshire, incorporating the most up to date monitoring information.
The latest air quality document is the 2006 Updating and Screening Assessment, which forms part of a third round of review and assessment. This highlighted the need for more detailed assessment of the Coors Maltings site in Burton-upon-Trent for the nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide Objectives, although since this time, recent dispersion modelling has indicated exceedences are unlikely. We are considering the busier traffic routes in Burton for particulate levels in more detail.
Although the majority of East Staffordshire meets the Objectives for nitrogen dioxide, later studies from 2004 onwards have highlighted that certain busy roads within Burton-upon-Trent are exceeding. This has been further confirmed by extending the monitoring network along many of these busy roads.
This Authority has now declared two Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) which take the form of ‘Official Orders’. The Orders relate to two geographical areas in Burton upon Trent where the annual nitrogen dioxide Objective is currently exceeded.
It is recognised that high levels of nitrogen dioxide, which are generally associated with traffic emissions, can affect health, and the above legislation requires Action Plans to be drawn up to identify measures in pursuit of achieving the Objective.
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