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Air quality

Clean air is important for good health. We regulate industrial, commercial and domestic activities that emit pollution in order control and reduce air pollution. We also monitor air pollution levels and work with others to develop and implement air quality action plans to reduce air pollution and improve air quality.

Further information regarding national air quality issues can be found here:- https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/air-pollution/

 

Air quality guide for developers

A guide has been produced to help developers understand the impacts on air quality and how they may go about assessing and mitigating any impacts from developments.

The Air Quality Guide for Developers‌ does not have any formal planning status but does reflect the type of assessments that would be required by the Environmental Health Service as a consultee to the planning process.

Air quality management areas

Air quality limits

The Government has set limits for certain pollutants, which are seen to be of the most concern for this country and Europe. The full details of these limits and information regarding the local air quality management process are available from the DEFRA website.

All of the limits have been set by a national panel of experts and are based on the effect each pollutant has on health. 

Pollutants of concern in Rushcliffe

The council has been assessing the levels of the main air pollutants identified by the Government for a number of years now and continue to do so today as part of the its duty under the Environment Act 1995. Detailed assessments have been undertaken for traffic-related nitrogen dioxide in West Bridgford and sulphur dioxide emission from the cement works in Barnstone. The assessments found that the limits were being exceeded in both these locations and as a result three Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA's) were declared in September 2005. Lafarge UK Ltd have since took the decision to close the kiln responsible for the sulphur dioxide emissions, and monitoring has confirmed that the limits are no longer being exceeded. This AQMA has now been revoked after consultation. Improvements in Air Quality levels around the A52 in West Bridgford has also meant that tis AQMA has also now been revoked.

In 2010 a detailed assessment of Air Quality was undertaken in Radcliffe-on-Trent at the junction of the A52 and the Stragglethorpe Road leading to a new AQMA at this location, again for traffic related NO2.

 

Air Quality Action

The Borough Council has an action plan which contains measures aimed at working towards reducing traffic pollution in AQMA's due to levels of nitrogen dioxide. The full action plan report is available and can be downloaded below.

The action plan has been drawn up with relevant organisations such as the Environment Agency, Highways Agency, Nottinghamshire County Council, other council departments, bus and transport operators, etc.

For nitrogen dioxide from road traffic emissions, this will involve more widespread actions. Unfortunately, as other councils have experienced, there is no magic solution to the problem of congestion in our urban areas and major roads. Some of the actions may involve the following:

  • Improved traffic flows
  • Park and ride systems
  • Bus priority routes
  • Green transport plans for companies
  • Encourage use of ‘greener’ vehicles
  • Information and education activities
  • Vehicle emission testing
  • Encourage more home/remote working initiatives
  • Encourage companies reduce their environmental impact
  • Reduce the council’s own environmental impact
  • Low emission zones for use with greener vehicles
  • Encouraging people to use more public transport
  • Improvements to public transport
  • Considering air quality impacts from major developments.

A lot of these measures are linked to the Local Transport Plan, which has been developed by Nottinghamshire County Council.

A key part of these actions are that we can all play our part in reducing air quality in the way we live. We can choose ‘greener’ vehicles and reduce our dependence on cars.

In addition the council must continue to monitor and predict air quality levels for comparison to the national levels.

 

Air Quality Management Areas

An Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) is an area of land where air quality levels are breeching the national limits and require action to deal with or ‘manage’ this. The Council has 2 AQMAs currently in force in the Borough.

  • AQMA 1 2005 - covering the Lady Bay Bridge/Radcliffe Road junction, Trent Bridge/Loughborough Road/Radcliffe Road junction and Wilford Lane/Loughborough Road/Melton Road junction
  • AQMA 1 2011 - Covering several properties along the A52 and Stragglethorpe Road at the junction of the A52 and the Straggletorpe Road, Radcliffe-on Trent.

Maps of these areas are available and detailed monitoring information within the reports that can be dowlaoded from this page.

 

Why have these boundaries been chosen?

Guidance is provided by the government and also Environmental Protection UK on how these areas should be drawn up.

The council must include all areas where the limits are or are predicted to be exceeded. The boundaries chosen have incorporated all these areas and also extended out to include as much as possible physical landmark boundaries, such as roads, properties, footpaths, fields etc. The areas are designed to be able to develop relevant actions to reduce pollution levels within them.

It is at the discretion of the council to decide on the extent of the boundaries, but not whether to declare or not, as this must be done where the limits are exceeded.

Implications for my property in the affected areas

The declaration of Air Quality Management Areas indicates that the council recognises that air quality is poor within the areas, and that positive steps now need to be taken to reduce these levels.

The declaration is a legal requirement and the Council do not have any choice in the matter.

Many other Councils have declared AQMAs and to the best of our knowledge there have been no reported effects on property values.

Air quality monitoring data

Nitrogen dioxide monitoring - what we do

Rushcliffe Borough Council is monitoring NO2 as part of the ongoing Review and Assessment of Air Quality.

Since 1999 nitrogen dioxide monitoring has been undertaken at a number of possible ‘hot-spots’ within the Borough using a network of NO2 diffusion tubes. These ‘hot-spots’ are adjacent to roads, where there is a combination of high traffic flows and relevant public exposure.

In 2003 a continuous analyser was located close to the junction of Loughborough Road and Millicent Road and this provides real time and more accurate results.

It should be noted that NO2 is also produced by the oxidation of nitric oxide (NO) and they are collectively known as NOX. There is a complex chemical relationship between emissions of NOX and the resulting concentrations of NO2. The main sources of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are road transport and power generation.

NO2 is associated with adverse health effects and these can be long term (chronic) and short term (acute). The effects are on the respiratory system and generally may increase the symptoms of asthma and lung disease.

Below you can download information detailing how and where we monitor NO2, as well as maps highlighting key areas.

Previous year's monitoring data is available on request - contact us for details.

Air quality reports

Links to the Council's air quality strategy and air quality reports are shown in the Related Documents section on the right of this page.

The latest air quality reports have been submitted to Defra and are now available to view and download.

If you wish to discuss the implementation of the AQAP or make any comments concerning the plan or the air quality reports, please email environmentalhealth@rushcliffe.gov.uk

Smoke control areas

Under the Clean Air Act local authorities may declare the whole or part of their borough to be a smoke control area.

It is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of a building, from a furnace or from any fixed boiler if located in a designated smoke control area. It is also an offence to acquire an 'unauthorised fuel' for use within a smoke control area unless it is used in an 'exempt' appliance ('exempted' from the controls which generally apply in the smoke control area). The current maximum level of fine is £1,000 for each offence.

The areas within Rushcliffe which have been declared smoke control areas are West Bridgford and Edwalton

Garden bonfires are not included in the smoke control exemption, and therefore bonfires are still permitted in these areas.

Authorised fuels

Authorised fuels are fuels which are authorised by Statutory Instruments (Regulations) made under the Clean Air Act 1993 or Clean Air (Northern Ireland) Order 1981. These include inherently smokeless fuels such as gas, electricity and anthracite together with specified brands of manufactured solid smokeless fuels. These fuels have passed tests to confirm that they are capable of burning in an open fireplace without producing smoke.

Exempt appliances

Exempt appliances are appliances (ovens, wood burners and stoves) which have been exempted by Statutory Instruments (Orders) under the Clean Air Act 1993 or Clean Air (Northern Ireland) Order 1981. These have passed tests to confirm that they are capable of burning an unauthorised or inherently smoky solid fuel without emitting smoke.



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