Air quality progress report 2011

In fulfilment of Part IV of the Environment Act 1995

Local Air Quality Management

Executive Summary

The Environment Act, 1995 places a statutory duty on local authorities to periodically undertake an air quality review and assessment of their area. This involves consideration of present and likely future air quality against health based air quality objectives set out in the Government’s Air Quality Strategy. In areas where air quality objectives are not likely to be met by the relevant target date, local authorities are required to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and develop an action plan in pursuit of the air quality objectives.

This report considers monitoring data for the period January to December 2010 and assesses the data against the relevant air quality objectives. Both diffusion tube and continuous monitoring has shown a drop in levels of nitrogen dioxide and fine particles in 2010. Diffusion tube data confirm there have been three exceedences of the annual mean nitrogen dioxide objective; all are within the two existing AQMAs at Birchington and St Lawrence. Data from the continuous monitoring sites show that there were no exceedences of the annual mean at any of the four continuous monitoring locations. This report uses a local bias of 0.81 to better reflect local circumstances.

Consideration has been made of any local development changes, which are likely to have a significant impact on air quality. A number of planning applications for large commercial uses and employment developments were considered in 2010 several of a scale that warranted air quality assessments.

St Lawrence High Street was declared an Air Quality Management Area in April 2010. The Further Assessment May 2011 will help inform the subsequent Action Plan. This Action Plan will be submitted to Defra in August 2011.