The quality of the air we breathe is affected by many factors.
These include emissions from local industry, domestic sources and exhaust gases from the traffic travelling around the borough.
Emissions from local industry have been greatly reduced since the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (now replaced by the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007) came into force and are controlled jointly by Doncaster Council and the Environment Agency.
Emissions from domestic heating are primarily controlled by the Clean Air Act 1993 (see legislation), the entire borough is smoke controlled. Other domestic sources are controlled by use of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Traffic is the major reason for episodes of raised pollution levels in the town centre.
Equipment used for monitoring
All the monitoring stations contain air analysers that provide real time data. This data is accessed remotely by the Pollution Control section:
- the town centre air is monitored by a station located adjacent to the Market Place, within Air Quality Management Area No.1(AQMA1)
- monitoring stations are also located at: the A630/A1(M) interchange (AQMA 2), Carr House Road (AQMA 3), Bawtry Road (AQMA 4),at the junction of Low Road/A630 in Conisbrough (AQMA 5) and adjacent to the A1 at Skellow (AQMA 6)
- Non real time nitrogen dioxide data is collected across the Borough from a network of diffusion tubes. This coarser data is used to determine whether a particular area may require further investigation
Frequency of monitoring
Monitoring occurs in 'real time', 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Diffusion tubes give a monthly average.
The pollutants monitored and reported are nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10).
Effects on health
Poor air quality is a serious public health risk and as such National and European Legislation is in place to improve the quality of the air we breathe across the country.
The current estimate, in the 2007 Air Quality Strategy, is that air pollution currently reduces the life expectancy of every person in the UK by an average of seven to eight months. Nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter particularly affect people with breathing difficulties.
This is because high levels of these pollutants can cause the tubes in the lungs to become irritated and narrowed. The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) have produced a number of reports with information on how air pollution effects health and are publicly available.
There are a number of pieces of legislation which are used by Doncaster Council to control air pollution.
Clean Air Act 1993
The whole of Doncaster borough is smoke controlled which means:
- it is an offence to burn coal in a smoke control area except on certain approved appliances designed to burn certain grades of coal smokelessly
- it is an offence to deliver coal to a domestic property in a smoke control area (except for an appliance as described above)
- it is an offence to emit dark smoke from commercial premises
The maximum fine for 1 and 2 is £1000 and the maximum fine for 3 is £20,000
Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010
These regulations give local authorities proactive powers to control emissions to the environment from a range of industrial activities.
Environment Act 1995 and The National Air Quality Strategy
Under part IV of this Act the local authority must periodically review the air quality within its area.
The act enabled the production of the National Air Quality Strategy (NAQS). The NAQS has been operational since the 1 April 1997 and was revised in January 2000 and 2007, giving rise to more stringent air quality objectives.
The strategy identifies pollutants including sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter (PM10) which have to meet certain specific objectives by the years 2003 - 2010. These objectives are based upon pollutant concentrations, relating to their health effects.
Local authorities must provide an Annual Status Report to defra about the air quality in their district.
Doncaster Council is committed to monitoring the air pollution of the borough and informing the public of the results of the condition of the air we breathe.
For further in formation, please contact us:
- email: email@example.com
- tel: 01302 737581