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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 19th November 2012

 

Report of the Leader

 

Air Quality Review and Assessment 2011

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To provide an overview of the latest statutory Updating & Screening Assessment of Air Quality within the Vale of Glamorgan.

2.         To seek approval to consult with residents, stakeholders and statutory consultees on the proposed declaration of an Air Quality Management Area for a designated area of Windsor Road, Penarth.

Recommendations

1.         THAT Cabinet approve the content, conclusions and recommendations of the Detailed Assessment Updating & Screening Assessment (USA) of air quality in the Vale of Glamorgan 2011.

2.         THAT the Council consults with residents, the public, stakeholders and statutory consultees on the declaration of an Air Quality Management Area for a designated area of Windsor Road, Penarth.

3.         THAT the report is referred to Scrutiny Committee for Housing and Public Protection and Economy and Environment as part of the consultation exercise.

4.         THAT the outcome of the consultation exercise be submitted to Scrutiny Committee Housing and Public Protection and Economy and Environment for consideration.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To approve the findings of the Detailed Assessment and Updating & Screening Assessment of Air Quality in the Vale of Glamorgan 2011.

2.         To agree consultation on the proposed declaration of an Air Quality Management Area for a designated area of Windsor Road, Penarth.

3.         In order that the views of the Scrutiny Committee Housing and Public Protection are sought as part of the consultation process.

4.         To ensure the Housing and Public Protection and Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committees have an opportunity to review any comments received as part of the consultation process.

 

Background

3.         Air pollution remains a serious public health issue and its contribution to ill health and mortality is significant across the UK. For persons in a good state of health, moderate air pollution levels are unlikely to have any serious short term effects.  However, elevated levels and/or long term exposure to some pollutants can lead to more serious symptoms and health conditions. This mainly affects the respiratory and inflammatory systems. People with underlying lung or heart conditions are also more susceptible to the effects of air pollution.

4.         The Council has a statutory obligation under the Environment Act 1995 to review and assess air quality within its area against objectives for a number of key pollutants within the Air Quality Standards (Wales) Regulation 2010. The objectives are set for the protection of human health.

5.         The Council must consider air quality within its boundary and publish its findings annually. An Updating & Screening Assessment report is required every 3 years, with Progress Reports required for each subsequent year. The reports are collated from air quality monitoring data collected by the Council's Pollution Control team and submitted to the Welsh Government for consideration before being presented to Cabinet for approval.

6.         At locations where air quality fails or is unlikely to meet the prescribed objectives, the Council must declare Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). Within 12 months of declaration, the Council must develop and implement an Action Plan to address the situation.  When considering the declaration of an AQMA the Council is required to undertake consultation with the public, statutory consultees and stakeholders.

7.         One of the key pollutants monitored in the Vale of Glamorgan is Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). Nitrogen Dioxide is derived from combustion, mainly from traffic omissions and has two prescribed objectives not to be exceeded.

·               an annual average concentration objective of 40ug/m3, and

·               a hourly concentration objective of 200ugm3.  Exceedence of the latter is unlikely where the annual average concentration of >60ugm3. 

8.         NO2 concentrations are measured mainly with diffusion tubes - a cost effective method   However, the accuracy of the data collected can be affected by factors that may result in under or overestimation - referred to as "bias". The degree of "bias" can and must be openly calculated and reported.  An appropriate bias adjustment factor is then applied to raw annual mean data. 

Relevant Issues and Options

9.         For 2011, the Council produced the required Updating & Screening Assessment (U.S.A.) report.  The report's Executive Summary is attached in Appendix 1.  The report has been submitted to and approved by Welsh Government.  This report is presented for Cabinet for approval.

10.      The 2011 U.S.A. concluded that the majority of the Vale's air quality is compliant with objectives but recommended continued monitoring to assess the impact of on-going development, traffic flows and new sources of pollution.

11.      The report also identified and recommended further actions to monitor or address air quality to include;

·               A recommendation to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) for a section of Windsor Road, Penarth.

·               Further monitoring for Particulate Matter (PM10) at Windsor Rd, Penarth using more sophisticated equipment as potential exceedence of the relevant objective was identified.

·               Further monitoring and assessment of air quality in Holton Road, Barry, where the public may be exposed to traffic pollution for more than one hour due to e.g. out door dining, and

·               Further monitoring and assessment of air quality in Cogan within 12 months of the declaration of an AQMA along Windsor Road Penarth.

12.      The proposed Air Quality Management Area for Windsor Road, Penarth is detailed below, but steps are already being taken to address the other recommendations in the report including  increased monitoring of air quality at Holton Road, Barry, Cogan, and Windsor Road, Penarth.

13.      In terms of the proposed Air Quality Management Area at Windsor Road, Penarth, data collected over a number of years, suggests that along Windsor Road and Cogan Junction emissions of Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are at, or close to, the relevant Annual Average concentration objective of 40ug/m3.  To inform the Council on the likelihood of the area failing this objective, a Detailed Assessment was commissioned to model the Nitrogen Dioxide levels. Appendix 2 is a map summarising this modelling while the full Detailed Assessment is available in the Member's rooms.

14.      The Detailed Assessment identified that the annual average mean for the Nitrogen Dioxide objective (40ug/m3) is likely to be exceeded at a small number of relevant locations at 157, 159, 164, 166, 168, 170, 172 and Station Hotel, Windsor Road, Penarth.  These are indicated by the red dots on the map in Appendix 2. The Detailed Assessment recommended these properties are included in an AQMA.  The Detailed Assessment also identified properties where the 40 ugms objective is at risk where concentrations are at least 36ugms.  These properties are 100 through to 162 (evens only), and 155 and 161, Windsor Road. These are identified by amber dots on the map in Appendix 2. Due to uncertainty in the assessment process, the Detail Assessment recommended these properties also be considered for inclusion in an AQMA.

15.      In view of the overall interpretation of the data and circumstances it is recommend that the properties marked in red and amber are included within the proposed AQMA. The proposed area is shown in Appendix 3 and will include 100 to 172 Windsor Road (evens only) and 155 to163 Windsor Road (odds only).    

16.      Under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995, the Council has a statutory duty to consult residents, statutory consultees and other stakeholders before declaring, varying or revoking an AQMA. Approval is sought to carry out consultation on a proposed Air Quality Management Area for Windsor Road over a 10 week period starting on the 2nd January 2013. During this period residents living in and surrounding the proposed area will be contacted and provided with information on the nature of an Air Quality Management Area and why it is being considered.  To assist in disseminating this information a drop-in session will be arranged in the local area to enable residents to speak directly to Council officers about the proposal. 

17.      In addition, known stakeholders and interested parties will be contacted and invited to comment.  Officers will also promote the consultation through the Council's website, social medial and local press inviting comment on the proposal.  Comments received will be collated and considered before a recommendation on the way forward is made to Cabinet in the Spring 2013.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

18.      The Pollution Control team has an existing budget to complete a programme of air quality monitoring across the Vale.  Additional NO2 diffusion tube and particulate monitoring will be required but the costs will be met from existing budgets.  The consultation can be met from existing budgets and resources.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

19.      There are no implications arising from consultation. However the outcome of the consultation will inform the Council's actions concerning air quality in Windsor Road, Penarth. Such actions will include dealing with issues relating to traffic and congestion and may involve land use planning and transport decisions which will link into sustainable travel and modal shift.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

20.      Whilst there are no direct legal implications arising from the consultation process, there may be legal implications associated the outcome of the process which will be the subject of a separate future report.

21.      Section 82 of the Environment Act 1995 places a duty on all Local Authorities to review periodically air quality in their area.  This includes assessment of compliance of present and likely future air quality to comply with the objectives of the Air Quality (Wales) Regulations 2010, Where air quality is unlikely to meet the objectives Section 83 of the Environment Act 1995 requires that the Council to declare an Air Quality Management Area while section 84 of the Environment Act 1995 places a duty on the Council to develop an Action Plan to address the situation. Part IV of the Environmental Act 1995 places a statutory duty on the Council to consult before declaring an Air Quality Management Area.

Crime and Disorder Implications

22.      There are no Crime and Disorder implications in undertaking the consultation.

 

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

23.      There are no equal opportunities implications from carry out consultation. Bi-lingual invitations to comment will be sent to all known stakeholders and interest groups.  All residents in the area will be sent bi-lingual letters to advise them of the proposals and inviting them to a consultation event or to contact the Council direct to comment.

Corporate/Service Objectives

24.      Community Strategy - Priority Outcome 7: The underlying causes of deprivation are tackled and the regeneration of the Vale continues, opportunities for individuals and businesses are developed and the quality of the built and natural environment is protected and enhanced.

25.      Community Strategy - Priority Outcome 10: Health inequalities are reduced and residents are able to access the necessary services, information and advice to improve their wellbeing and quality of life.

Policy Framework and Budget

26.      This report is a matter for Executive Decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

27.      This report is recommending consultation.  Statute requires the following to be included in that consultation; the Secretary of State, the Environment Agency Wales, neighbouring local authorities, bodies representing of business interests in the areas and other bodies that are considered appropriate.

28.      Local residents and Ward members will be invited to briefing sessions to detail the proposal. The date of the briefing exercise will be announced in due course.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

29.      Economy and Environment

30.      Housing and Public Protection

Background Papers

As appended

 

Contact Officer

Kristian James - Pollution Control Team Leader 01446 709761

 

Officers Consulted

Rob Ingram - Finance

Jocelyn Ham - Legal

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director for Development Services

 

 

 

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