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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting:  24 February, 2014

 

Report of the Leader

 

Air Quality Management Area - Progress Report

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To apprise members of progress made in relation to the Air Quality Management Area, Windsor Road, Cogan, Penarth.

Recommendations

1.         That the progress made with the Air Quality Management Area, Windsor Road, Cogan, Penarth is noted.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To provide members with information on the progress made with the Air Quality Management Area in Windsor Road, Cogan, Penarth.

Background

2.         The Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) legislation places an obligation on all local authorities to regularly review and assess air quality in their areas and to determine whether or not the air quality objectives to protect health are likely to be achieved.  Where the objectives are likely to be exceeded, the local authority must declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and prepare an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) to include measures to achieve compliance.

3.         An AQMA was declared at Windsor Road, Cogan, Penarth on 1st July 2013 (minute No. C1385) as annual average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, from road traffic emissions, at that location were likely to exceed the limit set to protect health. 

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         The Windsor Road AQMA was declared because annual average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were likely to exceed the limit to protect health.  Annual monitoring for 2012 has continued to support the declaration of the AQMA, as annual average NO2 levels remained likely to exceed the acceptable limit.   

5.         Indicative monitoring of particulate matter (PM10) in 2011 suggested a breach of the relevant objective limits.  However, indicative monitoring in 2012 indicated limits were not exceeded.  Consequently more robust 'equivalence' monitoring within the proposed AQMA was recommended to improve confidence in the data.

6.         Since the declaration of the AQMA, the following practical measures have been taken;

·               Additional NO2 tubes have been placed onto some residential property facades to more accurately monitor pollutant levels where residents are exposed.  Monitoring of NO2 using monthly diffusion tubes has continued throughout 2013.

·               The automatic monitor has been relocated from an existing open location to within the AQMA. This action was substantially delayed due to power supply issues beyond our control and staff vacancies/reappointments.  However, power was connected to the equipment on the 17th December 2013 and the equipment has started to monitor NO2.

·               To provide confidence in particulate matter concentrations a particulate matter monitor suitable for direct comparison with objective limits concentrations has been purchased.  The monitor was commissioned on the 15th January 2014 within the relocated station and has begun monitoring particular matter in the AQMA.

·               Collection of rail movement data.  The railway line parallel with to the AQMA, carries passenger trains only, at around four trains per hour.  However this is not significant in terms of any pollutants, when assessed using national air quality technical guidance.

·               On the 29th May 2013 our traffic engineers changed the traffic signalisation at Cogan interchange. Anecdotal evidence suggests that congestion has reduced within the AQMA.  If true, the reduced stop-start traffic should reduce pollution concentrations.  However, it is too early to say if this change has reduced pollution to acceptable levels. This change will be a key focus for future review and assessment of the AQMA.

·               Traffic count data post the change in signalisation will be analysed in order to compare emissions with periods prior to the change.

7.         During the next few months, the data collected from the NO2 tubes will be analysed to generate an annual average for 2013 for comparison with previous years data.  Early review of the 2013 data available at the time of this report hints that 2013 concentrations may have been lower and that the annual average concentration limit for nitrogen dioxide in 2013 may not have exceeded the statutory objective.  However, it is too early to confirm this at the time of this report.

8.         Once the most recent traffic data and NO2 data for 2013 is available an officer group will be convened to analysis the information and draft the Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP).  This Plan will be presented to Cabinet for approval in due course.

9.         Monitoring of both NO2 and particulate matter will continue within the AQMA until such time that air quality can be demonstrated to meet acceptable levels on a regular basis.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.      The ongoing programme of air quality monitoring across the Vale and additional NO2 diffusion tube and particulate monitoring will be met from existing revenue budgets.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.      The work to address the level of pollutants in the AQMA to improve air quality should also have a positive outcome for climate change.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.      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.

13.      Where air quality is unlikely to meet the objectives Section 83 of the Environment Act 1995 requires that the Council declares an Air Quality Management Area.

14.      Section 84 of the Environment Act 1995 places a duty on the Council to develop an Action Plan to address the situation.

15.      The statutory duty to produce and publish reports to fulfil the requirements of the Local Air Quality Management process as set out in Part IV of the Environment Act (1995), the Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland 2007 and relevant Policy.

Crime and Disorder Implications

16.      There are no implications as a result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

17.      There are no implications as a result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

18.      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.

19.      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

20.      This report is for noting.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.      Peter King - Elected Member

'I have to comment about the delay in getting the monitoring station installed and commissioned.  I do know a little about the false start with the power supply but it really isn’t acceptable that it took so long.

Having said that, I am one of the prime movers that helped bring about the changes to phasing of the traffic lights at The Barons Court and I saw the instant effect on the morning’s queues of cars.  I’m even more delighted if that modest tweak will be proved to have improved the air quality there.

I look forward to any detailed data, and analysis, from monitoring.'

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.      Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

Air Quality Assessment report 2012

 

Contact Officer

Kristian James, Team Leader, Pollution Control - Tel. 01446 709761

 

Officers Consulted

Finance Support Manager - Finance

Principal Lawyer - Legal

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

 

 

 

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