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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 30 November, 2015

Report for the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety

Local Air Quality Management Round 6 (Years 2015-2017) Updating and Screening Assessment

Purpose of the Report

  1. To apprise Members of the 2015 Updating and Screening Assessment (USA) and supporting Air Quality Reports.

Recommendations

  1. That the 2015 Updating and Screening Assessment and supporting Air Quality Reports are noted.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To provide members with an updated review of the latest air quality assessment within the Vale of Glamorgan and to confirm that the assessment and appendices will be published on the Vale of Glamorgan website.

Background

  1. Air pollution remains a serious public health issue and contributes to ill health and mortality 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, long term exposure or exposure to elevated levels of some pollutants can lead to more serious symptoms and health conditions mainly affecting the respiratory system. People with underlying lung or heart conditions are also more susceptible to the effects of air pollution.
  2. Annually, the local authority must consider air quality within its boundary and publish its findings. The report is collated from air quality monitoring data across the Vale of Glamorgan through the authorities' Pollution Control, Environmental Health Team and submitted to Welsh Government and the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) for approval.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The main objective of the Updating and Screening Assessment (USA) is to identify any matters that have changed since the 2014 Air Quality Progress Report, and the further assessment for the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in Penarth undertaken in 2014, and whether these changes could lead to a risk of an air quality objective being exceeded. This will include new monitoring data, new or changed emissions sources (either locally or in neighbouring authorities), or any other local changes that might affect air quality.
  2. Since the submission of the 2015 Updating and Screening Assessment to Defra and Welsh Government, the Authority has since been provided with an Appraisal Report. Content of the appraisal has been noted and such action taken for future monitoring and reporting.
  3. The report fulfils the requirements of the Local Air Quality Management process as set out in Part IV of the Environment Act (1995), and associated strategic, policy and Technical Guidance documents. The Local Air Quality Management process 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 are likely to be achieved. Where exceedances are considered likely, the local authority must then declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and prepare an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) setting out the measurements it intends to put in place in pursuit of the objectives.
  4. Subsequent to the declaration of the AQMA on Windsor Road, a Further Assessment had been undertaken in 2014. The Further Assessment identified that concentrations at all relevant locations were comfortably below the objective in 2013. It is possible that traffic management initiatives put into place at the end of May 2013 may at least partly explain this, although further monitoring in subsequent years may lead to more robust conclusions in the longer term. As concentrations have remained well within the air quality objectives, there has been no further requirement for the local authority to undertake an Action Plan.
  5. The USA has not identified any significant changes in emissions sources within the Vale of Glamorgan. It covers Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and PM10 (particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter) monitoring data, road traffic sources, other transport sources, industrial sources, commercial and domestic sources, fugitive or uncontrolled sources. There have been three biomass boilers installed within the Vale since the last USA. The report recommends that further information is required to either screen out the boilers, or to proceed to a Detailed Assessment. The Screening or Detailed Assessment will be undertaken by April 2016.
  6. The current monitoring programme is considered appropriate and thus no changes are proposed.
  7. The current declared AQMA is considered appropriate and should remain. However; should monitoring results within the AQMA remain well below the objective in the coming years, consideration should be given to proceeding to a Detailed Assessment to determine if it is appropriate to revoke the AQMA.
  8. The report concludes that there were no exceedances of any pollutant objective in 2014, including monitoring locations within the declared AQMA, therefore complying with such legislation to protect human health.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The Pollution Control Team has an existing budget to complete a programme of air quality monitoring across the Vale of Glamorgan.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. A positive impact on climate change can be drawn from this report. Through automatic and non-automatic monitoring sites, members can be assured that the impact of pollution on our air quality is scrutinised, and should an air quality objective be breached, action is taken to reduce this negative impact.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Council has a 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.
  2. Part 82 of the Environment Act 1995, places a duty on all local authorities to review and assess air quality within its area. This includes assessment of compliance of present and likely future air quality, to comply with the objectives for a number of key pollutants within the Air Quality Standards (Wales) Regulations 2010.
  3. Where air quality is unlikely to meet the objectives, under section 83 of the Environment Act 1995, the local authority is required to declare an Air Quality Management Area.
  4. If an AQMA has been declared, section 84 of the Environment Act 1995, places a duty on the local authority to develop an Action Plan to address the situation.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no crime and disorder implications from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no equal opportunities implications from this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Development Services, Service Plan 2015-2019
  • To ensure the health, safety and well-being of residents, visitors and traders by providing a wide range of environmental services that place the consumer at the heart of service delivery.
  • Work in partnership with a range of statutory, voluntary and community organisations on community projects and initiatives.
  • Service Outcome 1: Residents of the Vale live in safe, healthy, prosperous and sustainable communities.
  • Service Outcome 2: Development within the Vale is sustainable and the environment is protected and enhanced for current and future generations.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This report is with the policy framework and budget and is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. This report is not specific to any ward.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

2014 Air Quality Progress Report

Progress Report Appraisal Report from Defra and Welsh Government

2014 Further Assessment for Windsor Road AQMA

Further Assessment Appraisal Report from Defra and Welsh Government

Contact Officer

Rebecca Athay - Pollution Control Team Leader

Officers Consulted

Accountant, Finance

Legal Services

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Environment and Housing Services

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