Air quality - monitoring and pollution control

What is air pollution?

Air pollution can be described as the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of any dust, fumes, mist, smoke, other particulate matter, vapour, gas, odorous substances, or a combination thereof, in sufficient quantities and of such characteristics and duration as to be, or likely to be, injurious to health or welfare, animal or plant life, or property, or as to interfere with the enjoyment of life or property.

Air pollution can come from a number of different sources. Most activities that burn fuel or use energy in one form or another can cause air pollution. Most air pollution issues are associated with power generation, industrial processes and road transport.

Particulate monitoring

Particulate monitoring did take place in the vicinity of Drax Power Station up to 2008. This type of monitoring no longer takes place, however you can still read the results for the last year of monitoring air pollution at Drax in 2008 - pdf.

Monitoring acid rain

The monitoring of acid rain is carried out at the village of Thorganby to the north of Selby in the catchment area of the Aire Valley Power Stations. Rain water samples are collected fortnightly and sent away to an independent laboratory for analysis. The results are collated in the UK Acid Deposition Network. AEA Technology manages this network on behalf of DEFRA.

Greenhouse gases report (CO2)

Selby District Council greenhouse gas emissions report for the period of - 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11 - doc.

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) defusion tube

Nitrogen Dioxide is monitored with the use of diffusion tubes located at various sites around Selby, Tadcaster and Sherburn-in-Elmet. Two types of site are used. The first is a kerbside site because traffic congestion is seen to be a common source of Nitrogen Dioxide in the atmosphere. The second type of site used is a background site, which is a site where traffic is very localised. By using results taken from background sites, it indicates whether levels at roadside sites are particularly high in comparison. For more details about the monitoring network, including the results of all the above surveys, visit the Defra website. For more details about the monitoring network, including the results of all the above surveys, visit the Defra website.