Good air quality is essential for our health, quality of life and the environment. Air becomes polluted when it contains substances which can have a harmful effect on the health of people, animals and vegetation. The main causes of air pollution include transport, domestic combustion and industrial processes.
The main pollutants are particles (from smoke, vehicle emissions, pollen and industry etc), Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone, Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Toxic Organic Micro-Pollutants (TOMPs) and lead.
More information relating to air pollution can be found on the Defra website.
Air quality review and assessment
The Annual Status Report was submitted to Defra in June 2017 and has recently been accepted. The report can be found via this link.
Following the designation of the Air Quality Management Area on New Street, Selby Selby District Council and its partners are planning to consult the public on the Draft Air Quality Action Plan in autumn 2017. Please see the Air Quality Management Area webpage: http://www.selby.gov.uk/air-quality-management-area
On the 29 February 2016 Selby District Council designated its first Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) on New Street, Selby for Nox levels related to traffic emissions. We are currently working with our partners at North Yorkshire County Council on an Action Plan to reduce these levels.
Changes to the reporting structure have recently be made and Selby District Council was required to submit an Annual Status Report to Defra in June 2016. This report has now been accepted by Defra and is available to the public via this link.
The Environment Act 1995 requires us to undertake regular air quality reviews. In areas where an air quality objective is likely to be exceeded by the specified date, Local Authorities are required to establish an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and implement action plans to improve air quality.
We completed the first round of air quality review and assessments in 2000 and concluded that it was likely that the objectives would be achieved. There was therefore no requirement to declare any AQMAs.
A second round of review and assessment was completed in June 2003, and identified significant industrial sources of SO2. An exceedence of the 15-minute mean objective was observed in monitoring data, and a detailed assessment was therefore conducted in 2004 to assess the contribution of the Lytag plant, in Hensall, to ambient SO2 concentrations in the area. This report concluded that it was unlikely that the emissions would cause exceedences at relevant locations in the district. No detailed assessments have been carried out for any of the other pollutants, and no AQMAs have been declared.
The third round of review and assessment in 2006 concluded that objectives for benzene, 1,3-butadiene, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, PM10 and sulphur dioxide were unlikely to be exceeded. Detailed assessments for these pollutants were therefore not required.
We produced a progress report in 2008 which concluded that there was no significant risk of exceeding air quality objectives for any pollutant at any location with relevant exposure. The report noted that it was likely that the provisional air quality objectives for PM10 would be exceeded at some locations with relevant public exposure, however we have no statutory imperative to investigate.
The air quality updating and screening assessment in 2009 concluded that a detailed assessment should be carried out for PM10 near Kellingley Colliery.
In 2013 a further Progress Report was submitted and accepted by Defra with a conclusion that concentrations of nitrogen dioxide above the annual mean objective had been measured at one diffusion tube location on New Street, Selby and that a Detailed Assessment for this area should be carried out to determine if further action is required. In December 2013 a Detailed Assessment was submitted to and accepted by Defra which concluded that there are no predicted exceedences of the annual mean nitrogen dioxide objective at relevant locations. It was, therefore, concluded that Selby District Council did not need to declare an AQMA along New Street but recommended that monitoring continued within the area to monitor any future increases in concentrations which could lead to an exceedence of the objective.
The 2014 Progress Report identified that there were again exceedences in nitrogen dioxide at three locations and recommended a further Detailed Assessment be carried out. This document confirmed that the nitrogen dioxide levels are elevated and that an Air Quality Management Area should be designated.
In accordance with the Air Quality strategy programme the Updating and Screening Assessment was submitted to Defra in May 2015. No further issues where highlighted in this document requiring further monitoring or other action by Selby District Council.