Why do we monitor air quality?
The Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) process set out in Part IV of the Environment Act (1995) places an obligation on all local authorities to regularly review and asses air quality in their areas, and to determine whether or not the air quality objectives set by the government are likely to be achieved.
Air Quality Monitoring in the Borough of Broxtowe
What are we monitoring?
Broxtowe Borough Council monitors air quality levels on busy congested roads and at the sites of major industrial processes within the Borough. At the end of every year the data is reviewed and if needed monitoring sites are changed to enable extensive monitoring of the Borough.
How and where do we monitor air quality?
Broxtowe Borough Council uses passive diffusion tubes to monitor levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). There are 43 monitoring locations in the Borough that are situated in areas where there are busy congested roads. The monitoring locations and results can be found at https://laqm.defra.gov.uk/diffusion-tubes/local-authority/broxtowe-borough-council.html
What if the air quality objectives are not being met?
If the air quality objectives are not being met then Broxtowe Borough Council must declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and prepare an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) setting out the measures it intends to put in place in pursuit of meeting the objectives. The council must also produce an Annual Status Report (ASR) every year showing the strategies it has employed to improve air quality and any progress that has been made.
Air Quality Management Area (AQMA)
What is an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA)?
An Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) is an area of land where air quality levels are breaching the national limits and require action to improve or manage air quality levels. The Council has one remaining AQMA in the Borough. Four AQMA’s were originally declared in the Borough. Two were revoked in 2010 and one was revoked in 2017 following the reduction of levels of pollutants to within national guidelines.
Where is the AQMA in the Borough of Broxtowe?
The remaining AQMA is situated in Trowell and is next to the M1 Motorway. The AQMA boundary encompasses twenty properties on parts of Iona Drive and Tiree Close on the Trowell Park Estate. A map of the AQMA is available at the bottom of this page, along with the corresponding AQMA Order.
Why has this area been chosen?
Air quality monitoring identified that the air quality objectives were not being achieved so an AQMA was declared. Technical guidance is provided by the government on how AQMA boundaries should be decided and it states that the boundaries incorporate locations where members of the public might be regularly exposed e.g. building façades of residential properties. However it is at the discretion of the Council to determine the AQMA boundary.
Broxtowe Borough Council reviewed the air quality monitoring data and the location of the M1 Motorway and determined that the 20 properties nearest to the M1 Motorway should be included within the AQMA boundary. Levels of pollution reduce greatly when moving away from the source therefore not all of the properties on Iona Drive and Tiree Close are within the AQMA boundary.
What are the implications for my property if it is within an AQMA?
The declaration of an AQMA indicates that the Council recognises that air quality is poor within the area and as a result of the declaration of an AQMA measures will be put in place to improve the air quality within this area. It is a legal requirement for Broxtowe Borough Council to identify areas within the Borough of poor air quality and to declare an AQMA. The Council do not have a choice on whether to declare an AQMA or not.
Many Council’s have declared AQMA’s and as far as the Council are aware there have been no reported effects on property values and houses have not been blighted as a result of being within an AQMA.
The location of a property within an AQMA will be declared on a local land charge search at the time a property is sold.
How poor is the air quality within the AQMA in Trowell?
The air quality objective for NO2 is 40µgm3. The annual mean result in Trowell was 42µgm3 in 2015, and in 2016 the result was below the objective level at 38 µgm3 in one location and 34 µgm3 at a new location within the AQMA.
What are Highways England doing to improve air quality levels on the M1 Motorway?
The main source of poor air quality within the AQMA is the large volume of traffic on the M1 Motorway (which is owned and managed by Highways England). Highways England (HE) have introduced a Smart Motorway Scheme and extended the number of lanes from three to four lanes.
How many AQMAs are there in the UK?
In the Technical Guidance 2016 (TG16) produced by Defra (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) it states that as of January 2016, there are more than 700 AQMAs currently declared across the UK (nearly 600 of which are in England). Of these the vast majority (over 90%) are related to road traffic emissions. By comparison there are very few AQMAs associated with domestic, industrial or other transport related emissions.