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January 2018 Headlines

New Act demanded by EIC 

The Environment Industries Commission has released a detailed blueprint on how air quality should look post-Brexit.

Woodsmoke clampdown could be imminent

A consultation is shortly expected shortly from Defra that will look at excess woodsmoke.

Wales reacts following unwelcome spotlight

Wales has announced four initiatives on air quality. It is currently in the dock in Clientearth’s legal action for failing to mandate any clean air zones despite Cardiff having poor air quality.

Leeds leads with car-friendly CAZ

Leeds City Council has announced the proposed shape of its clean air zone – it does not intend to include private motorists.

AAMG monitoring conference held in London last month

Aqeg raises more biomass fears

Residential woodburning is getting worse, suspects Alison Tomlin of the Air Quality Expert Group (Aqeg).

Next stop for Aqeg: assessing interventions

Aqeg committee member David Carslaw revealed the direction of the committee on a new report on assessing air quality interventions.

London: 193 years to comply

Kings College London’s Anna Font outlined a study comparing air quality improvements in London and Paris.

Molden: Don’t incentivise dirty vehicles

On vehicle emissions testing, expert Nick Molden of Emission Analytics warned that it is essential to look at actual vehicle emissions – and not just Euro standards – when designing clean air zones.

Shipping update

Aqeg also reported on shipping emissions in 2017 albeit based on old data. Mathew Heal updated the report (AQB September p2).

Waste fires studied

A poster at the AAMG conference in London reviewed the potential health effects of waste fires.

Welsh waste fire guidance

New guidance published is aimed at operators to take the right actions to reduce the risk of fires at waste sites in Wales.

Odour rap

Odour and noise have led to a costs decision against Herefordshire Council.

2017 another clean year

AQB’s rough and ready ‘yardstick’ suggests 2017 was a slightly cleaner year – maybe the ‘cleanest’ ever – which will please the ministers. Using unratified

Permit fees shake up

The Environment Agency has announced a massive shake up of permitting charges. A new structure will be introduced this April and will include extra ‘first year’ charges intended to align permit costs to the work carried out by the regulator.

News from the iapsc meeting held in Birmingham last month

Driverless cars worsen emissions

Driverless cars could worsen air quality, last month’s Investigation of Air Pollution Standing Conference (IAPSC) was told.

Legal analysis from specialist barrister

“We are so obsessed with EU law that we forget that UK law is already doing a lot for air quality,” commented barrister William Upton.

MPs sink teeth into ministers

This may be yet another Parliamentary inquiry which goes nowhere – but the joint MPs scrutiny has unpicked the current state of air quality in eyewatering detail, finds Jack Pease