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June 2016 Headlines

Roads cut pollution says PCM

The PCM model that forms the backbone for UK air quality policy suggests roads will mop up pollution in London.

Defra flounders at Westminster conference

A conference convened to discuss air quality left Defra struggling to argue its case last month

School pollution

A “secret” report has been released by the incoming London mayor Sadiq Khan that shows how pollution affects schoolchildren and the poor.

Fracking ahead

North Yorkshire County Council has given the go ahead for fracking test well in Kirby Misperton.

Ammonia up

Ammonia emissions in 2014 – the latest year for which data is available – have risen.

AirQ+ tool

WHO/Europe has released AirQ+, updated software to quantify the health impacts of air pollution in a given population.

Incoming mayor pledges action

Incoming London Mayor Sadiq Khan has promised to step up plans to improve London air quality.

Diesel plea in Westminster motion

MP Geraint Davies has introduced a Parliamentary Early Day Motion on air quality.

Bus Bill

The Queen’s Speech signalled the Government’s intention to introduce a Bus Bill.

York taxi standards

York now has an emission based (as opposed to age based) taxi licensing policy.

Gas distraction

Pressure group T&E have countered claims that gas is a suitable fuel to reduce air pollution.

More defeat devices found

More defeat devices have been found in cars – albeit many appear to be perfectly legal.

WHO figures name and shame towns

A number of UK towns and cities have been flagged up by the World Health Organisation as having poor air quality.

UNECE finds improvement in world pollution

Air quality has improved significantly in North America and Europe over the past three decades. UNECE says this is due to the UNECE Air Convention and EU air pollution policies.

Conditions clampdown

The Queen’s Speech contained a proposal for yet another bill on planning.

£2m for fuel cells

A £2m grant for public and private sector fleets will fund up to 75% off the cost of zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles.

Heathrow ups its offer on air quality

Heathrow Airport has promised to be more ambitious on air quality in a bid to see off objections to a third runway at the airport.

NO2 plan actions compared

A rapid thinkpiece on what to do about air quality to meet limit values has been published.

Gamers shape AQ policy

The University of the West of England is part of a £5.2m EU project to harness the power of gamers to shape air quality policy.

Undermining rules

Environmental campaign groups have written to environment secretary Liz Truss accusing her government of lobbying to weaken proposed air pollution limits.

Chelmsford Airtext

Chelmsford has joined Cerc’s Airtext air quality forecasting service.

Joining up

Defra has passed responsibility for managing air quality monitoring contracts to the Environment Agency.

Ozone alert

Very warm days, with hours of unbroken sunshine, saw moderate levels of ozone recorded at urban and rural locations across London and Sussex from Thursday 5th May to Monday 9th May, the first widespread incident of 2016. Sites in Essex, Berkshire and Hampshire also recorded moderate levels of ozone.

Numbers say that cars must be targeted

The table below is extracted from the report used to develop clean air zones – and suggests the big wins (the large negative numbers show reductions in NOx) come from tackling cars.

Dealing with dust

Lack of official guidance has prompted the IAQM to develop guidance on mineral dust. Jack Pease attended the launch.

Wider impacts costed (again)

Defra has released a one-year old report outlining how wider impacts of air quality improvements can be monetised. Jack Pease wonders what is the point?