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November 2018 Headlines       Issue 151

Future declines challenged

An important European court case is set to challenge the almost-universal acceptance that future emission reductions will bring concentrations below limits.

Shoreside power for Islington canal boats

The Canal & River Trust and Islington Council are creating an ‘eco-mooring zone’ for canal boats to reduce impacts in a smoky hotspot.

Next year’s grant

Local authorities in England can now apply for 2018/19 air quality grant. It has been held at £3m.

Bath beats Bristol

Bath has beaten its larger neighbour Bristol to finalise clean air zone plans. Bath is to charge dirty cars £9 adopting the tightest class D zone. Bristol, which has in the past been a pathfinder on air quality, remains locked in discussions about the severity of its zone.

Taxi database

Government is consulting on the setting up of a central database of taxis and minicabs.

Coatings push by industry body

The Environment Industries Commission is claiming that the benefits of photocatalytic coatings have been underestimated and that large scale studies should be set up.

EEA beefs up European analysis

The European Environment Agency has released its 2018 annual report and included new data. For the first time, the Air quality in Europe report presents information on concentrations for most air pollutants at country level for all of the EEA-39 countries (the 33 member countries and six cooperating countries.

Limited feedback to 3rd wave

Defra has released a summary of feedback from its consultation on action for ‘3rd wave’ councils told to fix NO2 hotspots (AQB June p1).

Derby: turkeys didn’t vote for Christmas

Three quarters of the public in Derby voted not to have charges as part of the city’s proposed clean air zone.

Urban tree manual sets out pollution effects

Government has published an ‘urban tree manual’. It provides advice on selecting the right tree for the right place in towns and cities for air quality, noise, wellbeing, CO2 and heat reasons.

Austerity laid bare

Minutes expose how austerity is hitting councils.

Ammonia up

Ammonia stands out as a problem pollutant in the latest official emissions inventory for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

PM2.5 effect remains ‘likely’

Comeap has updated findings on cardiovascular diseases and air pollution but struggled to strengthen the evidence beyond “likely”. It has ruled that long-term exposure to current levels of air pollution is likely to affect cardiovascular illness.

Scotland sidelines PCM model

Scotland is advising the use of a new Scotland-specific methodology rather than the UK PCM model used to show compliance with the EU directive.

Future of ‘do no harm’ mantra

Brexit may dilute the precautionary principle embedded in current EU law.

Parents’ action

A group of parents has called on the UK government to release funding for emergency measures to clean up “illegal” levels of air pollution around schools and nurseries across the country.

Road closures to aid air quality

The City of London is consulting on its first draft transport plan largely driven by the need to improve air quality.

Business group slams standards hotchpotch

The initial proposals for the City of London transport strategy have been met with apprehension by the Freight Transport Association.

Who bad air warning

“Every day around 93% of the world’s children under the age of 15 years (1.8 billion children) breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk”, says the World Health Organisation.

Pregnancy effect

A new study presented to the European Respiratory Society International Congress adds to existing evidence on the dangers of pollution for unborn babies and suggests that when pregnant women breathe polluted air, sooty particles are able to reach the placenta via the bloodstream.

Directions and money in NO2 plan

Defra has released a NO2 plan supplement that sets out third wave action

2040 petrol and diesel ban not good enough

MPs on the House of Commons business committee say the target to ban petrol and diesel car sales by 2040 is vague and unambitious

Plug in explainer

The Government’s Plug-In grant scheme provides direct support towards the cost of buying an electric vehicle.

Report reveals CHP spikes

GLA has just released two reports on CHP plants in London. Emissions are shocking, finds Jack Pease.

King’s looks at two sites

Two sites were studied in the King’s study – Bloomsbury, in central London, where the GLA identified eight small combustion-based CHP engines (each below 1MW) within close proximity and a small-scale CHP plant (200 kW – electric) in an unnamed suburban London.

Analysis by measurement

The five borough-study establishes scale of London problem. While the Kings’ report (above) looks at the impact at two specific sites – Ricardo’s report for the GLA takes a broader view attempting to look at impacts cross five boroughs: Camden, Enfield, Kensington & Chelsea, Southwark and Westminster. A total of 376 CHP sites were identified in these boroughs.

Consultation suggests withdrawing RHI from urban ban areas

Government is consulting on removing grants for installing biomass plants in urban areas served by gas.