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September  2017 Headlines

‘Deliberate manipulation’ of data

Cheshire East has admitted air quality data has been deliberately manipulated

Defra (and councils) told not to screen out expensive options

Clientearth has written to the UK Government and local councils warning them not to screen out policy options simply on cost. Bristol is the first council affected and has had to rethink its air quality plan as at the eleventh hour.

NO2 ‘Direction’ is published

Legislation has been published requiring councils to prepare action plans as set out in the recent NO2 plans document (AQB August p1)

Caution urged on road hump removal

The eyecatching policy suggestion in the Government’s NO2 plan to remove road humps has attracted criticism from road safety groups.

AQEG looks at land impact of shipping

NOX from shipping is projected to rise – but PM10 and SO2 are set to fall by 2020, the Air Quality Expert Group says.

Plant limits set

Polluting power stations have four years to meet newly agreed EU standards.

Aqeg search

Due to natural turnover, the Air Quality Expert Group is seeking five new members.

Biomass needs data

Aqeg says lack of monitoring data makes it hard to assess the impact of biomass in the UK.

Leeds hosts geofencing trials

Leeds will be the testbed for a consortium hoping to prove that geofencing can improve air quality. Geofencing involves sending signals to hybrid cars to switch off the internal combustion engines when in the most polluted streets.

Car makers offer their own scrappage bungs

Faced with Government reluctance to fund a nationwide scrappage scheme for private cars, manufacturers appear to have taken the initiative with their own scrappage schemes.

Further £11m green bus cash allocated

Local authorities and bus companies in Bristol, York, Brighton, Surrey, Denbighshire and Wiltshire will share £11m funding under the Government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme to help them buy 153 cleaner buses.

IEMA calls for end to EIA ‘obesity crisis’

The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) is calling for the uptake of proportionate approaches to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to drive improved practice and support future decision making

LAPC refuseniks

More councils have failed to disclose LAPC results.

Permitting fees set to rise by 4.5%

Defra says it will allow local authorities to charge more for LAPC permits.

Caerphilly mulls demolition

Demolishing a row of terraced cottages in Hafod-yr-ynys in south Wales is the most cost effective option to solve problems in an AQMA

Retrofit accreditation scheme launched

With local authorities expected to deliver clean air zones in the shortest time possible based on restrictions on polluting vehicles, a retrofit accreditation scheme has been launched in a bid to ensure that conversions are actually clean.

Diesel decline not at the expense of CO2

CO2 targets can be met even if diesel share drops due to air quality restrictions, a report claims.

Heathrow U-turn

Having appeared to support the expansion of Heathrow before the recent General Election, the Labour party now appears to have changed its mind.

Planning shake up?

Experts are arguing that the planning system needs another shake up.

Aviation tax cut

Environmental groups and MPs are questioning the environmental side effects of Scotland’s desire to halve flight taxes.

Air quality positive for London

The Mayor of London is consulting on a new environment strategy. Air quality is top billing alongside other issues such as noise, green infrastructure and climate change, all combined for the first time

Highways strategy looks weak

Jack Pease struggles to review Highways England risible efforts on air quality with its laughably thin ‘strategy’ released last month

What is happening in Waverley?

Trouble is brewing in Waverley which is also accused of understating NO2 results. Just like Cheshire East, the authority has had to withdraw reports to correct them – unlike Cheshire East, there is no suggestion of deliberate manipulation.