Defra have circulated details of draft legislation to transpose the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) and introduce emission controls for certain generators in England and Wales, to stakeholders. This draft statutory instrument – the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2017 – will be laid before Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales, together with the supporting impact assessments, ahead of the transposition deadline for the MCPD in December.
Defra notes that discussions with the Welsh Government are continuing in order to finalise the drafting in respect of the regulation of existing installations that will include Medium Combustion Plants or regulated generators. Once the drafting for this particular regulation is finalised it will be circulated for information.
Defra is not seeking detailed comments on the draft statutory instrument, and does not envisage making further substantial amendments, subject to the point noted above.
Further queries should be directed to: Control.Pollution@defra.gsi.gov.uk
The IAQM considers that assessment of the impact of emissions from STOR-type plant cannot be disregarded on the basis of limited operating hours. It is also important that emission rate data appropriate to the proposed plant are applied in assessing both long-term and short-term exposure.
The IAQM has published its position statement on Assessment of Air Quality Impacts from STOR facilities and other limited-hours-of-operation plant.
The IAQM issues Position Statements on matters that could affect the way in which Members carry out their professional tasks and on air quality topics and issues where the IAQM can provide a unique perspective from which to give a professional opinion.
Interim papers published for comment from members before a final version is produced. If you have any comments please send these to firstname.lastname@example.org before 7th November.
On the 11th August the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, launched his draft Environment Strategy for consultation. A public consultation on the plans is open until 17th November.
The Mayor’s office states that for the first time these plans combine strategies for each aspect of London’s environment, including air quality, into one holistic document. Alongside air quality, this draft strategy also addresses green infrastructure, climate change mitigation and energy, waste, adapting to climate change, and ambient noise.
When finalised, this strategy will replace the 2010 Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy produced by Boris Johnson. IAQM members may be particularly interested in long term proposals to phase out fossil fuels in London, and in the shorter term, the proposed requirement for the largest developments to meet “Air Quality Positive” standards. As the consultation draft explains:
“Air Quality Positive developments will make sure that emissions and exposure to pollution are reduced. The Mayor will provide guidance for developers on the most effective approach to take to ensure a development is Air Quality Positive and will review and update the guidance as required. This will ensure the best approaches to Air Quality Positive development are used in London.”
The IAQM’s Chair, Dr Claire Holman, has responded to news that the Government will be banning the sale of new diesel and petrol cars in the UK from 2040.
For many years the IAQM have highlighted the unacceptable levels of urban air pollution produced by diesel cars and the need for the UK to urgently seek to meet EU limited values. However, an outright ban on both petrol and diesel cars and vans may not be the best policy tool for achieving better air quality.
Claire says: “Twenty five years ago petrol cars were the main culprit; today it is diesel vehicles causing poor air quality. Over that period engine and pollution abatement technology has changed beyond recognition and in another 20 plus years there could have been even greater advances.”
“The announcement will stop research and development investment in these technologies over the coming years. The current alternatives, such as electric vehicles, can offer real benefits in urban areas in the short term but they are not necessarily the long term solution. The research and development community should not be given artificial constraints such as this ban.”What do you think?
Setting long term stable targets allows industry to innovate towards set goals within known timetables. This policy approach has had considerable success in waste management (with the landfill tax escalator) and with carbon emissions (through the Climate Change Act), albeit neither being an outright ban. Could this announcement serve to accelerate the transition away from the internal combustion engine, to more sustainable solutions?
Or is a blanket ban on petrol and diesel too crude a policy tool? Would it be better to set enforceable, technology neutral emissions limits, backed up by a rigorous testing regime, and allow the car industry to use whatever technology they can to reach those targets?
The Government’s revised Air Quality Plan was released on the 5th May, after a High Court judge ruled that publication could not be delayed until after the General Election purdah period. The Government was required to prepare these revised plans, after ClientEarth won their second High Court case in November 2016 arguing that previous plans were not ambitious enough.
Alongside the new plans, a consultation was launched which closed on the 15th June: Improving air quality: national plan for tackling nitrogen dioxide in our towns and cities. The IAQM Committee has prepared a response to this consultation, in which a series of tests were applied to the proposals:
- Does the Plan clearly set out a series of measures that will enable the UK to achieve compliance with the Directive in respect of NO2 concentrations?
- Does it do so in a way that will achieve compliance in the shortest possible time?
- Are the proposed measures feasible within the current structure of air quality management within the United Kingdom and the available resources?
The submission concludes that “The IAQM is not satisfied that these proposed measures will address the problem as quickly as possible”.
We are very pleased to announce that in June the IAQM’s membership reached 400 members.
When the organisation was founded in 2002, we estimated that there were 400 individuals working in the whole air quality profession in the UK. Over the past fifteen years the profession has expanded, and there is no doubt that the Institute has become the representative voice of air quality professionals in the UK.
From humble beginnings, the IAQM has grown to offer a wide range of services for members at all stages of their careers, publishing a range of guidance and position statements and running two major annual conferences: the Dispersion Model Users Group (DMUG) and Routes to Clean Air (RTCA).
Claire Holman, IAQM Chair, marked this historic milestone by saying:
“Over the past 15 years air quality has become recognised as a profession. An increasing number of young people are opting to work in this field and enjoying the challenges; while the growing public awareness has helped our clients realise its importance. We expect to continue to grow over the next 15 years”.
Dr Ian McCrae was a very well respected and widely liked air quality practitioner who worked for TRL. He made significant contributions to the understanding of emissions from transport and links with air quality. Tragically he died suddenly in February 2010 aged 46.
The annual Ian McCrae award is presented to an IAQM Associate Member or Full Member who has demonstrated a commitment to the air quality profession.
This year we wish to give the Award to an Associate or Member in the early stages of their career (approximately the first five years). The winner will be given free entry to the Routes to Clean Air Conference, being held on 24th and 25th October in Birmingham, where the winner will be presented with a trophy.
How to Enter
Please submit an essay (maximum 650 words) on the following topic:
What do you think the main UK air quality issues will be in 2030?
The judges will be looking for well written and argued submissions that explain your reasoning for the future scenarios and pollutant (or pollutants) you have put forward. There is no right or wrong answer.
Entries must be submitted via email by 5pm on Monday 18 September 2017.