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Exeter completes air quality screening update

Exeter city council has reported that it has completed an Air Quality Updating and Screening Assessment and found no unexpected exceedances.

Exeter city council has completed a report which updates its air quality and screening work.

The document, published last month, is part of the Devon authority’s ongoing work in pursuit of air quality improvements in the city.

The update found that there are no exceedances of the government’s air quality objectives except within the existing Air Quality Management Area and that the boundaries of this area remained appropriate.

A range of pollutants were considered in the work and checklist approach taken to determining whether exceedances of any government objectives are likely.

John Leech, Exeter city council environmental health manager, told AirQualityNews that the authority is in the process of redoing its air quality action programme.

Transport

He said: “We are revising this but will have to incorporate within it reference to the Local Transport Plan being prepared by Devon county council and there will be air quality issues within that.” Exeter City Council declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in April 2007 which covers all the main traffic routes in the city. This was required because both measured and modelled levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceed the annual average objective level. Studies showed that the high NO2 concentrations are caused by traffic emissions along congested routes.

The latest study says that a review of 2011 monitoring data has shown that there are no exceedances of the objective levels outside the AQMA.

It notes: “There is some evidence for a reduction in NO2 concentrations, such that fewer monitoring locations inside the AQMA are exceeding the objective, however it is not clear whether this is the start of a long-term trend or simply inter-annual variability as a result of changes in weather etc. As a result, it has been decided not to undertake a detailed assessment of the suitability of the current AQMA boundary at this stage, although this situation will be kept under review.”

Related links

Exeter report (opens as PDF)

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