The Air Quality Management Area in Immingham could be withdrawn after improvements in air quality
North East Lincolnshire council is seeking residents’ views on the possible withdrawal of an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in Immingham and a review of its local air quality strategy.
The withdrawal is being supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) according to the local authority.
Ahead of the potential withdrawal of the AQMA, this week (August 24) North East Lincolnshire council has launched a two-week consultation and an online survey regarding its plans to remove the AQMA, after finding that levels of dust particles have now fallen to at an “acceptable level”.
A detailed assessment of the Kings Road area of Immingham was undertaken by the council in 2006, with the results concluding that particulate matter (PM10) levels were above UK national air quality limits due to high levels of delivery vehicles in the area.
The assessment recommended the introduction of an AQMA as dust particles were “above acceptable levels” and an action plan was produced “outlining what the council should do to bring the levels of dust particulates below the government set levels”.
Now, however, the council claims that its 24-hour monitoring station at the junction of Kings Road and Manby Road has since 2009 recorded readings showing that the dust levels have been reduced to an “acceptable level”.
UK national limits state that levels of particulate dust must not exceed the daily limit of 50ugm3 (microgrammes per cubic metre) more than 35 times in one calendar year. Dust levels have not exceeded levels on more than 35 occasions since 2008, and last year there were 15 exceedances.
As dust levels have now been below national limits for six years following the drafting of an action plan to tackle the issue – which included measures such as improved traffic management and constructing a link road – and Defra has reportedly agreed with the council that the AQMA is no longer necessary.
According to the council, the reduction in dust levels is “a reflection of the action plan and the commitment North East Lincolnshire council have to its contents”.
As a result, the council is now seeking views on withdrawing the Immingham AQMA, as well as on the aims, objectives and actions in its air quality management strategy.
The strategy focuses on nitrogen dioxide emissions from traffic in and around Immingham and Grimsby, although it is noted that other emissions arise from the ports operating in both towns.
An online survey, technical documents, the AQMA and air quality strangely can be viewed on the North East Lincolnshire council website. The consultation closes on September 6 2015.