Management of Air Quality
The UK Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 implement European legally binding limits on major outdoor air pollutants. Research now shows currently permitted pollution levels cause more health problems and premature deaths than previously estimated. WHO (2005) says there are no safe levels for some and PM10and ozone have particularly significant effects (Janke, et al 2009).
Hackney’s screening of industrial, transport and other sources in 1998 reported carbon monoxide, benzene, 1,3-butdiene and lead within limits but possible breaches by NO2, particulates and sulfur dioxide. Industrial emissions were not a major problem - see Hackney’s maps:Environment&Planning/Pollution/PLN Prescribed Processes. The main causes are high traffic volumes, slow speeds and heavily congested roads.
Working with other boroughs in the Central London Cluster Group, detailed assessments in 2001 and 2002 and dispersal modelling led to designation of an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) across Hackney focussed on NOx and PM10. An Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) was published and approved by the Mayor of London ensuring compliance with the London Air Quality Strategy and its priorities on transport, industrial sources, construction, fires, energy and heating. (GLA, 2010)
The public were consulted on the UK legislation and UK, London and Hackney strategies and plans.
The borough monitors NO2, O3, PM2.5 and PM10 at Old Street as part of the London Air Quality Network (LAQN) and NO2 at 12 diffusion tube sites. Clapton monitoring station was closed after reviews concluded it was unsuitable as either a roadside or urban background monitoring site (see FAQs). Monitoring is important for real time information, trend assessments, health alerts and verifing modelling results. Other LAQN monitoring sitesare located in surrounding boroughs (see image).
Image: Central London LAQN monitoring sites