Monday, 19 February 2018
Suffolk Coastal council has reported that air quality within the borough remains ‘generally good’ but that concerns remain in two areas over nitrogen dioxide pollution emissions.
The borough is the home of the government minister responsible for air quality policy, Therese Coffey, and has published the results of its 2017 Air Quality Annual Status Report, which has been approved by Dr Coffey’s Department.
According to the report, the main source of emissions within the majority of the district, is road traffic predominantly formed of NO2 and particulate matter (PM). Emissions from the Port of Felixstowe are also thought to be a major contributor to air pollution within the borough.
An AQMA at Felixstowe has been revoked due to improved air quality in the area.
The report includes monitoring data for 2016 and details progress on actions to improve air quality within two designated Air Quality Management Areas (Woodbridge and Stratford St. Andrew), and across the district as a whole.
The 2016 report suggests that only one monitoring location within the declared AQMA at Stratford St. Andrew, where NO2 is above the annual mean 40 µgm/m3 objective level. There is a general trend of NO2 reductions across the district over time, the council reports.
Proposals are currently being finalised to bring about further improvements in air quality for the Stratford St Andrew AQMA which is expected to be finalised shortly.
The plan consists of two short term, priority action measures and six longer term aspirational measures.
The main measure within the draft Action Plan is to move speed limits around the village was completed by Suffolk County Council in December 2017, with the council to assess the results of monitoring for 2018 in order to determine its effectiveness in reducing nitrogen dioxide concentrations within the AQMA.
Commenting on the report Cllr Carol Poulter, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member with responsibility for the green environment, said: “The really good news is that our monitoring reveals that the nitrogen dioxide levels within the Woodbridge AQMA have reduced in recent times to below the standard set by the Government for the third year running.
“This trend also continues to be seen within and around the revoked AQMA at Felixstowe due to considerable emissions reduction projects being undertaken by the Port of Felixstowe.”