To receive a report from the Bi-Borough Environmental Quality Manager on air pollution levels in the borough
The Committee will also be considering a written public submission
Ms Elizabeth Fonseca presented the 2014 Air Quality Progress Report, which reviewed air quality data for the pollutants nitrogen dioxide and particular matter and provided an update on the implementation of actions.
The nitrogen dioxide annual mean objective continued to be exceeded in 2013 at the majority of the 16 monitoring locations in the borough and were also likely to be exceeded alongside the very busy ‘A’ roads and in the town centre.
Particulate matter monitoring is carried out in one location, from which only six months of data had been collected in 2013 due to a vehicle collision with the monitoring station. It was believed that the site would have exceeded the daily mean objective if the monitoring had continued for a whole year.
The emission sources from within the borough were mainly from transport, residential and commercial activities. A large part of the pollution however arose from beyond the borough’s immediate area.
Air Quality Action Plan for 2013/2014 progress had been included in the report. Whilst progress had been made in most areas, some actions had naturally slowed as they had reached the limits of what could be achieved.
The next stage in terms of air quality review and assessment work would be to prepare and submit an Updating and Screening Assessment in April 2015.
In February 2014, the European Commission had sent the Government a ‘Letter of Formal Notice’ for breaching nitrogen dioxide limit values. The legal enforcement process was likely to lead to fines which could be passed on to regional and local government.
In April Public Health England had published a report providing estimates of the number of deaths which could be attributed to long-term exposure to particulate air pollution, with Hammersmith & Fulham as the third highest.
A member of the public commented on smoke from the use of solid fuel for domestic fires lit in houses in the borough and the impact on air quality. Mr Richard Buckley responded that this had been banned and was highlighted on the Council website. The Environment Protection Service, which was responsible for noise and nuisance problems, would be asked to monitor smoke emissions. It was proposed that there should be a public awareness campaign.
Ms Fonseca highlighted actions being taken by the Council, which included a tri-borough communication plan and work with GPs and hospitals to get out the message.
The Council continued to promote travel plans to encourage a switch to less polluting forms of transport, thereby reducing congestion and improving air quality. All schools had produced travel plans.
In response to a comment in respect of the significance of street trees to help improve air quality, Ms Fonseca stated that scrubs were actually more absorbing because they were at a lower level comparable with that of vehicle exhausts.
In respect of electric cars, the Council required one in five parking spaces in new developments to be for electric car recharging. In addition, the Council was implementing measures to reduce road traffic and emissions, such as 20mph zones.
Modelling of where pedestrians crossed the road and the impact of this exposure was not available in the borough.
Councillor Harcourt highlighted some of the current issues such as the Tideway Tunnel, Old Oak railway sidings and the Hammersmith Broadway bus interchange. As part of the action to address these issues, the Air Quality Action Plan would be reviewed.
1. The report be noted.
2. The Committee recommended that the action plan be reviewed and three/four priorities be brought to a future meeting.