Air Quality Management
In the UK, a National Air Quality Strategy (NAQS) describes the plans drawn up by the Government and devolved administrations to improve and protect ambient air quality in the UK in the medium term. The Strategy establishes the future for ambient air quality policy in the UK to 2005 and beyond. It addresses the following eight pollutants:
Local Air Quality Management
The Environment (NI) Order 2002 requires each local authority to review air quality periodically. Local authorities have to consider present and likely future air quality and assess whether national air quality objectives are likely to be achieved in time.
In the first round, a phased approach to local air quality review and assessment was recommended, involving 3 stages - assessment, monitoring and measurement.
Cookstown Environmental Health Department has completed all three stages, which involved an initial screening of industrial, transport and other sources of pollutants within the Cookstown District and more detailed measurements of certain pollutants.
The Council has an air quality monitoring site in Cookstown which currently monitors Sulphur Dioxide (SO 2) and Particulate Matter (PM 10). Nitrogen Dioxide (NO 2) is also monitored using diffusion tubes at a number of urban area locations.
These sites have been funded by the Department of the Environment’s Local Air Quality Grant Scheme. This financial assistance is offered under the European Union’s Building Sustainable Prosperity Programme 2000-2006.
The Council has recently submitted an 'updating and screening report' which, looks at any changes that may have occurred since the first stage review which may have affected the seven presented pollutants and identifies if more detailed assessments are required.
The updating and screening assessment has concluded that for each of the seven key air pollutants, the air quality objectives are likely to be met, and that a more detailed assessment is not required.
Further information on air quality monitoring in Cookstown, and throughout other Councils in Northern Ireland can be obtained by accessing the website http://www.airqualityni.co.uk