Edinburgh International Science Festival: Air Pollution – Out of sight, Out of mindOn Tuesday the 26th March the Scottish Environment Protection Agency is presenting at the Edinburgh International Science Festival on the topic of air pollution in Scotland, its impact on human health and what can be done about it. The event takes place at 6pm at Teviot Row and will include presentations, lively debate and practical demonstrations.
For booking information please visit: http://www.sciencefestival.co.uk/whats-on/categories/talk/air-pollution-out-of-sight-out-of-mind
Moderate to Very High Particulate Matter (PM10) Episode 26-28 February 2013 - Aberdeen Region
Particulate Matter pollution episode measured in Greater Glasgow urban area
By David Hector, Ricardo-AEA on 18/12/2012
Consultation on updated UK National Implementation Plan for Persistent Organic Pollutantshttp://www.defra.gov.uk/consult/2012/11/21/nip-pop-update/
Scottish Air Quality Monitoring Strategy WorkshopA Workshop to help in the development of the Scottish Air Quality Monitoring Strategy was held at the Scottish Government, Victoria Quay on the 28th August 2012. The Workshop aimed to cover the following issues:
Biomass and Air QualityThe Scottish Government has recently stated its position on the relationship between biomass combustion and the potential conflict with local air quality (see letter from The Scottish Government). Biomass combustion as a means to generate renewable heat is an important technological facet of our climate change obligations to 2020 but its widespread application does have implications for air quality if not managed appropriately.
In particular, the Scottish Government would prefer off gas grid installations, larger scale facilities in preference to many small boilers (e.g. combined heat and power and perhaps aligned with existing heat networks), and installations which replace old coal or oil technology. In areas of potentially poor air quality we would envisage small boilers being less common as their emissions are less easy to control compared with a larger facility serving wider heat demand.
Further information on assessing the potential air impact of biomass is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Environment/waste-and-pollution/Pollution-1/16215/6116
Environmental Protection UK has produced additional guidance for Scottish local authorities which can be found at: http://www.environmental-protection.org.uk/publications/default.aspx
Further information relating to the Renewable Heat Incentive can be found at: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/Renewable_ener/incentive/incentive.aspx
Temporary Error with Background DataDue to a technical fault, the background pollutant concentration data for Scottish Local Authority Review and Assessment work available for download between 24/04/12 and 01/05/12 were subject to error. This fault has now been resolved. It is recommended that any user who downloaded background data from http://www.scottishairquality.co.uk/maps.php?n_action=data during the outlined period downloads the required data again. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Please note that Scottish Authorities are expected to use the Scottish Map data in preference to the UK data for Review and Assessment purposes.
Updated Mapped Concentrations of Pollutants in Scotland
On the 11th April 2012, updated mapped concentrations of background NOX, NO2 and PM10 on a 1 x 1 km grid square basis were made available on the Scottish Air Quality Database. The 2010 modelled annual mean background air pollutant concentration maps combine Scottish air pollutant measurements with spatially disaggregated emissions information. Scottish air pollutant emissions were based on the UK's National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) and the most recently updated (as of January 2012) National energy usage statistics (UEP43). The Scotland-specific model included the most recently revised (as of January 2012) NOX emission factors, taken from COPERT4 v8.1, and ANPR/DVLA-scaled data to represent the most up-to-date vehicle fleet information for Scotland.
The maps provide spatial representation of the modelled annual mean background NOX, NO2, and gravimetric equivalent PM10 concentrations for 2010; and projected concentrations for 2011-2030. Background annual mean air pollutant concentrations for Local Authority Review and Assessment purposes are now available for download in the form of comma separated (CSV) files. The maps and associated data are available at: http://www.scottishairquality.co.uk/maps.php
Industrial Emissions Directive - Large Combustion PlantsArticle 32 of the industrial emissions Directive (2010/75/EC) provides for the establishment of a transitional national plan (TNP) for emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust for certain existing large combustion plants.
Within the period 1 January 2016 to 30 June 2020, plants placed in the TNP will be exempt from the emission limit values (ELVs) which would otherwise apply under Article 30(2) of the Directive. But they will each need to comply with an annual 'ceiling' emission for each of the pollutants concerned.
As participation in the TNP is optional, DEFRA, the Scottish Government and the other devolved administrations have released a letter to large combustion plant operators. This letter asks whether and on what basis operators wish the large combustion plant(s) under their control to be included in the United Kingdom's TNP and seeks responses as soon as possible (by the 8th of May at the latest).
New Daily Air Quality Index implementedThe changes announced on 7th December 2011 by Defra (see previous news item) have now been implemented on this website.
Latest air quality data and bulletins will now present results according to the new DAQI which includes PM2.5 particle measurements for the first time.
Details of how the new DAQI is used is now available.
Notification of Changes to the Air Quality Index
The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) was asked by Defra and the Devolved Administrations to review the Air Quality Index to ensure that it is fit for purpose given developments in the field of air quality. The current index has been in operation essentially unchanged for a period of around 12 years. COMEAP published the report Review of the UK Air Quality Index in June 2011. Defra and the Devolved Administrations have considered the report recommendations and will implement several changes, following consultation with index users. The implementation of the new index, to be renamed the Daily Air Quality Index (DAQI) is described in this letter.
Publication of the 2009 Scottish Air Quality Mapping ReportBACKGROUND NOx, NO2 AND PM10 MAPS FOR LAQM AND DMRB ASSESSMENT
The report summarising the 2009 Scotland-specific modelling methodology and the background air pollutant (NOX, NO2, and PM10) maps is available at: Technical Reports.
Projected Scottish background maps for 2010, 2015, and 2020, were calculated from a base year of 2009. The maps were calculated using the 2008 NAEI and associated projections. These incorporate UEP37 energy projections current road traffic emission factors. Euro 5 and Euro 6 measures for LDVs and Euro VI measures for HDV were included in the projections.
The total background concentrations of NOx, NO2, and PM10 at yearly intervals up to 2020 were calculated for Scotland. This data was derived to assist local authorities in support of review and assessment of local air quality as noted in Technical Guidance LAQM.TG09. The contributions of NOx and PM10 from emissions inventory sources were provided separately for the sources within and outside each 1 km x 1 km grid square. This is to enable individual sectors to be subtracted from the total background concentration if a more detailed local assessment is to be carried out for that sector. This should provide a robust approach, which avoids double counting. Sector maps were not available for NO2. However, the maps for NO2 do take account of current and expected changes in f-NO2 (the proportion of NOx emitted as primary NO2).
FDMS and VCM-corrected TEOM measurements were used to calibrate the PM10 model.
Air Pollution in the UK 2010: UK's Annual Report to the CommissionThe UK's annual air quality compliance report for 2010 has recently been published by Defra and the Devolved Administrations. This report summarises the UK's 2010 submission on air quality under Directives 2008/50/EC and 2004/107/EC to the EU Commission, presenting air quality modelling data and measurements from national air pollution monitoring networks. The submission and accompanying spreadsheet questionnaire can be found on the Commission's website.
There is a summarised version of the report, "Air Pollution in the UK 2010 - Compliance Assessment Summary" and the full report, both of which can be downloaded in full from http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/library/annualreport/index
Correction to Scottish background and roadside NO2 maps for 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2020It has been recently recognised that an error has been incorporated in the Scotland-specific modelling of background and roadside NO2 maps for 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2020 that were published on the Scottish Air Quality database in March 2011.
Maps of estimated annual mean NO2 concentrations were calculated from modelled NOX concentrations using a calibrated version of the updated oxidant-partitioning model (Jenkins, 2004; Murrells et al., 2008). This model uses representative equations to account for the chemical coupling of NO, NO2, and O3 within the atmosphere. The modelled background and roadside NO2 concentration is calculated from background or roadside NOX concentration using a sixth order polynomial relationship of the form:
NO2 = a[NOX] + a2[NOX]2 + a3[NOX]3 + … + ai[NOX]i x [OX]B + c ,
i = 6,
NO2 = background or roadside NO2 concentration (ppb),
[NOX] = background or roadside NOX concentration (ppb),
[OX]B = background oxidant concentration (ppb),
abc = coefficients.
For the background NO2 model coefficients a1 and c are calculated by comparing the measured NOX to the ratio of the [NO2]obs/[NO2]calc, whilst for the roadside NO2 model coefficients a1, a2 and c are calculated by comparing the measured NOX to the ratio of the [NO2]obs/[NO2]calc. In both cases, these coefficients were incorrectly derived in the original Scotland-specific modelling published in March 2011. The coefficients have been revised and background and roadside NO2 concentrations for 2009 have subsequently been re-calculated and new maps prepared. Corrected maps of background NO2 concentrations for future years (2010, 2015, and 2020) have also been produced.
All of the corrected maps are now available at:
The Scotland-specific background maps of NOx and PM10 published in March 2011 are not affected by this error.
Consultation on air quality plans to meet the EU Limit Values for Nitrogen Dioxide in ScotlandThe Scottish Government is seeking views on updated draft air quality plans that set out the action taken and being planned at UK, Scottish and local levels to meet the annual and hourly EU NO2 limit values in Scotland. These plans, along with air quality plans from England, Wales and Northern Ireland will form the basis of the UK notification to the European Commission in September seeking for those parts of the UK, where there is sufficient evidence, to postpone for up to five years from January 2010 the compliance date for the NO2 limit values.
The plans have been drawn up with input from local authorities and other bodies with an interest. However it is important that they properly reflect the action being taken, so consultee input is welcome. The relevant documents for this consultation can be accessed via the link below:
Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano - Air quality and health impactsDuring the latest volcanic eruption there is intense interest on the possible UK air quality and resulting health impacts from the eruption and whether the volcanic ash plume is grounding in the UK.
Three websites that will provide official reporting on air quality in the UK are:
Reports over the comings days are expected to pick up and report on the grounding of Grimsvotn's ash plume in the UK.
Weekly Performance Checks of TEOM-FDMS’ in the SAQDFDMS analysers require substantial investment in ongoing QC and ratification to maximise high quality data and good data capture rates.
The many instrument diagnostic parameters, together with the extensive network of analysers in the UK monitoring network, has significantly enhanced our ability to identify poor performance. Using the numerous parameters that TEOM FDMS' record along with analysis of regional volatile concentrations, we are able to quickly detect faults and notify the relevant authority to minimise any loss of data. Starting immediately AEA, as part of the SAQD contract, will be checking the performance of all TEOM FDMS' in the SAQD on a weekly basis. For more details please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Air Pollution Detectives launchedScottish Government, in partnership with Glow, Scotland's online education community and AEA, is pleased to announce the launch of our "Air Pollution Detectives" website today.
The development is a fun introduction to air pollution and climate change issues aimed at the 8-11 year old age range but open to all!
It was developed with feedback and input from children themselves and includes fun graphics, audio, quiz and worksheets.
Please give it a try at http://www.scottishairquality.co.uk/children
By AEA on 09/05/2011
Publication of the Scottish Air Quality Database Brochure for 2010
The Scottish Air Quality Database Brochure for 2010 has now been published. The brochure provides a summary of the latest air quality monitoring results for Scotland - together with an update on project progress including website improvements, air quality mapping and air quality trends. The brochure also includes information on the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano on the 20th March 2010.
Scottish Air Quality Grant Application Letters
The Scottish Government has recently invited Scottish Local Authorities to apply for air quality funding for 2011/12.
The invitation comprises of three sections relating to:
in existing/potential Air Quality Management Areas as outlined in the respective letters, which can be downloaded below:
Wherever possible, Andrew Taylor of the Scottish Government would appreciate responses by the 7th March 2011.
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