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Air Quality Management

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The Government's revised Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was a direct response to the requirements of the Environment Act 1995.

It set health based standards and objectives covering seven pollutants:

  1. Benzene;
  2. 1,3-Butadiene;
  3. Carbon Monoxide;
  4. Lead;
  5. Nitrogen Dioxide;
  6. Particulate Matter (PM10);
  7. Sulphur Dioxide.

The Act requires all local authorities to periodically review and assess air quality in order to determine whether the Air Quality Objectives will be met.

Ipswich Borough Council has produced reports on the air quality in Ipswich, which are available to download below:

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) outlines a phased approach to local reviews and assessments. When the reviews and assessments are completed, if it is unlikely that the objective level for any of the specified pollutants can be achieved by the target date, the council must declare the location as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and prepare an action plan to make improvements.

Ipswich Air Quality Management Areas

In April 2006, three Air Quality Management Areas were declared in Ipswich. These are:

  1. The land in or around the junction of Norwich Road, Chevallier Street and Valley Road;
  2. The land in or around the junction of Crown Street, Fonnereau Road, St Margaret's Street and St Margaret's Plain;
  3. The land in or around the junction of Grimwade Street, St Helen's Street, and the Star Lane gyratory system - including Fore Street, Salthouse Street, Key Street, College Street, Bridge Street, Foundation Street and Slade Street.

A fourth Air Quality Management Area was declared on 14th December 2010. This is for part of the Bramford Road and Chevallier Street junction.

These sites are available to view on our Online Mapping System.

Ipswich Borough Council monitors the air quality in Ipswich using automatic monitors and numerous diffusion tubes across the town.

Automatic monitors

Automatic monitors give an accurate representation of the levels of Nitrogen Dioxide at the monitoring station.

Diffusion tubes

These tubes are mounted on lamp-posts, signposts or buildings and give a reading of Nitrogen Dioxide over a four week period.

The accuracy of diffusion tubes can vary by as much as 30% so they are generally used to identify long term trends.

The review and assessment of the air quality in Ipswich is an ongoing process and we welcome your views, comments or ideas.

Simple ways to Improve Air Quality

Environmentally friendly travel

All three of the Air Quality Management Areas in Ipswich have been identified because of higher than desired levels of Nitrogen Dioxide, as a direct result of transport related pollution. This can be reduced if, wherever possible, we:

  • Use public transport or better still, walk or cycle and improve your health and the air quality;
  • Car share with friends and work colleagues;
  • Keep your car in good condition - tuning, the correct tyre pressure and regular servicing all help make it more efficient (and save on fuel bills);
  • Try not to use roof racks unless really necessary - these increase drag;
  • Only use air conditioning when you really need to - it increases fuel consumption;
  • Drive smoothly - excessive braking and accelerating uses more fuel;
  • Reduce weight where possible by removing unnecessary items from the boot;
  • Turn off engine when stationary, if it is safe to do so.

Reducing pollution at home

Wherever possible, please:

  • Burn smokeless fuels;
  • Buy water-based or low solvent paints;
  • Avoid lighting bonfires and compost green waste.

Development and Air Quality

Advice for developers on development and air quality is available in a planning document Air Quality Management and New Development 2011.

Biomass boilers

If you intend to install a Biomass boiler please download and complete the application form below:

Application for Biomass boiler