Air Quality Monitoring
Air quality in Richmondshire is measured using diffusion tubes. A diffusion tube is a small plastic tube which is used to monitor ambient air quality. The tubes measure levels of nitrogen dioxide. The tubes are placed on lamp posts or drain pipes on buildings near to roads during their exposure period, which is usually for around 1 month.
Each tube has an absorbent material within the cap at one end of the tube. During the exposure period, the other end of the tube is left open so that during that exposure period molecules ‘diffuse’ into the absorbent material. The tubes are then collected and sent for analysis at an independent laboratory and the results returned to the Council. The results give a mean concentration for the period of exposure.
There are currently fifteen tube locations in the Richmondshire area. Some of the tube locations have been monitored over a longer period of time. Further locations were added in January 2014 to assess pollution concentrations in Richmond around Maison Dieu, Frenchgate, Darlington Road, Gallowgate and Queens Road.
Air Quality Reporting
Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) was introduced by Part IV of the Environment Act 1995. The Act requires local authorities to review local air quality and assess whether health-based air quality objectives will be achieved. If it is predicted that the objectives will not be achieved, an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) must be designated and an Air Quality Action Plan put in place to improve air quality to acceptable levels.
There are currently no designated Air Quality Management Areas in the Richmondshire district.
The Council has been monitoring air quality since 2001. Over that time we have collected a large amount of data. The monitoring results are reported annually to DEFRA. New Guidance issued in April 2016 means that an Annual Status Report replaces the previous reporting regime (which comprised the issuing of either a Progress Report or an Updating and Screening Assessment).
These reports are available to view and/or download:
The letter and report demonstrating approval of the latest report by Defra are available to view and/or download:
Further information on air quality is available on the following websites:
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk
If you are concerned about air quality in Richmondshire please contact Environmental Health