Air quality action plan at consultation stage
Potential measures to counter high levels of pollution
South Lanarkshire Council have responded to claims they have not produced an air quality action plan for Rutherglen Main Street.
The Reformer reported last week that the Main Street and Farmeloan Road had suspected illegal levels of pollution.
If it had not been for a sampling fault, the Friends of the Earth Scotland (FOTES) organisation may have named the Main Street as the third most polluted street in the country.
Emilia Hanna, air pollution campaigner for FOTES, claims South Lanarkshire has been under an obligation to produce an air quality action plan to tackle air pollution since the declaration of the first pollution zone.
And Shirley Clelland, head of fleet and environmental services responded by saying the plans were subject to “strict time scales”.
She continued: “We are aware of the recent readings from the Rutherglen air quality monitoring unit and an investigation has identified a fault with the unit set up.
“We are working with our specialist contractors to resolve the matter.
“All real time readings from the Rutherglen, and other units, are automatically sent to the Scottish Air Quality database.
“The readings undergo further quality assurance and quality control checks prior to being accepted to ensure they are of sufficient scientific robustness.
“The quality assurance checks are part of the statutory process to ensure the efficacy of results and applies for all Scottish local authority monitoring stations connected to the database.
“The development of air quality action plans is also subject to strict rules, including timescales that dictate how soon after declaring an air quality management area (AQMA) an action plan needs to be produced.
“South Lanarkshire Council is currently in the consultation process of the action plan.”
Ms Clelland insisted South Lanarkshire Council considers air quality to be an important contributor to public health and are engaged in work with communities and businesses to enhance air quality across the county.
She added: “Air quality across South Lanarkshire in general is good, however we recognise that there are localised problems, predominantly associated with transport and/or the topography in some locations.
“The declaration of the Rutherglen AQMA recognises that air quality in parts of Rutherglen potentially breach the Scottish standards for one pollution indicator, namely particulate matter (PM10).
“The declaration of an AQMA in this area demonstrates the council’s commitment to making the public aware of these concerns and tackling these issues.”
Dirty Rutherglen Main Street is one of the most polluted streets in Scotland