Air qual­ity ac­tion plan at con­sul­ta­tion stage

Po­ten­tial mea­sures to counter high lev­els of pol­lu­tion

Rutherglen Reformer - - Special Feature - Mur­ray Spooner

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

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