Air quality management
We are required by law to undertake air quality reviews to highlight any possible breeches in national air quality objectives. In areas where the objectives are not met, Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) are established to improve air quality.
First stage review and assessment
This aimed to identify all possible sources of pollutants within the district that could be emitted in significant quantities or where the public could be exposed. This indicated that there was a need for a second stage assessment for:
- carbon monoxide (CO2)
- sulphur dioxide (SO2)
- particulate matter (PM10)
- nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
Second stage review and assessment
This identified pollutants which could cause a problem, highlighting areas where advanced monitoring and modelling should take place. The review concluded road traffic emissions may exceed the air quality objectives for NO2 and PM10. Therefore a third stage review and assessment was necessary.
Third stage review and assessment
This described those pollutants that were thought to be likely to exceed the national objectives based upon the monitoring on each of them. This stage required more sophisticated monitoring and modelling techniques.
The conclusions of the findings at this stage defined the necessity to declare the vicinity of the M40 corridor an air quality management area (AQMA) for the pollutant NO2. This AQMA has subsequently been amended slightly and further AQMAs declared in both High Wycome and Marlow town centres.
Fourth stage review and assessment
The object of this was to finalise and confirm the details of the original AQMA for the M40.
Air quality action plan
Where national objectives for air quality have been exceeded the council has a duty to produce an air quality action plan that aims to bring air quality within acceptable levels according to those national air quality objectives.
Progress, review and other assessments
We submit annual progress reports and three yearly trend reports (updates and screening assessments) to Defra which include our monitoring data and our analysis of that data.