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The Environment Act 1995 defined the process of Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) and gave us a duty to review air quality in their area. We use continuous analysers and passive diffusion tubes to monitor air quality at several locations within the borough.
Results are compared to UK Air Quality Objectives, you can see the related documents at the bottom of this page.
To monitor air pollution in St Helens, we currently have three 'real-time' continuous monitors and a network of 33 diffusion tubes. The links below give access to the current monitoring data.
The review process takes a phased approach on a three-yearly cycle. Review and Assessment reports are produced every three years and, during the interim, progress reports are intended to provide consistency.
We undertook our first Review and Assessment (R&A) in 1999/2000. This showed that all Air Quality Objectives would be met by the due dates and we would not need to declare any Air Quality Management Areas.
If the review process identifies a risk that an objective will be exceeded at a location with relevant public exposure, the Local Authority is required to undertake a Detailed Assessment. This is to determine, with reasonable certainty, if a likely exceedance will occur. If this is found to be the case, the area found to be exceeding the objectives would be declared as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).
On the 30th April 2009, we declared Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) at two locations within the borough where the annual mean objective for Nitrogen Dioxide will not be met. This includes the M6 AQMA and the High Street AQMA.
A further two AQMA’s were declared at Borough Road and Reflection Court at the Linkway on the 30th November 2011 as the annual mean objective for Nitrogen Dioxide is not being met. Current details of the locations can be found below:
1. M6 AQMA - Encompasses a strip either side of the M6 Motorway within the unitary boundary of St Helens Council.
2. High Street AQMA - Part of the A49 in Newton-le-Willows and extends between the junctions with Ashton Road and Church Street.
3. Borough Road AQMA -Borough Road, St Helens between the junctions of Westfield Street and Prescot Road including 5–9 Alexandra Drive and 1–17 Prescot Road
4. Linkway Reflection Court- Reflection Court, Linkway West, St Helens.
Once an AQMA has been declared, we are required to complete a Further Assessment within 12 months of designating the AQMA. This document aims to confirm the exceedance, define what improvements are needed, and provide information on source apportionment. The findings of the Further Assessment may lead to amendments in the AQMA.
A further assessment for AQMA's 1 and 2 has been undertaken and can be found in the related documents section of this page.
After declaration, we should formulate and publish an Action Plan to set out objectives to reduce pollutant levels and meet the air quality objectives. The action plan may cover a larger area than the AQMA itself. Powers that are available to us include land use planning, the regulation of industrial emissions and traffic management.
A period of consultation will follow these declarations. This will be publicised locally and on the council website, giving members of the public their say on air quality issues within the designated areas. The outcomes of the consultation will be used within the Action Plan to design and deliver cost-effective measures to improve air quality within the borough.
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