HC Deb 22 July 1996 vol 282 cc95-6W
Mr. Win Griffiths

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list for each local authority the sampling sites for air pollution measurement, indicating at which sites the European Union guide levels have been exceeded; and what action has been recommended as a result. [38883]

Mr. Gwilym Jones

The Government air quality monitoring sites in Wales are as follows:

Local authority Site name
Cardiff Cardiff Centre
Cardiff East
Ceredigion Cwmystwyth
Flintshire Shotton
Gwynedd Waunfawr
Neath Port Talbot Cwmgwrach
Glyn Neath
Port Talbot
Newport Marshfield

Local authority Site name
Pembrokeshire Cresselly
Powys Aston Hill
Swansea Swansea Centre
Torfaen Pontypool
Wrexham Wrexham

There are currently four European directives on air quality which set mandatory and non-mandatory limits for lead, sulphur dioxide and suspended particles, nitrogen dioxide and ozone levels in the air. The only exceedences of the relevant thresholds at Government sites in Wales in the last three years for which figures are available were as follows:

Limit Site Number of exceedences (days)
1992 1993 1994
Daily basis:
Ozone information threshold Aston Hill 3 1 1
Cardiff Centre 2 1
Annual basis:
Guide value for SO2 Cwmgwrach Exc.
Glyn Neath Exc. Exc. Exc.
Port Talbot Exc.
Guide value for suspended particles Wrexham Exc.
Exc. = Exceeded the guide values, based on the average daily readings taken over the year.

Further information is available in the "Environment Digest for Wales" and the report "Air Pollution in the UK 1994", copies of which are in the Library of the House.

The Government will shortly be publishing a consultation draft of the national air quality strategy as required by the Environment Act 1995. It will include air quality standards and objectives and set out the measures required to meet those objectives.

The Environment Act 1995 also introduces a duty on local authorities to assess and review air quality in their areas, and to establish local air quality management areas where standards or objectives are being or likely to be breached. In such areas authorities must draw up action plans to help bring ambient pollution down to acceptable levels. The Government are currently developing guidance for local authorities sot help them discharge those duties.