§ Mr. Randall
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Department has made of whether the UK will conform to EU limits for nitrogen dioxide levels in 2010. 283W
§ Mr. Bradshaw
A number of assessments of the attainability of the EU limit values for nitrogen dioxide have been carried out. Defra commissioned the independent scientific Air Quality Expert Group in July 2002 to undertake an overall assessment of the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in the UK in both 2005 and 2010. The Group considered all the available studies. A draft report for comment was published on 19 May 2003 (www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/aqeg/). Copies of the draft report on "Nitrogen Dioxide in the United Kingdom" have been placed in the House of Commons Library. The report concluded that, on the basis of the best current projections, in 2010 between 3 and 13 per cent, of the area of London are likely not to conform to the EU annual average limit value of 40 micrograms per metre cubed at background locations. The range reflects the span in outputs between the different models used. The report concludes that the rest of England is likely to conform to the EU limit values for nitrogen dioxide at background concentrations. The report further concludes that around 23 per cent, of the major built-up road length in London and 5 per cent, in the rest of England are likely to be above the EU annual average limit value of 40 micrograms per metre cubed in 2010.