NEWS AND IDEAS
This page collects news items relevant to our circumstances in AQMA5 and some just for interest! "NEW" items are marked.
You can find official guidance and rules on "Official Documents" page.
"Greenstreet Observer" - mock newspapers - the idea is to bring into one place nuggets to last one cup of coffee!
15th March 2020 - Anklebiters Edition No1 - from conception through school years EXPERIMENT
Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology [POST]
- Planned update on PM2.5 research from 2014 - starting September 2022.
The UK Government are consulting on an air quality target (for concentrations of one type of particulate matter, PM2.5) to be achieved over a 15-year period and will shortly publish a national air control plan for consultation. The World Health Organisation published new air quality guidelines last year that suggests a lower target for PM2.5. Leading health organisations stated in June the Government’s proposal to reach 10μg m-3 by 2040 will not provide a sufficiently rapid reduction in impacts on human health, as have the Office of Environmental Protection. This POSTnote will update the 2014 POSTnote on the evidence for the extent of health impacts at different levels to the main air pollutants (particulate matter, NO2 and ozone), and summarise the evidence for different measures to mitigate emissions from different sources of air pollution.
- UK Parliament - POSTnote 691 - 23rd January 2023 - Urban Outdoor Pollution.
• Air pollution is the greatest UK environmental public health threat. It is responsible for 29,000-43,000 UK deaths annually (based on 2019 data) and multiple health effects. Between 2017 and 2025, the total estimated NHS and social care cost will be at least £1.6 billion in England.
• Particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3) are the air pollutants of most human health concern in urban areas. No safe lower limit has been identified for these pollutants, which disproportionately affect vulnerable groups.
• In UK urban areas, average PM and NO2 concentrations are decreasing over time while O3 shows a slight increasing trend. However, some urban areas exceed the World Health Organization’s Global Air Quality guidelines for PM and NO2.
• The Government is setting two targets for reducing PM2.5 to be met by 2040 including an annual mean concentration limit of 10 μg/m3. Modelling suggests that most of England will be compliant with this by 2030.
More POST Reports
- 2014-June-PN-465-POST:: Ancient_Woodland. Ancient woodlands are irreplaceable features of our landscapes that can be high in biodiversity or cultural value. This POSTnote summarises the challenges of conserving the biodiversity and cultural heritage of these sites to provide social and economic benefits, while still meeting the development needs of society.
- 2022-10-POST: Degraded biodiversity. England is one of the most nature depleted countries globally. Historic and recent agricultural intensification, development of built infrastructure and pollution, amongst other drivers, has led to the degradation, fragmentation and loss of habitats that species depend on. NEW
- 2022-04-28: DEFRA Policy Paper: Woodland cover target: Detailed Evidence report.Woodland is defined by the National Forest Inventory (NFI) as a group of trees of at least 0.5 hectares in area with a minimum of 20% canopy cover and 20 m width and that have the potential to reach a height of at least 5m. NEW
- 2022-10-03: POST_Restoration_and_Creation_of_Semi-natural_Habitats. The UK has lost more of its nature than most countries globally. Of the four UK countries, England is the most nature-depleted. Species listed as conservation priorities that are most threatened under Section 41 of the NERC Act 2006 (‘priority species’) continue to decline. A major driver of this decline is the degradation, fragmentation and loss of habitats that species depend on. NEW
- Cleaner Air for Schoolkids - Toolkit. A good starting place for Parents, Teachers and Governors to try and make a difference.
- Royal Horticultural Society Short guide to Urban trees and hedges to reduce pollution.
More hedging choices from the RHS - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=351.
- Moss Walls Experiment - using their figures, we would need 2.8km of moss walls in Greenstreet to match the throughput of polluting diesel vehicles (cars and LGVs) - this assumes the flow of traffic is constant and equal along the length of Greenstreet - so my estimate is actually a very optimistic estimation!
- Boris Johnson signals athe first "Food Strategy" for 75 years. A statement to bring MORE land into agriculture, not to consume it with roads and houses? Well, that is the real question.Will it have greater force than Planning Guidance? Daily Telegraph of 11th June 2022. NEW
- Hydrogen Power Economics doesn't add up - a Review of grey, blue and green hydrogen production concludes that the economic model and technology isn't workable - Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). May 2022, 23 pages including illustrations. NEW
- Salmon Saved by Tree-planting - The TImes 6th May 2022. Something a bit lighter than usual.
- Cleaner air would help 150,000 breathe easier. New Report arguing that UK should adopt and enforce the latest World Health Organisation thresholds for harmful particulate matter. The Times 2nd March 2022
- Pollutionwatch: why efforts to tackle air pollution can backfire. New laws can have unforeseen consequences so it is vital to regularly track progress. (Gary Fuller reporting in The Guardian on 29 Aug 2019). Email shared with neighbours and Residents on 31st August 2019.
- KM Group Reports on halt to new Housing Developments - Maidstone KCC and Highways England. 29th May 2019.
- GOV.UK Press release (PDF): 14th May 2019: Boost for housing market as Japan’s biggest house builder, Sekisui House, moves into UK. Off-site prefabrication techniques
- The commitment of SBC Council Leader, Councillor Andrew Bowles, to support a massive "one hit wonder" between the Science Park and Bapchild.
- Caerphilly - cut "harm" by demolishing homes in exceedance areas!: "Buying and demolishing the 23 houses and businesses, which would cost about £4.5m, would make Caerphilly council clean air compliant on Woodside Terrace by 2023." (27th March 2019).
- Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) - Non-Exhaust Emissions (NEE) from Road Traffic - BBC or read the Executive Summary or Full 93-page AQEG Report - 11th July 2019. In short, the greater danger facing us is from brake and road wear as vehicles of all sizes accellerate and brake to create damaging PM2.5 and PM10.
- A Report by Highways England (April 2019) (BBC) confirms that traffic lights on busy roads can make congestion worse across the whole day. The full Report (PDF) - see Page 8, which talks about a "displacement" effect - benefits during rush hours are lost for the rest of the day as natural flows of vehicles are interfered with.
- Gordon Henderson and other Kent MPs Object to ramping up 'unachievable' housing targets in the South East. 10th September 2020.
- "More GP Surgeries" - but access to GPs in Swale is at the bottom of the national provision of community healthcare (BBC).
- Guardian articles
- May 17th 2019 - "Pollution affects all organs".
- "2017 - Early 40 million people live in UK areas with illegal air pollution"
- "2017 - Diesel cars emit 10 times more toxic pollution than trucks and buses, data shows"
- USA Government website on air pollution measurement.
- July 8th 2019 - "Birmingham's toxic air 'cuts half a year off children's lives'"
- Independent articles
- Daily Telegraph
- March 12th 2019 - "Air pollution killing nearly as many people as smoking in Britain"
- June 17th 2019: "What Is Pollution Really Doing to Your Brain?"
- The Times "Clean Air For All" Campaign articles:-
- May 8th 2019 - "Clean Air Act would give everyone the human right to an unpolluted atmosphere" - An idea!
- May 8th 2019 - "Air pollution fight: School Streets plan targets parents who leave car engines running" - Solihull takes the fight to drivers near schools and idling engines
- LEADING ARTICLE - May 10 2019 - "The Times view on fighting air pollution: Dirty Politics"
- May 10th 2019 - "Thousands face air pollution cancer risk living by motorways".
- May 14th 2019 - "Instant fines for idling drivers ‘would send message about pollution".
- May 20th 2019 - "Growing concern among families about dirty air."
- May 20th 2019 - "Traffic pollution can make children more anxious, study finds".
- May 24th 2019 - "Scientists call for pollution warning on air fresheners."
- June 5th 2019 - "Air pollution is violation of human rights, says UN"
- June 10th 2019 - "Tax toxic tyres that pollute air"
- June 13th 2019 - "Turn off engine or face parking ban, coach drivers told"
- June 14th 2019 - "Failure to cut air pollution could land politicians in court, warns UN health expert"
- June 15th 2019 - "Tory leadership hopefuls Stewart, Hunt and Gove vow legal right to clean air"
- September 17th 2019 - Soot particles in placenta
- October 12th 2019 - Queen's Speech anticipated item on pollution targets, including PM2.5 (at last!)
- January 5th 2020 - 11% land lost to building urban sprawl over ten years.
- January 13th 2020 - Toxic air will kill 160,000 in the next decade, British Heart Foundation warns.
- March 3rd 2020 - Dirty air is deadlier than war, Aids and smoking combined - The Research Paper.
- March 13th 2020 - Policy Paper to increase permitted development and more. Policy Paper.
- March 30th 2020 - Reported by the Times - Air pollution: Toxin-trapping trees can clean up streets. The Research Paper.
- April 8th 2020: Dirty air puts more lives at risk by damaging lungs
- July 9th 2020: Green space the size of Cornwall lost since 1990 - Kent loses the most land to development
- July 15th 2020: Tiny particles from car brakes and tyres - damaging polar ice, soil as well as us
- July 31st 2020: Lancet Study reveals twelve risk-factors for Dementia including pollution - summary and link to Lancet
- December 16th 2021: Dorset accountant who poisoned protected pine fined the amount his property price rose.
- January 4th 2022: Pollution increases risk of contracting dementia. An update of the evidence.
- January 11th 2022: High pollution makes catching COVID more likely. Pollution reduces ability to fight COVID infection.
- March 2nd 2022: Cleaner air would help 150,000 breathe easier. New Report arguing that UK should adopt and enforce the latest World Health Organisation thresholds for harmful particulate matter.
- October 25th 2022: Environment impacts of a failure to define economic value of the Nature world - plea to Rishi Sunak as new PM. NEW
- January 23rd 2023 - New Scientist - Doubling trees in European cities could prevent thousands of deaths. NEW
- February 2nd 2023 - The Times - Impact of pollution on depression and anxiety. NEW
- March 10th 2023 - The Times - Pneumatic tube traffic counters don't count slow or congested traffic NEW
- March 19th 2023 - Bicycle sales at lowest level in 20 years - Pandemic boom just bust ("active travel" brought into question for continued public funding). NEW
- April 6th 2023 - Air pollution causes lung cancer by ‘waking’ mutant cells. We all have 'mutant cells' but generally they stay dormant, but pollution triggers them into multipying and creating cancer. NEW
- Observer articles:-
- June 15th 2019 - "Cracking cheese Gromit" - biogas digesters in Yorkshire
- The Economist articles:-
Electric Vehicle Power socket installation in homes and offices - Government approved lists (June 2019 spreadsheets) - Check before you buy as this list does change from time to time.... Home charging points, workplace charging points.
Nigel's (and others') Thoughts
- Back to School - September 2019 - a collection of school-related issues and ideas.NEW
- Traffic Flow Explained: This page sets out why the shape of the road through Greenstreet matters when it comes to pollution concentrations.
- Diffusion tubes: Understanding the weakness in SBC's use of Nitrogen Dioxide "Diffusion Tubes" instead of continuous monitoring. How "diffusion tubes" hide many intense periods of harmful pollution over one hour and 24 hours (and the whole year). SBC doesn't use multiple diffusion tubes on each post (which may give slightly more accurate results).
- Air Quality: National Air Pollution Control Programme. Latest Government Measures and Targets for emission reduction on the national stage - with legal obligations for 2020 and 2030.
- Coronavirus lifespan on different surfaces - The Times