Frequently asked questions
What is the review and assessment process
Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 required the production of a national strategy for air quality. The same Act places a duty on local authorities to carryout periodic reviews of air quality to determine if they will meet the objectives set out in the National Air Quality Strategy (NAQS). The National Air Quality Strategy was first published in March 1997 with the Air Quality Regulations providing the legal footing for the air quality objective’s set out in the NAQS. The NAQS uses health-based standards to control the levels of seven designated air pollutants.
The NAQS has evolved over time and has seen the NAQS revised and republished as "The Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – Working Together for Clean Air". The revision integrated European air quality standards into UK policy and, eventually legislation for both England and the devolved administrations. In Wales the Air Quality Regulations 1997 have been superseded by the Air Quality (Wales) Regulations 2000 which themselves have been amended with the Air Quality (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2002 which came into effect on the 31st December 2002.
The local authority review and assessment process is multi-staged. Swansea carried out its first stage review in 1999. The conclusion reached was to progress to a second and third stage review for Benzene, Particulate Matter (PM10), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).
Along with all other local authorities, this authority has completed its stage 2 and stage 3 reviews. During the stage 3 process, it was determined that the authority would not breach the objectives laid down for Particulate Matter (PM10), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and benzene.
Section 83(1) of the Environment Act 1995 requires the Authority to designate as Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA’s) those areas where it is likely that the standards for any of the identified pollutants would be exceeded. As a result of the detailed work carried out in the authorities’ third stage review and assessment it was found that areas of the Hafod and surrounding areas were likely to fail the NO2 annual mean objective of 40m g/m3 by the compliance date of 31st December 2005.
On the 12th September 2001 the Authority declared The Hafod Air Quality Management Area (NO2), cited as the City & County of Swansea (Hafod Air Quality Management Area (NO2)) Order 2001. The Order came into force on the 14th September 2001.
The Stage 4 review required under Section 84(1) of the Environment Act 1995 confirmed the earlier findings and that the declaration of the Hafod AQMA was justified as several locations were projected to fail the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) annual mean objective in 2005.
Section 84 of the Environment Act 1995 requires the formulation of a written plan in pursuit of the achievement of air quality standards and objectives within the designated AQMA and has become known as the "Action Plan". The City and County of Swansea have undertaken a considerable amount of work in formulating its Action Plan. At this current time, works remain ongoing in the formulation of the Action Plan for the Hafod AQMA.
The review and assessment process is ongoing and is now in its second round. In accordance with the current policy (LAQM.PG(03) and technical guidance LAQM.TG(03) documents, the second round of review and assessments of air quality is to be carried out in two stages
- An Updating and Screening Assessment –
Works to satisfy the above requirements are ongoing.