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St Austell Air Quality

St Austell Air Quality Management Area

We have been monitoring nitrogen dioxide levels in St Austell for several years.  The biggest source of nitrogen dioxide is the exhaust gases from cars and lorries, passing through the town on the A390.

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Our monitoring has showed that air pollution levels in St Austell are higher than they should be and a Detailed Assessment of air quality was commissioned. This report has confirmed poor air quality at several locations along the A390. Defra agreed that an ‘Air Quality Management Area’ (AQMA) should be declared.

The AQMA was declared in March 2014.

We have monitored levels of nitrogen dioxide in the town for several years and identified that there are several areas where levels of nitrogen dioxide have reached levels above the UK objectives and the EU Limit Value (which the UK is required to meet by law). The Council has therefore decided that action is needed to reduce levels of pollution.  The Council has decided that the entire town should be declared as an AQMA due to higher pollution levels being found in several 'hotspots'. The St Austell AQMA map shows the boundary.

We are measuring nitrogen dioxide at several locations around the town using ‘diffusion tubes’. These are small plastic tubes that sample for one month before being sent to a laboratory for analysis.  The results give us a good idea of where pollution levels are highest.  We have also recently installed a continuous analyser at Holmbush Road.  This will give us an even better understanding of the times of day when pollution levels are highest and help us to determine what actions are needed to improve air quality.

We have worked with our colleagues and partners to develop an action plan which sets out steps which could improve air quality in St Austell.  We consulted the public and interested parties to get their views on the draft action plan, and the final version now forms part of the Clean Air for Cornwall Strategy.