MPs probe air pollution progress

Braintree and Witham Times: The European Commission launched legal action against the UK earlier this year for its failure to reach air pollution targets The European Commission launched legal action against the UK earlier this year for its failure to reach air pollution targets

MPs are launching a new inquiry into Government efforts to tackle air pollution which contributes to thousands of deaths a year.

The parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) will examine what progress has been made to tackle poor air quality since it warned about the need for urgent action on pollution in a report in 2011.

Earlier this year, the European Commission launched legal action against the UK for its failure to reach targets - which should have been met by January 2010 - to cut excessive levels of air pollutant nitrogen dioxide, which mostly comes from traffic fumes.

Public Health England has warned that long-term exposure to air pollution led to around 25,000 deaths in England in 2010, while the kind of short-term peaks in pollution seen recently in parts of the UK can worsen asthma and affect lung function.

The EAC's chairwoman Joan Walley said: "Air pollution is thought to contribute to more deaths than passive smoking, traffic accidents or obesity, yet the UK is still breaching European safety limits nearly five years after EU fines were first threatened.

"The Environmental Audit Committee warned four years ago that an urgent policy response, greater public awareness and a shift in transport policy was required if air quality was to be improved.

"We will be examining what progress has been made by central and local government since then in removing the most polluting vehicles from the road and encouraging cleaner forms of transport."

The new inquiry will look at what progress has been made on issues including targets for air quality, support for local authorities to tackle pollution, low emissions zones and limiting emissions from vehicles.

It will also examine the role that could be played by new technologies and the scope for transport policies, such as public transport, cycling and walking, to cut air pollution.

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6:10pm Mon 5 May 14

Dan Soton says...

Public Health England (PHE) will examine the role that could be played by new technologies..


PHE examine a way, take as long as you like.. in a few years I will have a phone with an Air Pollution app which will tell me if Southampton's traffic pollution is exceeding EU legal limits if so it will automatically fine all the reasonable parties...


Read on.. The EU is backing ( Doable Project) low cost continuous pollution monitoring via mobile phones..



YOU AND I WILL MONITOR THE ENVIRONMENT

Environmental information about CO2, airborne dust and pollen will no longer be collected only at isolated measuring stations. From now on, cyclists, bus drivers and the man in the street will be able to do their bit.

Twenty portable sensors will be issued to volunteers in the city and to employees such as traffic wardens who are exposed to urban pollution at work.

By Åse Dragland

24 Feb 2014

"AT PRESENT, ENVIRONMENTAL MEASUREMENTS ARE MADE USING EXPENSIVE STATIONS SPREAD AROUND THE COUNTRY. HOWEVER, NOW THAT EVERYBODY HAS A MOBILE PHONE, AND WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF TECHNOLOGY, WE OURSELVES CAN CONTRIBUTE WITH VARIOUS TYPES OF DATA," SAYS ARNE BERRE AT SINTEF ICT.

"More and better information is particularly valuable on days of high pollution or high pollen counts. Making their own measurements will get the general public involved in their own environment. Everybody can now receive useful feedback about the conditions around us.

"TECHNOLOGY WILL BE DEVELOPED BY WAY OF THE EU PROJECTS CITI-SENSE AND CITI-SENSE-MOB. THESE WILL ENABLE ORDINARY PEOPLE TO COLLECT ENVIRONMENTAL DATA. Research scientists from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) and SINTEF are already well under way with the Norwegian contribution."

SENSORS ABOARD BUSES

"We are now having discussions with Oslo Municipality about fitting buses with sensors to measure air quality along the roads. The bus drivers themselves will also find this information useful as they will see how acceleration and driving style affects the results and can learn to drive in a more ecologically friendly way" says Berre.

Magne Elvik, Operations Manager at Nobina Oslo Vest, confirms that sensors will be tested aboard two gas-powered buses at the beginning of April on routes around Grorud, Sinsen and Oslo Central Station, as well as out to Fornebu. If the tests go according to plan, a further eight buses will be included in the experiment.

ON STREETLAMPS AND ELECTRIC BIKES

Last year was mostly dedicated to testing new technology and getting everything to function so that data could be obtained for later use. The actual measurements will take place in the coming months.

Nuria Castell at NILU says that a total of 40 static sensors will be deployed in Oslo. "Air quality is a matter of public concern in Norway, too," she says. "We will fit sensors to streetlamps, for example, to cover city centre areas where pollution is high, and will also monitor neighbourhoods adjacent to Ring Roads 2 and 3, and at Bygdøy.

Twenty portable sensors will be issued to volunteers in the city and to employees such as traffic wardens who are exposed to urban pollution at work. The citizens of Oslo will also be able to measure air quality when cycling, and at least one sensor will be fitted to an electric bike.

"Admittedly there have been some delays," Castell confirms, "But we are starting this spring with two buses, a bicycle and five fixed sensors. By the end of the summer we aim to have full distribution involving more buses, and in the autumn all the fixed sensors will be installed, as well as those carried by people. Measurements will then be carried out in the city throughout 2015."

LAPEL BUTTONS

In December, SINTEF tested hand-held units for collecting weather and wind data as well as a small lapel button (see video) for measuring UV radiation.

"We have now sent the equipment to Bilbao for large-scale testing," says Arne Berre.

This is because around thirty partners in Europe are busy with measurements and tests. Among other things, they will provide both indoor and outdoor measurements of CO2 levels in schools. With such a large amount of data, the EU will be able to make comparisons and obtain a basis for developing joint solutions as well as for sharing technology.

The next step will deal with how to successfully involve people in future by means of user participation and work groups. The plan is to test the technology with selected individuals in 2014 and then make it more generally available during 2015.

See the www.citi-sense.eu and www.citi-sense-mob.e

u websites for further information.

KEY FACTS:

• The EU's Citi-Sense environmental project (2012-2016) will measure the pollution to which individual citizens are exposed. This is achieved using mini-sensors and other electronic equipment to collect environmental data for an online data register. The objective of the project is to improve quality of life in towns and cities. The project attempts to motivate the local population and improve awareness. 27 partner institutions from nine cities in Europe are involved. The project is headed by NILU.

• The EU's Citi-Sense-MOB project will run from 2013 to 2015 and involves installing sensors on mobile platforms (buses and bicycles) to make regular measurements. Each of the four Norwegian partners has its own principal focus – NILU on the quality of sensor data, SINTEF on integration towards global standards and data visualisation, Kjeller Innovation on the use of sensor data in other applications and UNIK on user involvement.

• THE SENSORS ARE MANUFACTURED BY VARIOUS EUROPEAN COMPANIES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, SERBIA AND SPAIN.


http://www.sintef.no

/home/Press-Room/Res

earch-News/You-and-I

-will-monitor-the-en

vironment/




,,,
Public Health England (PHE) will examine the role that could be played by new technologies.. PHE examine a way, take as long as you like.. in a few years I will have a phone with an Air Pollution app which will tell me if Southampton's traffic pollution is exceeding EU legal limits if so it will automatically fine all the reasonable parties... Read on.. The EU is backing ( Doable Project) low cost continuous pollution monitoring via mobile phones.. YOU AND I WILL MONITOR THE ENVIRONMENT Environmental information about CO2, airborne dust and pollen will no longer be collected only at isolated measuring stations. From now on, cyclists, bus drivers and the man in the street will be able to do their bit. Twenty portable sensors will be issued to volunteers in the city and to employees such as traffic wardens who are exposed to urban pollution at work. By Åse Dragland 24 Feb 2014 "AT PRESENT, ENVIRONMENTAL MEASUREMENTS ARE MADE USING EXPENSIVE STATIONS SPREAD AROUND THE COUNTRY. HOWEVER, NOW THAT EVERYBODY HAS A MOBILE PHONE, AND WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF TECHNOLOGY, WE OURSELVES CAN CONTRIBUTE WITH VARIOUS TYPES OF DATA," SAYS ARNE BERRE AT SINTEF ICT. "More and better information is particularly valuable on days of high pollution or high pollen counts. Making their own measurements will get the general public involved in their own environment. Everybody can now receive useful feedback about the conditions around us. "TECHNOLOGY WILL BE DEVELOPED BY WAY OF THE EU PROJECTS CITI-SENSE AND CITI-SENSE-MOB. THESE WILL ENABLE ORDINARY PEOPLE TO COLLECT ENVIRONMENTAL DATA. Research scientists from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) and SINTEF are already well under way with the Norwegian contribution." SENSORS ABOARD BUSES "We are now having discussions with Oslo Municipality about fitting buses with sensors to measure air quality along the roads. The bus drivers themselves will also find this information useful as they will see how acceleration and driving style affects the results and can learn to drive in a more ecologically friendly way" says Berre. Magne Elvik, Operations Manager at Nobina Oslo Vest, confirms that sensors will be tested aboard two gas-powered buses at the beginning of April on routes around Grorud, Sinsen and Oslo Central Station, as well as out to Fornebu. If the tests go according to plan, a further eight buses will be included in the experiment. ON STREETLAMPS AND ELECTRIC BIKES Last year was mostly dedicated to testing new technology and getting everything to function so that data could be obtained for later use. The actual measurements will take place in the coming months. Nuria Castell at NILU says that a total of 40 static sensors will be deployed in Oslo. "Air quality is a matter of public concern in Norway, too," she says. "We will fit sensors to streetlamps, for example, to cover city centre areas where pollution is high, and will also monitor neighbourhoods adjacent to Ring Roads 2 and 3, and at Bygdøy. Twenty portable sensors will be issued to volunteers in the city and to employees such as traffic wardens who are exposed to urban pollution at work. The citizens of Oslo will also be able to measure air quality when cycling, and at least one sensor will be fitted to an electric bike. "Admittedly there have been some delays," Castell confirms, "But we are starting this spring with two buses, a bicycle and five fixed sensors. By the end of the summer we aim to have full distribution involving more buses, and in the autumn all the fixed sensors will be installed, as well as those carried by people. Measurements will then be carried out in the city throughout 2015." LAPEL BUTTONS In December, SINTEF tested hand-held units for collecting weather and wind data as well as a small lapel button (see video) for measuring UV radiation. "We have now sent the equipment to Bilbao for large-scale testing," says Arne Berre. This is because around thirty partners in Europe are busy with measurements and tests. Among other things, they will provide both indoor and outdoor measurements of CO2 levels in schools. With such a large amount of data, the EU will be able to make comparisons and obtain a basis for developing joint solutions as well as for sharing technology. The next step will deal with how to successfully involve people in future by means of user participation and work groups. The plan is to test the technology with selected individuals in 2014 and then make it more generally available during 2015. See the www.citi-sense.eu and www.citi-sense-mob.e u websites for further information. KEY FACTS: • The EU's Citi-Sense environmental project (2012-2016) will measure the pollution to which individual citizens are exposed. This is achieved using mini-sensors and other electronic equipment to collect environmental data for an online data register. The objective of the project is to improve quality of life in towns and cities. The project attempts to motivate the local population and improve awareness. 27 partner institutions from nine cities in Europe are involved. The project is headed by NILU. • The EU's Citi-Sense-MOB project will run from 2013 to 2015 and involves installing sensors on mobile platforms (buses and bicycles) to make regular measurements. Each of the four Norwegian partners has its own principal focus – NILU on the quality of sensor data, SINTEF on integration towards global standards and data visualisation, Kjeller Innovation on the use of sensor data in other applications and UNIK on user involvement. • THE SENSORS ARE MANUFACTURED BY VARIOUS EUROPEAN COMPANIES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, SERBIA AND SPAIN. http://www.sintef.no /home/Press-Room/Res earch-News/You-and-I -will-monitor-the-en vironment/ ,,, Dan Soton
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