To make a complaint about air quality, please use our online report it form.
Domestic wood burning has become more popular in recent years. People enjoy the sound of crackling logs and the smoky aroma. People see it as an efficient heating method.
Unfortunately, domestic wood and coal burning are now the single largest contributors to our harmful particulate matter emissions comprising 40% in 2015. This compares to emissions from industrial combustion (17%) and road transport (13%). The tiny particles in smoke can cause a range of health impacts such as breathing problems and exacerbating asthma.
If you are someone who uses an open fire or a wood burning stove, we would like to bring your attention to a couple of publications that provide some advice on how you might choose to reduce pollution levels.
Firstly, a practical guide from Defra on "Open fires and wood-burning stoves ", provides simple steps to reduce environmental and health impacts whilst benefitting you through maximising efficiency, reducing maintenance costs and keeping chimneys in a better condition. Secondly, professional chimney sweeps have produced a document entitled "We all breathe the same air " and this again provides good advice on lighting a stove to minimise smoke emissions.
Some Do's and Don'ts include:-
You are not in a Smoke Control Area in you live in Fareham (or Gosport) but if you moved to such an area, you would have to use authorised fuels on open fires and/or use an exempted wood-burning appliance with a specified fuel.
Our air quality action plan steering group, together with NHS Hampshire, has published a leaflet on the subject of poor local air quality (2 MB). It lets you know how you can help reduce local air pollution by thinking about more sustainable forms of transport such as walking, cycling, taking public transport or car sharing. If you would like a copy please contact email@example.com.
We regularly monitor levels of the air pollutant nitrogen dioxide which is emitted from vehicles and can affect human health.
The Environment Act 1995 gives us some statutory duties to manage local air quality. This includes carrying out regular reviews and assessments such as monitoring work on busy roads and junctions for emissions of nitrogen dioxide and particulates from vehicle exhausts. Where pollution levels exceed our air quality strategy objective levels, we designate air quality management areas (AQMAs) to tackle it.
The Borough has two AQMAs:
If an AQMA is declared, an air quality action plan (2 MB) must be developed to improve air quality within a set timescale. Examples of improvement actions in an AQAP include:
The AQAP was approved by our Executive at its meeting on 8 December 2008 and an implementation group was set up. It meets four times a year to receive updates from officers from Fareham and Gosport Borough Councils and Hampshire County Council. Results from the continuous nitrogen dioxide monitor on Gosport Road and the unit on Portland Street, Fareham are used to assess improvements in air quality.
Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 places a statutory duty on local authorities to review and assess local air quality. In keeping with this, we have submitted detailed historical air quality information reports to DEFRA since 1999. Our latest Annual Status Report 2016 (5 MB), including a detailed assessment report of air quality in the existing AQMAs, has been approved by DEFRA. The report concluded that both the existing AQMAs need to be extended and this is currently being developed by the Council. Subsequently, the AQAP for the two areas will also be reviewed and republished. The AQAP was initially published in 2008 and although it has been regularly reviewed over the years, a complete overhaul of the document will be of great value in assisting the improvement of air quality in the Borough.
Following the success of the Big Green Commuter Challenge Fareham Borough Council employees took part in the SUSTRANS organised My Journey Commuter Challenge in May 2013 and 2014. In 2014, 140 businesses and 1,650 people took part. In swapping their individual car journeys to and from work for car sharing, walking, cycling, public transport and other sustainable travel means, car commuters saved 313,373 miles and over £45,000. Fareham came third in the large organisation category with 11% of staff saving over 4,000 car miles in their commute to work. Staff again came third in the May 2015 Challenge. There was no Challenge in 2016.
Further information on air quality can be found at the following web sites:
For further information regarding the air quality review process or any other matter such as bonfire smoke, dust, fumes, odours and noise, please do not hesitate to contact Regulatory & Democratic Services on 01329 236100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.