§ Miss Lestor
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many Government air monitoring sites there are; what plans there are to increase their number; and what information he has on the number of air monitoring sites in(a) Germany and (b) Japan.
§ Mr. Atkins
The Government fund a number of air quality monitoring stations. This includes 46 continuous automatic sites of which:
- 29 monitor ozone,
- 24 monitor nitrogen dioxide,
- 21 monitor sulphur dioxide,
- 19 monitor carbon monoxide,
- 12 monitor fine particles (PM10)
- and 7 monitor 26 hydrocarbons including benzene, 1, 3, butadiene and ozone precursors.
The Government also undertake air quality monitoring surveys using non-automatic techniques. Nitrogen dioxide is monitored in this way at over 1,100 sites and smoke and sulphur dioxide at 252 urban sites, both in collaboration with local authorities. In addition, lead is monitored at 21 sites, other heavy metals at six sites, toxic organic micropollutants such as dioxins at five sites and sulphur dioxide at 38 rural sites.
In the second anniversary report of the 1990 Environment White Paper "This Common Inheritance", the Government made a commitment to extend their urban air quality monitoring network to cover all major cities by 1997. In addition, the Government are currently considering responses to the recently published consultation paper on "The Future of Air Quality Monitoring Networks in the United Kingdom", in which proposals were made to develop a framework which draws local and national air quality monitoring together into a coherent quality assured network.
Information on numbers of air quality monitoring sites in Germany and Japan is not held centrally.
§ Miss Lestor
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the per capita coverage on provision of air monitoring sites in Britain and each other EC country for which figures are available.
§ Mr. Atkins
The Government fund a number of air quality monitoring stations in the United Kingdom. The per capita coverage of these monitoring sites is presented in the tables.
Pollutant Number of sites Per capita coverage x 10-7* 1. Continuous automatic sites Ozone 29 5.30 Nitrogen dioxide 24 4.40 Sulphur dioxide 21 3.80 Carbon monoxide 19 3.50 Fine particles (PM10) 12 2.20 Hydrocarbons 7 1.30
Pollutant Number of sites Per capita coverage x 10-7* 2. Non-automatic sites Nitrogen dioxide† 1,164 212.00 Smoke/sulphur† dioxide (urban) 252 45.80 Sulphur dioxide (rural) 38 6.90 Lead 21 3.80 Heavy metals 6 1.10 Toxic organic micropollutants 5 0.91 * Assumes population of the United Kingdom of 55 million. † Monitoring undertaken in collaboration with local authorities.
Information on numbers of air quality monitoring sites in other European countries is not held centrally.