In the last few years people have become more aware of the effects of air pollution on their health and well being. Air pollution arises from a number of different sources and can be natural or manmade. The Legal, Democratic & Regulatory Services Department plays an important role in measuring air pollution and this measurement has now been carried out over many years.
A large number of complaints are received, particularly during the summer, about domestic bonfires and commercial bonfires on building sites. There are no bye-laws controlling the times and frequencies at which bonfires are allowed. Complaints can be dealt with under the Environmental Protection Act legislation to prevent a statutory nuisance from bonfire smoke and ash.
If your neighbour causes a nuisance you can contact Regulatory Services and make a formal complaint. You will initially be asked to keep a record sheet over a 14 day period to record the dates, times and duration of the bonfires. The officer will use the information as the basis for further action by us. A record sheet can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.
Commercial bonfires or bonfires on construction sites are often of greater intensity and will affect a larger number of residents. For these reasons when an initial complaint is received every effort will be made to visit the complainant and the person having the bonfire at the time the bonfire is alight.
To make a complaint about bonfires please contact
Telephone: 01727 819406 during normal office hours
Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire air pollution and monitoring network
In 1999 the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Air Pollution Monitoring Network was set up to co-ordinate the monitoring and reporting of air quality across the two counties. It was developed by the local authorities and Kings College London.
The network includes data from the networks 11 real-time analysers and more than 250 diffusion tubes and interpretation of the data. The network can be found at the Herts & Beds - Air Quality Network website.
The site includes daily, weekly, monthly data and the networks annual reports.
Click here for the Air quality review and assessment - detailed assessment 2008
Passive diffusion tube monitoring
The department has more than 30 monitoring sites to measure nitrogen dioxide levels across the district. Results are given for monthly periods and can be viewed by going to the Herts & Beds - Air Quality Network website (this site contains data for other Councils in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire)
Data for the following sites is available:
Museum of St Albans, Hatfield Road
Holywell Hill, St Albans
St Peters Street, St Albans
Pondfield Crescent, Marshalswick, St Albans
Ben Austins, Redbourn
Ridgeview Hostel, Barnet Rd, London Colney
Waterdale, Bricket Wood
Bowmans Green JM1, Telford Rd, London Colney
High Street, Harpenden
Crabtree Lane, Harpenden
Redbourn JMI, Crouch Hall Lane, Redbourn
Ashridge Drive, Bricket Wood
Wheathampstead High Street
Adult Education Centre, Wheathampstead
Peahen PH, Holywell Hill, St Albans
Tippendale Lane, St Albans
London Colney Roundabout
Batchwood Drive, St Albans
Fleetville Community Centre, Royal Rd, St Albans
Lye Lane, BricketWood
Lybury Lane, Redbourn
St Agnells, Lybury Lane, Redbourn
Redding Lane, Redbourn
Searches Farm, Bedmond
Oakwood Road, Bricket Wood
Five Acres Avenue, Bricket Wood
Garnett Drive, Bricket Wood
Meadow Close, Bricket Wood
Smug Oak Lane, Bricket Wood
Radlett Road, Park Street
Sycamore Drive, Park Street
Mount Drive, Park Street
Fleetville Community Centre 2, Royal Rd, St Albans
Fleetville Community Centre 3, Royal Rd, St Albans
Sleapcross Gardens, Smallford
Civic Centre, St Albans
High Street, St Albans
Watsons Walk, St Albans
Folly Lane, St Albans
Belmont Hill, St Albans
Albert Street, St Albans
Nitrogen Dioxide is of potential concern to human health. At relatively low levels it can cause breathing difficulties and throat and eye irritation. At high concentrations more severe health effects may occur such as bronchitis. Nationally the two main sources of nitrogen dioxide are motor vehicles and power stations.
Air quality management
The Environment Act 1995 requires local authorities to regularly review and assess the quality of air within their areas, and to determine whether or not the air quality objectives are likely to be achieved. Where exceedences are considered likely, the local authority must then declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and prepare an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) setting out the measures it intends to put in place in pursuit of the objectives.
There are currently 3 AQMAs in effect in the St Albans District Council area, all of which exhibit mean NO2 concentrations in 2008 which exceed the annual average Air Quality Objective (40μg∙m-3). Monitoring of NO2 throughout the district is done by means of diffusion tubes at 37 sites, mostly within the City of St Albans. In 2008, 11 sites recorded NO2 concentrations above the annual mean objective limit for NO2, two of which indicate that the site may require a Detailed Assessment.
Measured concentrations of NO2 at SA120 and SA121 indicate that the annual mean objective for NO2 is exceeded in locations of relevant exposure in the vicinities of Mount Drive and Sleapcross Gardens. It is therefore recommended that St Albans District Council proceed to a Detailed Assessment for NO2 at these two locations.
St Albans City and District Council identified two narrow congested streets, at Watson’s Walk and Lattimore Road, off London Road in the City Centre, east of the existing AQMA at the junction with Holywell Hill. Since it has been established by the Council that there is no relevant exposure in Watson’s Walk, it is recommended that a Detailed Assessment of NO2 from road traffic in the Lattimore Road area be carried out.
The air quality action plan is a working document, therefore, if you would like to view the most up to date version please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The latest Air Quality Annual Status Report (ASR) is available as a PDF document below:
Date of last review: 11 January 2017
The Government has introduced legislation to ensure that pollution levels are controlled or reduced. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 gives powers to Local Authorities to authorise certain polluting industries. Industries covered include petrol stations; coating, timber and rubber processing; metal working, quarrying, crematoria and heavy clay production.
These Authorisations contain instructions detailing how the process is to be run to control emissions to air. If the conditions within the authorisation are not followed, then the Council can serve notice and prosecute offending companies to ensure that they comply with the requirements of the law. Later this year the legislation will be extended to require companies to control emissions not just to air but also to land or water.
The PPC Regulations
The PPC Regulations introduce three separate, but linked, systems of pollution control:
Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC), which covers installations known as A(1) installations, which are regulated by the Environment Agency;
Local Authority Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (LA-IPPC) which covers installations known as A(2) installations, which are regulated by local authorities;
Local Authority Pollution Prevention and Control (LAPPC), which covers installations known as Part B installations, also regulated by local authorities.
All three systems require the operators of certain industrial and other installations to obtain a permit to operate. Once an operator has submitted a permit application, the regulator then decides whether to issue a permit. If one is issued, it will include conditions aimed at reducing and preventing pollution to acceptable levels. A(1) installations are generally perceived to have a greater to potential to pollute the environment than an A(2) installation, and Part B installations would have the least potential to pollute.
An installation is a "technical unit" where one or more industrial activities listed in Schedule 1 of the PPC Regulations are carried out. The Regulations also specify that an installation is any other location on the same site where directly associated activities that have a technical connection to the listed activity, which could have an effect on pollution. The activities are broadly divided into the relevant industrial sectors and categorised as Part A(1), A(2) or B activities. Where several listed activities from different parts of Schedule 1 are carried out in an installation, the installation will be permitted according to the "highest common denominator" i.e. if Part A(1), A(2) and B activities were carried out at an installation, it would be permitted as an A(1) installation and therefore by the Environment Agency. If Part A(2) and Part B activities were carried out at an installation, it would be permitted as an A(2) installation and be regulated by the local authority.
Part A(1) and A(2) installations
The IPPC and LA-IPPC systems apply an integrated environmental approach to the regulation of certain industrial activities. Regulators must set permit conditions which are based on the use of the 'Best Available Techniques' (BAT), which balances the cost to the operator against benefits to the environment. Regulators are required to set permit conditions for pollution to air, land and water, The PPC Regulations also include provisions relating to energy efficiency, site restoration, noise, odour, waste minimisation, environmental accident prevention and heat and vibrations.
The PPC Regulations apply to a wide range of activities, including food and drink manufacturers, large-scale intensive livestock production (pigs and poultry) and landfill.
Part B installations
As with A(1) and A(2) installations Regulators must set permit conditions which are based on the use of 'Best Available Techniques' (BAT). However these conditions extend only to emissions to air.
For further information and application forms please contact email@example.com
Current fees can be found on the Defra document.