Brent pledges action over PM10 breaches

A site in the London borough of Brent has provisionally become the first location in London this year to breach the PM10 Objective under the National Air Quality Strategy. 

Waste activities and vehicles are contributing to PM10 breaches in Neasden

Now the local authority has said it is taking action on a number of fronts to improve conditions at the failure location which centres on Neasden Lane, Neasden near Wembley.

Details of the breach, which is subject to a data audit, have been revealed by the London Air organisation which is run by King’s College. Researchers at London Air reported on 10 April 2012, that the site had breached the national strategy PM10 objective. London Air said:  “The NAQS objective allows a daily mean PM10 concentration of 50 ug m-3 on not more than 35 days per year. Provisional measurements indicate that PM10 on Neasden Lane has been above this threshold for 36 days during 2012.”

Waste facilities sit alongside Neasden Lane which also has housing and flats to the side of several lengths of the road

Waste facilities are a factor in the high PM10 levels in Neasden. London Air explained that Neasden Lane monitoring site is located close to a number of regulated waste and other industries which add to the PM10 concentrations in the area. The industries sit close to homes as Neasden Lane has houses and flats along much of its route.

The researchers said that the breaches at Neasden Lane “are very important with respect to exposure of local residents. Over recent years, PM10 concentrations have improved at the Neasden Lane monitoring site; the 50 ug m-3 threshold was exceeded on 167 days in 2006 and this decreased to 77 days in 2011.

Waste sites

It is known that PM10 concentrations are elevated in sites close to the waste management industry and sites in the area are handling metals and mixes of commercial and industrial as well as other residual wastes.

A waste vehicle leaves Neasden on Neasden Lane with residual waste, possibly for incineration on the Continent

Brent Council told that it has been concerned about the poor quality of the air in Neasden for some time and said this “is mostly associated with waste transfer activities at Neasden Goods Yard.”

A statement from the local authority added: “We want to protect the health of local people, so we set up a monitoring station in Neasden which confirmed that standards for the quality of the air are being repeatedly breached. We are now taking a number of steps to address the issue including:  

  • working closely with the Environment Agency to develop enforcement action
  • more work to identify exactly what the sources of the dust are
  • putting down dust suppressant on at the Goods Yard and Neasden Lane
  • working with TFL to do a deep clean of Neasden Lane to remove dust.”

Related links

London Air
Brent Council


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