IAQM sets out air pollution mitigation hierarchy

Institute of Air Quality Management says mitigating air pollution from any given delvelopment should be “principle-led” rather than specified by detailed prescription

The Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) has set out its position on how to appropriately mitigate the air quality impacts from and at new developments when carrying out air quality assessments.

Air quality consultants are able to predict the pollution concentrations at new developments with an “acceptable degree of precision”, which are then compared to numbers in objectives or limit values in order to inform their judgement on the potential impacts of a development on air quality.

IAQM's position statement seeks to help its members

IAQM’s position statement seeks to help its members select appropriate mitigation solutions for non-point sources of emissions at new developments

And, when a “significant adverse impact” is predicted, mitigation usually needs to be applied in order for the development to comply with air pollution limits values.

However, according to IAQM, for non-point sources of emissions there is much less quantitative evidence on how successful various emission mitigation measures might be, making it much harder for an air quality consultant to recommend a particular mitigation solution for a development with certainty.

Nevertheless, consultants are still required to arrive at a conclusion on the impact of a development in their air quality assessments.

Therefore, the IAQM position statement — ‘Mitigation of Development Air Quality Impacts’ — sets out a basic hierarchy of principles to assist its members in choosing the best mitigation solution, or whether more than one should be recommended.

The IAQM’s position is that the appropriate mitigation solution for the air quality impact of any given development should be “principle-led” rather than specified by detailed prescription.

The hierarchy sets the highest priority as preventing or avoiding the exposure impacts of a development on air quality, followed by reduction and minimisation, and finally off-setting.

The position statement, published last week (January 29) is available in full on the IAQM website.

Representing around 300 members, the IAQM issues position statements on ‘external matters that could affect the way in which members carry out their professional tasks’ or on topics where it believes that its ‘collective specialist knowledge gives it a unique perspective from which to give a professional opinion’.

The Institute, in partnership with Environmental Protection UK, is also currently seeking views on its revised guidance on air quality considerations in development planning for local authorities, developers and consultants (see story). The consultation closes on February 16 2015.


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