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Air quality

The Environment Act 1995 places a duty on us to periodically review and assess air quality within our area. There are key pollutants that should be considered, and they are set out in legislation. Each of the key pollutants has a standard that should not be breached. The standards (or objectives) have been set at levels based on current scientific information which are designed to protect health and the environment. The Air Quality Objectives are set out in the Air Quality Standards (Wales) Regulations 2010.

We submit regular air quality reports to Welsh Government on Carmarthenshire’s air quality.

Download recent reports:

Further information on air quality reports can be found on the Gov.uk website.

All Local Authorities in Wales update details about their monitoring locations and sampling results on the Welsh Air Quality Forum website

We have identified that the key pollutant most relevant to Carmarthenshire is Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). The main source of NO2 emissions in Carmarthenshire is road traffic. We have developed a monitoring network that follows some of our busiest roads and most congested streets.

Look up Carmarthenshire’s NO2 monitoring network.

An Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) was designated for a specific area of Carmarthen and Llanelli in August 2016. The reason is due to emissions from road traffic sources. Levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), currently breach legal levels in very localised hotspots within the AQMA, and we are working with our partners within and outside of the Council to reduce these levels where we can.

Although NO2 levels in the area are not sufficiently high to be causing immediate health effects, they are at levels that could result in health issues over the long term, for people who are exposed for sufficient periods of time and who already suffer from respiratory conditions, such as asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) etc.

We are currently in the process of formulating an Action Plan, which will identify measures that could help improve Air Quality in the area. The AQMA Order and Boundary map for Carmarthen and Llanelli can be seen below:

Carmarthen:

Llanelli:

Our draft Action plan is being consulted upon until 29th September 2017. If you would like to comment on the plan, you will find further information, including the Draft Action Plan, on ilocal.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/consultations.

An Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) was designated for part of Llandeilo in 2011. This is because standards for NO2 in the area are being breached. Although NO2 levels in the area are not sufficiently high to be causing immediate health effects, they are at levels that could result in health issues over the long term, for people who already suffer from respiratory conditions, such as asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) etc.

We work closely with colleagues at external agencies to help identify and implement solutions to improve air quality in the area.

Certain processes that have a potential to release substances to air, for example concrete batching plants, quarries, petrol stations and pet food manufacturers, require a permit to operate under the provisions of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016. The permit will specify what controls must be in place to minimise releases from the process to acceptable standards.

Section 12 states that a person can only operate a ‘regulated facility’ when an environmental permit has been applied for and granted. A permit contains conditions that must be complied with to ensure that any emissions to air are minimised. An annual subsistence charge must also be paid.

We currently have 70 facilities that have “Part B” or “Part A2” Environmental Permits operating within Carmarthenshire. Their details can be seen in the Public Register.

There are three tiers of regulation:

Part A1 (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control – “IPPC”) installations involve activities that can result in the release of substances to land, air or water (or a combination of all). These installations are usually large and complex and are regulated by Natural Resources Wales.

Part A2 (Local Authority – Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control “LA-IPPC”) installations (like Part A1) involve activities that can result in the release of substances to land, air or water, but tend not to be as large or as complex as Part A1 processes. These installations are regulated by ourselves.

Part B (Local Authority Pollution Prevention and Control – “LAPPC”) installations involve activities where only releases to air are relevant, and are regulated by ourselves.

It is the aim of each of these regulatory regimes to prevent emissions, or where this is not practically possible, reduce them to acceptable standards.

Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 sets out where within the regulatory regime each activity falls.

For detailed guidance visit the Defra website. For information about fees and charges, visit the Welsh Government website.

If you are an operator considering applying for an environmental permit and have any queries, please contact us.


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Contact us

Environmental Health & Licensing,
Ammanford Town Hall, Iscennen Road,
Ammanford, SA18 3BE

E-mail: publicprotection@carmarthenshire.gov.uk | Tel: 01267 234567

Page updated on: 24/10/2017

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