Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2016 released

Date published: 05 December 2017

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Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2016 has been published today by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

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This statistical report is updated annually and contains information on key air quality monitoring results and analysis from data collected by automatic monitoring stations located within the districts of local authorities.

Download the Air Pollution in Northern Ireland - 2016 report

The key points are:

  • Data was collected from 21 automatic monitoring stations in Northern Ireland for all, or part of, 2016.
  • The report provides details of air quality monitoring undertaken here and gives a summary of results, as well as long-term trends. It also sets out information on the progress being made by councils in managing local air quality.
  • Air quality objectives for most key air quality pollutants were met in full. Objectives for nitrogen dioxide – a pollutant closely associated with road traffic – were not met at three sites that are close to busy roads. (In addition, exceedance was also projected for a fourth site - Dungiven – however, due to operational issues the analyser had only 14% data capture during the reporting year).
  • Levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pollutants associated with domestic solid fuel burning, which are measured at three sites, exceeded the EU Target Value for benzo[a]pyrene – a representative PAH – in one location. This follows three years when there were no site exceedances of the EU target value. Against the stricter UK Air Quality Strategy objective for PAHs, all three sites exceeded.
  • Along with the Department, district councils have a duty to carry out air quality monitoring, and where air quality falls below acceptable levels they are required to declare Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). In the 2016 reporting year there were 24 AQMAs in Northern Ireland.

Notes to editors: 

  1. This report is updated and published annually; this is the 16th publication.
  2. Copies of this report from previous years can be found on the DAERA website.
  3. The main sections of this report cover monitoring results for 2016, spatial variation and changes over time.
  4. Additional copies of the report can be obtained from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Regulatory and Natural Resources Policy Division, Klondyke Building, Cromac Avenue Gasworks Business Park, Lower Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 2JA. 
  5. Follow us on Twitter.
  6. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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