Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2017 report released

Date published: 13 December 2018

The ‘Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2017’ statistical report was today published by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

DARD map

This report is updated annually and contains summary information on key air quality monitoring results and analysis from data collected by automatic monitoring stations. 

Download the Air Pollution in Northern Ireland - 2017 report

Continuous monitoring was undertaken at 19 automated sites across Northern Ireland in 2017.

The key points are:

  • Northern Ireland collected data from 19 automatic monitoring stations during 2017.
  • 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 and this year, highlights issues of air pollution that arises from household solid fuel burning. 
  • In 2017, objectives for most key air quality pollutants were met in full.  However, objectives for nitrogen dioxide – a pollutant closely associated with road traffic – were not met at three sites that are close to busy roads. 
  • Levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – which is measured at three sites - returned to similar figures recorded during 2015, after a recorded exceedance of the EU target level in 2016. 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 2017 reporting year there were 23 AQMAs in Northern Ireland.
  • The Department works closely with district councils and with other government departments to ensure that progress is being made towards meeting all air quality targets and objectives.

The Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2017 Report can be accessed through the DAERA website or the Air quality in Northern Ireland website 

Notes to editors: 

  1. This report is updated and published annually, this is the 17th publication.
  2. Download copies of this report from previous years.
  3. The main sections of this report cover air quality monitoring results for 2017, long term trends in air pollution, and air pollution caused by home heating in Northern Ireland.  
  4. The Department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the department’s internal records management system. The department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.
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  6. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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