Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2018 released

Date published: 07 May 2020

‘Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2018’ has been has been published today by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

DARD report

This statistical report reflects air quality in Northern Ireland for 2018 and contains summary information on key air quality monitoring results and analysis from data collected by automatic monitoring stations.

Download the report

The key points are:

  • Northern Ireland collected data from 19 automatic monitoring stations during 2018.
  • The report provides details of air quality monitoring undertaken 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 the redesign of the Northern Ireland Air Website and the development of the Northern Ireland Air Quality App. 
  • In 2018, 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 – were lower than the previous year, 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 the objective.
  • 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 19 AQMAs in Northern Ireland.  Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough council redefined its AQMA to encompass the entire Borough.
  • 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.

Further Information

The Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2018 Report can be accessed either through the DAERA website or the Air quality in Northern Ireland website.

Notes to editors: 

  1. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
  2. Follow DAERA on Twitter @daera_ni and Facebook.

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