McIlveen welcomes report on Northern Ireland Air Quality

Date published: 23 November 2016


The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) today published the annual air quality monitoring summary report. ‘Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2015’ presents data on Northern Ireland’s air quality and on the levels of air pollutants monitored at a range of locations across Northern Ireland during 2015.

DARD report

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) and work with relevant authorities in developing Air Quality Action Plans.

Commenting on the report, DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “It is encouraging to note that the ‘Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2015’ report shows a clear downward trend in air pollution at some key hotspots. My Department works closely with district councils and with other government departments to identify and reduce levels of air pollution and through our Local Air Quality Grant Scheme, we continue to support councils in their monitoring and assessment of local air quality.”

Continuous monitoring was undertaken at 22 automated sites across Northern Ireland in 2015. Results show that the 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 two sites that are close to busy roads. These two sites are located in the district council areas of Belfast and Derry City & Strabane. In addition, levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – pollutants associated with domestic solid fuel burning – complied with the EU Target Value, but exceeded the stricter UK Air Quality Strategy objective.

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 sets a focus on the contribution of road traffic emissions to air pollution that is monitored here.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The ‘Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2015’ report can be downloaded from DAERA Website.
  2. Results from all the air quality monitoring sites as well as further information on air quality monitoring and air quality management in Northern Ireland can be accessed at  the Airqualityni website.  
  3. Additional copies of the report can be obtained from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Regulatory and Natural Resources Policy Division, Goodwood House, 44-58 May Street, Town Parks, Belfast, BT1 4NN. It is also available online at DAERA Website.
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  5. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press 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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