A breath of fresh air for waste sites

A code of practice is being drawn up to cut air pollutants from waste management sites. Examples of good work in this area are now being sought to help with this

A code of best practice is being developed to minimise the air pollution from waste management sites. APPLE (air pollution planning and the local enviroment) - a sub-group of the London air-quality steering group - is working with the Environment Agency on the code of practice, which aims to be based on sound evidence and experience.

Examples are being sought of best management and mitigation practice. Specifically, the parties are interested in hearing about examples of waste site dust suppression and control. They will be looking for cases of reduction of PM10, or nuisance dust, from waste sites by the fitting of abatement measures. Of particular interest are any instances where the effect of abatement has been quantified by ambient air monitoring.

Other examples of best practice include monitoring of dust and PM10 around waste management sites, Section 106 agreements that have included dust or PM10 monitoring, examples of planning applications for waste management sites that have been refused on air quality grounds, and examples where planning, environmental health or other agencies have taken enforcement action for non-compliance with air quality/dust mitigation conditions.

The London air quality steering group is made up of London borough air quality officers, officers from the GLA, and an officer from the Environment Agency. The group works to

disseminate information, share best practice, and manage research projects. APPLE was set up as a sub-group of this to work towards presenting clear air- quality management options.

Best practice
As part of this work, a document entitled Best practice guidance: The control of dust and emissions from construction and demolition has been published. The work was driven by the recognition of the impact that significant development, particularly in the Thames Gateway, could have on Londoners' air quality, and also so that a consistent approach to controlling dust and emissions could be taken across boroughs.

The purpose of the guidance is to outline best practice and provide consistent approaches covering dust control and emissions from construction and demolition activities.

It will assist planners to incorporate appropriate conditions into planning permissions, and assist developers in understanding the methods available to them and what might be expected of them by boroughs. It is envisaged that the guidance will be reviewed regularly.

The guidance also builds on Building Research Establishment guidance, and will replace or amend relevant parts of individual boroughs' code of construction practice documents already in place. The group's experiences of best practice already employed in London have helped establish controls that are both relevant and achievable.

The aim of the guidance is to protect the public and provide consistency for developers. However, there remains sufficient flexibility within it to ensure that tighter controls can be developed for large-scale sites, while providing best practice for smaller scale construction sites. The guidance has been developed to assist environmental consultants, local authority officers and any parties involved in the construction process.

If you are interested in contributing towards the code of best practice APPLE and the Environment Agency are working on, email: jon.fox@bexley.gov.uk

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