MPs urge pollution controls on Olympic construction

MPs and industry experts are calling for pollution controls on construction equipment used on London Olympics sites to prevent "killer" air quality.

Cross party MPs have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) in parliament calling for construction site equipment over a certain power limit used in big building projects, including Games sites in east London, to be fitted with pollution-controlling technology.

Danny Stevens, from leading trade association the Environmental Industries Commission, said: “The London Olympics has pledged to be the most environmental yet – that must include ensuring this huge construction project does not contribute to poor air quality.

“Poor air quality is a killer. It is about time that the Olympic Delivery Authority acted on its commitment to implement the London Best Practice, including protecting the public from poor air quality by ensuring that suitable pollution control technology is fitted to the equipment used on site.

“Cars, buses, lorries and other heavy-duty road vehicles have long been subject to strict emission controls, yet the equipment used on construction sites remains unregulated and free to pollute.”

The coalition of MPs and experts in the transport pollution control industry launched their parliamentary campaign last Wednesday.

In the EDM they called for Best Practice Guidance on the Control of Dust and Emissions from Construction and Demolition, published by previous London Mayor Ken Livingstone in 2006, to be enacted.

The guidance states that non-road mobile machinery with power outputs of over 37 kilowatts should be fitted with after-treatment devices.

They point out in the EDM that poor air quality is estimated to cut life expectancy of every person in the UK by an average of seven to eight months and hits children, the elderly and unhealthy hardest.

Fitting most equipment with pollution control technology would cut emissions by up to 85%, they say.

The ODA’s sustainable development strategy includes a pledge to put in place the Best Practice Guidance recommendations – but the group says there is no sign of action yet.

David Gibbs

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