New UK expert group on air pollution
The effects of long-range air pollution on the UK's natural environment will be examined by the National Expert Group on Transboundary Air Pollution (NEGTAP), announced Michael Meacher, the UK environment minister.
Prospects for recovery if expected cuts in emissions are achieved will also be investigated by the NEGTAP.
The group will meet for the first time this month and will complete its work in 24 months’ time. The group, headed by David Fowler of the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology at Edinburgh, will review current knowledge and advise government ministers on the following areas:
- biological and chemical trends in the UK environment and the prospects for recovery as a result of current and projected deposition of transboundary air pollutants
- consider the current assessment of when air pollutants begin to have a harmful effect on sensitive environmental elements (critical loads) and the use of maps to locate areas experiencing critical load exceedances
- any other government requests regarding transboundary air pollution issues.
The new group will build on work done by previous panels, including the Review Group on Acid Rain and the Critical Loads Advisory Group. NEGTAP’s chair was a member of both previous groups as well as the chair of the Photochemical Oxidants Review Group.
Other NEGTAP members include UK, Dutch and Swedish experts in transboundary air pollution, critical load inventories and mapping and other relevant areas.