Environmental Health - Air Quality

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: Will the air quality on the Isle of Wight affect my health?

Answer: At no time should levels of pollutants on the Isle of Wight cause you ill effects, unless you already have existing health problems such as asthma.

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Question: Are there any restrictions on when businesses can burn their rubbish?

Answer: If a bonfire on a trade premises is producing dark black smoke then this is an offence under specific legislation (Clean Air Act 1993). Details should be provided to Environmental Health for further investigation Telephone 823000 or email eh@iow.gov.uk
If the trade waste is being imported onto the site then this is also a matter for the Environment Agency Telephone 08708 506 506.


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Question: What are the major pollutants of concern and where do they come form?

Answer: The main air pollutants of concern are:
• nitrogen dioxide - associated with vehicle exhausts, combustion processes and some industrial processes
• sulphur dioxide - mostly from the combustion of oil and solid fuel, but also from diesel vehicles
• carbon monoxide - from vehicle exhausts and poorly operated boiler plant particles
• very fine particles emitted from vehicle exhausts, combustion processes and industrial sources. Usually referred to as 'PM10' - particles less than 10 microns in diameter. A micron is a thousandth of a millimetre.
• Benzene - an organic chemical emitted in exhausts and also during refuelling.
• 1,3 Butadiene - another organic chemical emitted in exhausts and also from some industrial processes
• lead - mostly from leaded petrol
• ozone


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Question: Are there any restrictions to when I can have a bonfire in my garden?

Answer: There are no “bonfire bylaws” on the Isle of Wight so there are no restrictions to the time of the day that you can burn. However, if you cause a nuisance to your neighbours then action could be taken against you.
Why not take the garden waste to the recycling centre for composting at Standen Heath Landfill off Briddlesford Road, Downend, Newport?

If you are going to burn then:
• Locate the bonfire away from your neighbour’s property.
• Burn only dry waste.
• Restrict the size and frequency of your bonfires.
• Do not burn household wastes such as plastic, rubber or foam


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Question: How good is the air quality on the Isle of Wight?

Answer: The air quality on the Isle of Wight is good.

Environmental Health has been monitoring air quality across its area since 2000 for levels of: Benzene; 1,3-Butadiene; Carbon monoxide; Lead; Nitrogen dioxide; Particulate Matter (PM10); and Sulphur dioxide.

Local Authorities are legally required to monitor these pollutants against standards outlined in legislation.

Air Quality Standards are concentrations recorded over a given time period, which are considered to be acceptable in terms of what is scientifically known about the effects of each pollutant on health and on the environment. They can also be used as a benchmark to indicate whether air pollution is getting better or worse.

There are no areas on the Isle of Wight where these standards have been exceeded.

Due to air quality equipment being very expensive to buy and use, screening models (e.g. Checklists, Software etc) are used to identify where there may be exceedances of standards. Accurate air quality monitoring equipment would then be used at the area to determine the actual level of pollutant. The main sources of pollution on the Isle of Wight are from traffic. Traffic data is used with DEFRA software to predict where standards may be exceeded. There are two areas where we do carry out some basic air quality monitoring. Nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes are sited at Fairlee Road, Newport, close to the cemetery entrance and the junction of Fairway/Lake Hill in Lake.

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Question: Where can I view the register of prescribed processes?

Answer: You can view it at our offices at Jubilee Stores or online via the related link. - Related Link

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Question: How do I apply for a permit/authorisations?

Answer: You can obtain an application form online via the related link.
This will need to be completed and the prescribed fee returned.
The applicant will need to provide the following key information:
all the appropriate preventative measures are taken against pollution, in particular:
• through the application of the best available techniques
• no significant pollution is caused
• waste production is avoided in accordance with the EU Waste Framework Directive (75/442/EEC); and where waste is produced, it is recovered or, where that is technically and economically impossible, it is disposed of while avoiding or reducing any impact on the environment
• energy is used efficiently
• the necessary measures are taken to prevent accidents and limit their consequences
Where the installation is located near to a sensitive area the operator should
specify what additional measures if any they propose to take to ensure emissions do not cause harm. Where the installation is likely to cause a breach of an environmental quality standard the operator should assess the effects of any additional emissions.

The following guides are particularly useful
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/ippcguide/pdf/ippcguide_ed4.pdf
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ppc/manual/lappc_manual.pdf
- Related Link

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Question: What are Stautory Consultees?

Answer: When an application is made for a permit certain organisations are sent copies of the application for their comments. This is because they may have particular knowledge or expertise about the area, environment and population around the proposed site. As of August 2005, the following are statutory consultees:
The statutory consultees for LAPPC installations are:
a) the relevant Primary Care Trust
b) where the installation may involve an emission which may affect a site of special scientific interest or a European site, the Nature Conservancy
Council (English Nature),
c) where the installation or mobile plant may be on a site requiring a nuclear site licence, the Health and Safety Executive;
d) where the installation requires the unloading of petrol at service stations (as set out in Section 1.2 of Schedule 1), the petroleum licensing authority for that installation.

The full list is in paragraph 9 of Schedule 4 to the PPC Regulations. The Isle of Wight Council is a statutory consultee for Environment Agency regulated PPC installations.


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Question: What is the difference between A2 and Part B Installations?

Answer: Largely it comes down to which environmental media are being polluted: if it is air only then it is a Part B installation (process/business). If the PPC regulations state that the business is down to the local authority (Isle of Wight Council) to enforce emissions to air, water (including discharges to sewer) and land, plus a range of other activities with an environmental impact then these are known as A2 installations/. It also means that the Isle of Wight Council must set permit conditions so as to achieve a high level of protection for the environment as a whole. These conditions must be based on the use
of the ‘Best Available Techniques’ (BAT), which balances the costs to the operator against the benefits to the environment


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Question: How much does it cost to be permitted/authorised?

Answer: There are 2 costs: one is the application fee. The other is an annual charge known as a subsistence fee. Both increase each year. The Government is consulting (2005) as to whether charges should reflect the difficulties of the businesses: the more polluting and/or complicated a business is the more it will pay. Charges also depend upon what type of process is being operated: a petrol station, waste oil burner, mobile crusher and dry cleaning facility are very much cheaper than all others. For exact charges click on the related link to defra website. - Related Link

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Question: What substances when released to air are controlled?

Answer: a) Sulphur dioxide and other sulphur compounds
b) Oxides of nitrogen and other nitrogen compounds
c) Carbon monoxide
d) Volatile organic compounds
e) Metals and their compounds
f) Dust
g) Asbestos (suspended particulates, fibres)
h) Chlorine and its compounds
i) Fluorine and its compounds
j) Arsenic and its compounds
k) Cyanides
l) Substances and preparations which have been proved to possess carcinogenic or mutagenic properties or properties which may affect reproduction via the air.
m) Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and polycholorinated dibenzofurans


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Question: What if I no longer wish to be authorised/permitted?

Answer: You must complete a surrender notice. You can complete this online via the related link, or you can request a copy from the Consultation team on 01983 823169
- Related Link

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