Air Quality Monitoring Report 1997

Summary: An overview of ambient air quality in Ireland in 1997. Examines the state of ambient air quality by comparing measured concentrations with current and future air quality standards for a suite of air pollutants.

Published: 1998

ISBN: 1 899965 75 0

Pages: 51

Filesize: 8,925KB

Format: pdf

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Executive summary

This report, the second in a series begun in 1996, presents air quality data for a variety of air pollutants in Ireland in 1997. It assesses the results in relation to existing air quality standards. The air quality data were principally obtained from Local Authority monitoring programmes, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) own fixed monitoring networks and from campaigns carried out by the EPA mobile monitoring units.

Chapter Six of the report describes the new approach to air quality assessment and management being developed by the European Commission, including proposals for new or revised air quality standards for Member States, and discusses the changes that will be required in the field of air quality monitoring and management in Ireland in the very near future.

Air quality monitoring in Ireland remains concentrated mainly on smoke and sulphur dioxide (SO2) with simultaneous measurement of daily values of the two pollutants at almost 60 monitoring sites throughout the country, mainly in urban areas. The levels of both smoke and SO2 in 1997/98 were very low and fully in compliance with the Irish air quality standards which are the same as the limit values of the EU Directive on SO2 and particulates. In virtually all cases, the smoke and SO2 concentrations were also within the Directive guideline values for these two pollutants. The potential for urban air pollution by smoke and SO2 from coal burning in the residential sector, which was a particular problem in Ireland in the past, has now been largely eliminated with the extension of smoke control legislation to several urban areas outside Dublin and Cork (Dundalk, Drogheda, Limerick, Arklow and Wexford).