Air Quality Monitoring Report 1998

Summary: An overview of ambient air quality in Ireland in 1998. 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: 1999

ISBN: 1-84095-011-0

Pages: 52

Filesize: 7,307KB

Format: pdf

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Executive Summary

This report, the third in a series begun in 1996, presents air quality data for a variety of air pollutants in Ireland in 1998 and assesses the results in relation to existing air quality standards. The data are obtained largely from Local Authority monitoring programmes but also from the Agency's own monitoring activities and other relevant sources.

Chapter Five of the report presents some significant developments in relation to air quality legislation and monitoring proposals which are important considerations for the assessment and control of air quality in the new millennium.

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 1998/99 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). The 1998 data show the improvements already brought about by the legislation in some of these areas.