Mayor Gets Tough on River and Construction Pollution

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called on the government to grant him additional powers so that he can effectively tackle non-road pollution sources in the capital.

 

In a recent press release City Hall stated that only half of the capital’s air pollution is caused by on-road vehicles and Sadiq believes London needs more powers so that it can combat pollution from the river Thames, emissions from machinery used on construction sites and pollution from the domestic burning of solid fuels.

 

Source: Air Quality News

Since becoming Mayor, Sadiq has more than doubled investment in tackling air quality to £875 million over the next five years.

He has also introduced the boldest plans to tackle air pollution in the world, including a £10 Toxicity-Charge (T-Charge) which will start in October this year, the introduction of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in 2019 (subject to consultation), and the cleaning up of London’s public transport fleets such as buses and taxis so that they lead the way in ultra-low emission technology.

 

Sadiq has now written to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, setting out the additional powers that he believes are required.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Non-transport sources contribute half of the deadly emissions in London so we need a hard-hitting plan of action to combat them similar to moves I am taking to reduce pollution from road vehicles.

“With more than 400 schools located in areas exceeding legal pollution levels, and such significant health impacts on our most vulnerable communities, we cannot wait any longer and I am calling on Government to provide the capital with the necessary powers to effectively tackle harmful emissions from a variety of sources.”

 

The Mayor is requesting new powers in the following areas:

River and canal emissions

With ambitious plans in the growth of traffic on waterways, unless sufficient controls are introduced, the number of people exposed to this source of pollution will only grow. There are currently at least five different regulators that play a role in policing emissions. In addition, current emission regulations only apply to new vessels.

Non-Road Mobile Machinery

Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) such as diggers and bulldozers are currently the second largest source of ultra-fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions in London and the fifth largest source of oxides of Nitrogen (NOx). This is likely to grow as traffic related emissions decline and as construction increases across London.

Wood and solid fuel burning

Current controls on emissions from domestic burning of solid fuels like wood and coal are obsolete, with the definitions barely revised from the original Clean Air Act of 1956. For example, terms like ‘dark smoke’ and ‘smokeless’ don’t reflect a modern understanding of pollution – which can be invisible.

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