Aberavon AM supports plan to improve air quality in Port Talbot

The Welsh Government has today launched a short term action plan to improve air quality in Port Talbot.

Historically Port Talbot has a high level of air pollution, generally as a result of the industrial nature of the area and emissions from road transport.  The Welsh Government’s action plan acknowledges that whilst air quality in Port Talbot has significantly improved in recent years there is still room for improvement. 

European legislation stipulates that there should be no more than 35 days a year when daily average particulate matter exceeds European limits on air pollution.

The Clean Air for Port Talbot short term action plan sets out the actions that can be taken, in addition to everyday activities, where there is a risk of particulate matter limit values being exceeded. 

This includes monitoring air quality levels and taking action when the number of breach days is disproportionately high during any calendar year.

It also requires the Welsh Government to work with Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Natural Resources Wales and other expert bodies to identify potential sources of pollution and ensure that appropriate action based on sound evidence is taken.

Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies said: “We know that air quality can have a real impact on the health and well being of our communities.

“That is why we are taking action to improve air quality across Wales, and why in areas where we know there is an issue, we have pledged to be very clear on the short term actions we will take to improve matters. “

David Rees AM for Aberavon said. “I welcome the Governments action in ensuring that effort Are made to continuously improve the air quality in Port Talbot”.

“The short term action plan update is focused upon bringing all areas within Port Talbot to within national standards for air quality. Pollutions from the traditional industries here in Port Talbot, along with the increased traffic we are experiencing needs to be addressed and the improvements we have seen over previous years must continue. This actin plan sets out the guidelines for this to happen”.

The Welsh Government consulted on its  Clean Air for Port Talbot –  short term action plan earlier in the year.

The finalised plan takes into account comments received from partner organisations including industrial regulators and environmental groups. You can access the action plan here:

http://wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/epq/airqualitypollution/airquality/southwaleszone/clean-air-for-port-talbot-action-plan-2012/?lang=en.