What's New

Keeping you Up-to-Date with Changes to the LAQM Pages

The LAQM Helpdesk is operated on behalf of Defra and the Devolved Administrations by Bureau Veritas, in conjunction with contract partners AECOM and the National Physical Laboratory, and replaces the three previously separate helpdesks which were in operation for LAQM.

2022 Updates

2021 Updates

2020 Updates

2022 Updates

2 November 2022

2023 Diffusion Tube Calendar

The 2023 Diffusion Tube Monitoring Calendar, providing recommended exposure dates, is now available.

29 September 2022

National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Spreadsheet

The National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Factors Spreadsheet September 2022 Update is now available.

This provides the final round of National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Factors for 2021 diffusion tube monitoring data. We would like to thank all the local authorities who submitted co-location study results. Local authorities can continue to return co-location studies for diffusion tubes for inclusion (pending data quality checks) in the next update which is due in March 2023.

The summary of NO2 Diffusion Tube precision information has also been updated.

18 August 2022

LAQM.PG(22) – England (exc. London) Only

The revised policy guidance reflects the strengthened LAQM framework provided for by Schedule 11 of the Environment Act 2021 (the Act). This follows a consultation which ran for 10 weeks until 6 June 2022. Defra’s full government response to this consultation is available here. This is the first update to the LAQM policy guidance since 2016.

Key updates within LAQM.PG(22) include:

  • Requiring local Air Quality Action Plans (AQAPs) to demonstrate how they will ensure that local Air Quality Objectives are met and maintained. AQAPs should set out a date by when each measure will be carried out. Air Quality Action Plans that do not fulfil these criteria will need to be revised.
  • The requirement for an Air Quality Management Area to be declared within 12 months of identifying an exceedance of the air quality objectives.
  • The requirement for local authorities to produce an Air Quality Action Plan within 18 months of declaring an Air Quality Management Area.
  • The introduction of a system of reminder and warning letters to increase local authority compliance with reporting.

LAQM.TG(22) – UK (exc. London) Only

The new version of the technical guidance corresponds to updates in the latest version of the LAQM Policy Guidance for England.  While the main changes within this version of the technical guidance are in relation to new English Policy Guidance, the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Devolved Administrations have provided inputs and included updates throughout, where relevant.

Key updates within LAQM.TG(22) include:

  • Updated section relating to process for consultation, steering groups and engaging with Relevant Public Authorities (RPAs) to support the updated Policy Guidance in producing Air Quality Action Plans to the required standard.
  • In England and Wales, the Fast-track option has been removed and now authorities must declare an AQMA within 12 months of an identified exceedance or risk of exceedance. The flow chart detailing the process for declaring, amending and revoking AQMAs has been updated in light of these changes.
  • Updated study on assumptions for exceedances of short term NO2 objectives. The updated study has affirmed the existing assumption that, at concentrations above 60µg/m³ as an annual average, there is the potential for exceedances of the 1-hour objective.
  • Updated study on relationship of PM10 and PM2.5 for the purpose of estimating PM2.5 concentrations where only PM10 monitoring is available. Going forward, two separate factors will be calculated on an annual basis for background and roadside sites by analysing data from the AURN.
  • From 2023 in England, Local Authorities are required to produce an Air Quality Strategy where they have no declared AQMAs.
  • A worked example of model verification for modelling of road emissions.
  • Clarified section on diffusion tube deployment and siting.
  • Discussion around use of diffusion tubes with wind caps, including the process for bias adjustment for these different tube types.
  • Further clarity is provided for completion of source apportionment where detailed modelling has not been completed.
  • Inclusion of potential mitigation processes for non-transport sources.

Designation of National Highways as a ‘relevant public authority’ – England (exc. London) Only

The Environment Act 2021 introduces the concept of ‘Air Quality Partners’ – including neighbouring local authorities and the Environment Agency as well as designated ‘relevant public authorities’. 

Following consultation which ran for 10 weeks until 6 June 2022, we are also announcing today that the Government will designate National Highways as a ‘relevant public authority’.  We aim to lay the designation SI in the Autumn.  Defra’s full government response to this consultation is available here.

This change will require National Highways to collaborate with local authorities to improve air quality – becoming an ‘air quality partner’ where locally relevant.  We also consulted on guidance on working with air quality partners and specific guidance on working with National Highways.  This will be published alongside the LAQM policy guidance once National Highways is legally designated. However, the draft that was consulted on can be accessed and viewed now here at Annex A.

Local authority air quality officers are asked to:

  • Familiarise yourselves with the new statutory guidance and legislation.
  • Bring these changes to the attention of others in your local authority (and upper tier authorities where relevant) who should be aware of the strengthened LAQM framework.
  • Consider which additional public authorities (bodies with functions of a public nature that could affect the quality of air) should be considered for designation as a “relevant public authority”.
  • Review and revise AQAPs as necessary.

Local Authority Dashboard – England (exc. London) Only

The local authority dashboard has been developed to add additional capabilities to the existing LAQM portal. The dashboard has been populated with the following information unique to each individual local authority:

  • Helpdesk Enquiries: Local authorities are able to check enquiries they have made to the Helpdesk and keep track of any ongoing queries.
  • Reporting: Any overdue annual reports or missing information is highlighted to authorities to help them keep up to date with their reporting requirements.
  • AQMAs: Headline AQMA data is available on the dashboard as a helpful summary.
  • Monitoring: The diffusion tube monitoring data for your local authority is presented as interactive maps and graphics showing site types, number of sites which are exceeding and the trends in NO2 annual mean concentrations over time to assist in development of Annual Status Reports and inform any updates to the diffusion tube programme.
  • AQAPs: A list of AQAPs associated to AQMAs is presented. This provides clear guidance to local authorities to ascertain which AQMAs are missing AQAPs, as well as the AQMAs which require an updated AQAP to be published.

11 August 2022

LAQM Portal User Guide

A user guide for local authorities accessing the LAQM Portal has been published. This provides instructions for the submission of Annual Reports, AQAPs, Diffusion Tube Data (England exc. London Only), alongside submitting AQMA changes and Detailed Assessments.

26 July 2022

Air Quality Grant 22/23 Scheme – update

Local authorities in England can now apply for the Air Quality Grant Scheme 2022 to 2023.  The grant will be competitive and will award at least £7 million to English local authorities.

Local authorities should make applications via Bravo under view current opportunities. Applications must be received by midday 23 September 2022.

The fund this year is split into 2 Lots and in particular, we’re looking for applications for:

  • Lot 1 will award funding to projects that improve local air quality and should be linked to Local Air Quality Action Plans (although consideration will also be given to unrelated innovative projects that align to national strategies/priorities).  English LAs are eligible to apply with the exception of:
    • LAs that are in the process of developing a Local NO2 Plan following the receipt of a Ministerial Direction under the 2017 Plan for tackling roadside NO2 concentrations.
    • LAs that have completed a Local NO2 Plan and have been directed to carry out further measures as a result of that Local Plan.
  • Lot 2 is open to all English LAs and will award funding to:
    • Projects that improve public awareness in local communities about the risks of air pollution
    • Projects that deal with Particulate Matter

Contact us

Local Authorities who have a query about grant applications should send these via the messaging tool in Bravo.

If you have a general query about air quality, contact the Defra Helpline

8 July 2022

Diffusion Tube QA QC Framework

The latest summaries of participating laboratories’ performance in the AIR-PT scheme for NO2 diffusion tubes have been added and are now available on the QA QC Framework page.

1 July 2022

Air Quality Grant 22/23 Scheme – update

Defra’s Air Quality Grant scheme will launch in mid-July. The grant will be competitive and will award at least £7 million to English Local Authorities.

This years fund will be split between 2 lots:

  1. Lot 1 will award funding to projects that improve local air quality and should be linked to Local Air Quality Action Plans (although consideration will also be given to unrelated innovative projects that align to national strategies/priorities).  English LAs are eligible to apply with the exception of:
    • LAs that are in the process of developing a local NO2 Plan following the receipt of a Ministerial Direction under the 2017 Plan for tackling roadside NO2 concentrations.
    • LAs that have completed a local NO2 Plan and have been directed to carry out further measures as a result of that local Plan.
  2. Lot 2 is open to all English LAs and will award funding to:
    • Projects that improve public awareness in local communities about the risks of air pollution
    • Projects that deal with Particulate Matter

The majority of the finance available is capital so please bear this in mind whilst considering the type of project you may wish to apply for. Further details will be published in the Invitation to Apply (ITA) document.

The launch date and further details will follow shortly.

The ITA will be available when the scheme is officially launched and can be accessed after registering an interest in Defra’s e-application system, Bravo, which can be found at https://defra.bravosolution.co.uk.

30 June 2022

National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Spreadsheet

The National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Factors Spreadsheet June 2022 Update is now available.

This provides the second round of National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Factors for 2021 diffusion tube monitoring data. We would like to thank all the local authorities who submitted co-location study results. Local authorities can continue to return co-location studies for diffusion tubes for inclusion (pending data quality checks) in the next update which is due in September 2022.

The summary of NO2 Diffusion Tube precision information has also been updated.

1 April 2022

National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Spreadsheet

The National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Factors Spreadsheet March 2022 Update is now available.

This provides the first round of National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Factors for 2021 diffusion tube monitoring data. We would like to thank all the local authorities who submitted co-location study results. Local authorities can continue to return co-location studies for diffusion tubes for inclusion (pending data quality checks) in the next update which is due in June 2022.

The summary of NO2 Diffusion Tube precision information has also been updated.

10 March 2022

LAQM Annual Reporting Templates

The 2022 LAQM Report Templates are now available. Links to the LAQM Annual Reporting Templates are as follows:

Regional groups which include several local authorities can submit combined reports, however, you must contact the LAQM Helpdesk prior to submission to notify the Portal Admin team of this requirement.

Merged local authorities must submit one single report covering all local authorities that have been impacted by the merge.

The deadlines for the UK regional reports are as follows:

  • England (excluding London) – 30th June 2022
  • London – 30th May 2022
  • Scotland – 30th June 2022
  • Northern Ireland – 30th June 2022
  • Wales – 30th September 2022

For England (excluding London) only, there continues to be a mandatory requirement to submit all NO2 diffusion tube data via the Diffusion Tube Data Upload System (DTDES) upload facility, part of the LAQM Portal. This submission should be completed once all monitoring data for 2021 has been processed and prior to submission of the Annual Status Report.

LAQM Air Quality Action Plan Templates

A new version of the LAQM Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) Template for all UK regions (excluding London) has been published. This has been updated to bring the template in-line with the with Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. Please use this for any AQAPs which are due to be updated or published.

Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool

A new version of Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool has been published to assist local authorities in processing their NO2 diffusion tube monitoring data.

Updates within v2.0 of the tool include the ability to select 2021 as the monitoring year, use of up to 7 co-location sites for calculation of a local bias adjustment factor and a diffusion tube co-ordinate check which indicates whether diffusion tubes are located within the local authority boundary.

2021 Updates

19 November 2021

2022 Diffusion Tube Calendar

The 2022 Diffusion Tube Monitoring Calendar, providing recommended exposure dates, is now available.

Emissions Factor Toolkit

An updated version of the Emissions Factors Toolkit (EFT v11.0) is now available. For details of all the changes implemented in v11.0 and information on how to use the tool, please refer to the updated EFT User Guide.

Briefly, the changes between v10.1 and 11.0 are as follows:

  • EFT 11.0 allows users to define Input Years up to 2050.
    • 2031-2050 outputs are limited to England (not London) only.
    • Emissions outputs for the years 2031-2050 are provided in support of climate assessments and appraisals only. Where emissions are to be used after 2030 to inform air quality assessments, the appropriate caveats around the limitations of the analysis must be included to accompany the assessment.
  • Updated fleet splits for England (not London) to extend the fleet data for Motorway, Urban and Rural road types out to 2050.
  • Engine efficiency adjustment factors have been provided by DfT/NH and applied to exhaust CO2 emission outputs up to 2050; and
  • When CO2 pollutant output is selected, an additional output is now provided. The ‘Output CO2 Summary’ sheet provides a summary of direct CO2 emissions from tailpipe and indirect CO2e emissions associated with the charging of the batteries of electric and plug-in hybrid cars and LGVs, in tonnes/annum. N.B. link length is now a mandatory input requirement when outputting CO2 emissions.

08 October 2021

National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Spreadsheet

The National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Factors Spreadsheet September 2021 Update is now available.

This provides the third and final round of National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Factors for 2020 diffusion tube monitoring data. We would like to thank all the local authorities who submitted co-location study results. Local authorities can continue to return co-location studies for diffusion tubes for inclusion (pending data quality checks) in the next update which is due in March 2022.

The summary of NO2 Diffusion Tube precision information has also been updated.

03 September 2021

Air Quality Grant 21/22 Scheme – update

Local authorities in England can now apply for the Air Quality Grant Scheme 2021 to 2022.  The grant will be competitive and will award at least £9 million to English local authorities.

Local Authorities should make applications via Bravo (https://defra.bravosolution.co.uk/web/login.html) under view current opportunities. Applications must be received by midday 8 October 2021.

The fund this year is split into 2 Lots and in particular, we’re looking for applications for:

  • Lot 1 – projects designed to reduce air pollutant exceedances especially in those areas that are projected to remain in exceedance of the UK’s legal targets
  • Lot 2 – projects that will improve knowledge and information about air quality and steps individuals can take to reduce their exposure to air pollution and/or projects that include measures that deal with Particulate Matter

Contact us

Local Authorities who have a query about grant applications should send these via the messaging tool in Bravo.

If you have a general query about air quality, contact the Defra Helpline: defra.helpline@defra.gov.uk

19 August 2021

Air Quality Grant 21/22 Scheme – update

(This information is now out of date, please see the Air Quality Grant update on 3rd September for the latest information.)

Defra’s Air Quality Grant scheme will launch in the first week of September.  The grant will be competitive and will award at least £9 million to English Local Authorities.  This year applicants will be able to submit a sole bid for up to £600k and a joint bid for up to £1m.

This year’s fund will be split between 2 lots:

Lot 1 will award funding to projects that improve local air quality and should be linked to Local Air Quality Action Plans (although consideration will also be given to unrelated innovative projects that align to national strategies/priorities).  English LAs are eligible to apply with the exception of:

LAs that are in the process of developing a local NO2 Plan following the receipt of a Ministerial Direction under the 2017 Plan for tackling roadside NO2

LAs that have completed a local NO2 Plan and have been directed to carry out further measures as a result of that local Plan.

Lot 2 is open to all English LAs and will award funding to:

  • Projects that improve public awareness in local communities about the risks of air pollution
  • Projects that deal with Particulate Matter

The majority of the finance available is capital so revenue funding will be limited to around 30-35% of the total application value.  Please bear this in mind whilst considering the type of project you may wish to apply for.  Further details will be published in the Invitation to Apply (ITA) document.  The ITA will be available when the scheme is officially launched in September and can be accessed after registering an interest in Defra’s e-application system, Bravo, which can be found at https://defra.bravosolution.co.uk.

18 August 2021

The LAQM website has been updated in line with feedback received from several user needs workshops.

Amongst the improvements made, we have looked to:

  • Make the website accessible and usable for all
  • More prominently highlight the areas and content that are most frequently accessed
  • Improve the navigation structure to provide a more user-friendly experience
  • Ensure the website is up to date with relevant Web Compliance Regulations

21 July 2021

The latest summaries of participating laboratories’ performance in the AIR-PT scheme for NO2 diffusion tubes have been added and are available via the QA QC Framework Webpage.

06 July 2021

National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Spreadsheet

The National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Factors Spreadsheet June 2021 Update is now available.

This provides for the second round of National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Factors for 2020 diffusion tube monitoring data. We would like to thank all the local authorities who submitted co-location study results. Local authorities can continue to return co-location studies for diffusion tubes for inclusion (pending data quality checks) in the next update which is due in September 2021.

The summary of NO2 Diffusion Tube precision information has also been updated.

03 June 2021

Air Quality Grant 21/22 Scheme

(This information is now out of date, please see the Air Quality Grant update on 3rd September for the latest information.)

Defra will launch another Air Quality Grant Scheme this autumn for the 21/22 scheme year with £8m of funding available.

An important change you should be aware of is the majority of the fund is capital: £6m capital and £2m revenue.

Details regarding grant objectives, how the capital and revenue will be allocated, eligibility requirements and the process for applying will be confirmed on GOV.UK and through social media when the grant launches later in the autumn.  The scheme is competitive so we are unable to answer individual queries about the grant ahead of the launch, but any updates that can be shared in advance will be published here on the LAQM website.

02 June 2021

LAQM Portal

We are pleased to announce that the LAQM Portal is now live. The Portal incorporates the previous Report Submission Website (RSW) and the Diffusion Tube Data Entry System (DTDES), providing all local authorities with a single access point to submit and maintain all relevant information regarding LAQM.

For local authorities in England (excluding London boroughs), the LAQM Portal also provides the following additional functionality:

  • Submission of NO2 Diffusion Tube Monitoring data via the DTDES – now a mandatory annual requirement. As a reminder, this submission should be completed once all monitoring data for the reporting year has been processed. To assist with this process, the Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool provides an output table which can be directly submitted via the DTDES. Whilst use of the Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool is encouraged, it is not mandatory. For those local authorities that continue to undertake their diffusion tube processing outside of the Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool, an alternative standardised template proforma is now available, which will assist local authorities in submitting their processed NO2 diffusion tube data to the LAQM Portal via the DTDES.

Existing users of the RSW and DTDES systems should be able to use their email address to request a new password by clicking “I forgot my password” on the LAQM Portal Login page and following the instructions accordingly. If your email address is not recognised or you are having technical issues logging on, please contact the LAQM Portal Admin Team for assistance.

Update to the Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool

An updated version of the Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool is now available. Based upon user feedback, the updated tool includes the following improvements:

  1. Improved data entry – An issue whereby ‘cutting and pasting’ of data within the STEP 2 – Diffusion Tube Inputs tab may have led to calculation errors has been resolved.
  2. Fall off with Distance Adjustment – It is now possible to apply the fall-off adjustment to receptors that are located closer to the adjacent road source than the monitoring site.

The above improvements should not necessitate any reworking and would have only affected a very limited number of users, for which the issue should have been observed. If you are unsure of any potential impact, please contact the LAQM Support Helpdesk for assistance.

Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool Tutorial Video

As to be expected with any new tool, the LAQM Support Helpdesk have received a number of enquiries from local authorities concerning usage of the tool. In the first instance, users are encouraged to review the guidance provided within the tool on the ‘Introduction’ and ‘Important Notes’ tabs before using the tool.

To further assist, and acknowledging that due to the Covid-19 pandemic there are a number of atypical scenarios that local authorities experienced during their 2020 monitoring programme, we have prepared a short tutorial video, which provides a demonstration of how to use the tool and deal with a number of different input scenarios. A document of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in relation to usage of the tool is also now available. Both the tutorial video and the FAQ document are available via the Air Quality Hub link below. Please note that local authorities are required to create a user account to access the Air Quality Hub before being able to access the material.

Access the Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool Tutorial Video and FAQs via the Air Quality Hub

Covid-19 Supplementary Guidance for LAQM Reporting in 2021: Webinar Feedback

Thank you to all local authorities that have provided feedback on the LAQM Webinar: COVID-19 Supplementary Guidance for LAQM Reporting in 2021, which was held on Wednesday 28th April 2021 on behalf of Defra and the GLA. As a reminder, the webinar and accompanying Questions and Answers document are available for viewing via the Air Quality Hub link below.

Access the Webinar Recording and Q&A via the Air Quality Hub

We will soon be closing the short user feedback survey, to allow those that attended the webinar or have since accessed the webinar materials to provide feedback. We welcome all feedback provided and, depending upon your answers, this should take no more than 5 minutes to complete. The responses to this survey will be used to inform future LAQM webinars and address any outstanding topics in relation to the Covid-19 Supplementary Guidance for LAQM Reporting in 2021. Please provide any feedback by Friday 18th June.

Provide Webinar Feedback

18 May 2021

The 2021 LAQM Report Templates have been updated to clarify the data capture criteria for the requirement of annualisation. In line with Technical Guidance LAQM.TG(16) and LLAQM.TG19, the minimum data capture required to undertake annualisation is 25% (i.e. there must be a minimum of three months monitoring data available within the calendar year). Therefore, annualisation should be completed if the data capture for the calendar year is less than 75% but 25% or greater. Please note, this has required revision to the 2021 reporting templates only. If using either the Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool or the Annualisation Tool, based upon the user defined inputs these will automatically identify the requirement for annualisation in line with the criteria presented within Technical Guidance LAQM.TG(16) and LLAQM.TG19, as summarised above.

The updated 2021 templates are available from the Report Template page. In the event that the majority of reporting has already been drafted in the previously published 2021 reporting templates, please complete a ‘find and replace’ within the template to replace all instances of ‘33%’ relating to annualisation with ‘25%’. All completed reports should be submitted via the LAQM Portal in line with the 2021 reporting deadlines.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

The LAQM Support Helpdesk can be contacted for further advice on any of the above matters.

5 May 2021

Thank you to those that participated in the LAQM Webinar: COVID-19 Supplementary Guidance for LAQM Reporting in 2021, which was held on Wednesday 28th April 2021 on behalf of Defra and the GLA. We hope you found the session helpful in outlining the requirements for this reporting year.

For those who wish to recap over the session or were unfortunately unable to attend, the webinar was recorded and is available for viewing via the Air Quality Hub link below. Please note that local authorities are required to create a user account to access the Air Quality Hub before being able to access the recording. A written copy of the Question and Answers asked and responded to during the session and a short feedback survey is also available via this link.

Access the Webinar Recording, Q&A and Feedback Survey via the Air Quality Hub

The responses to the feedback survey will be used to inform future LAQM webinars and address any outstanding topics in relation to the Covid-19 Supplementary Guidance for LAQM Reporting in 2021.

As a reminder, the LAQM Support Helpdesk can be contacted for further advice on any of the above matters.

15 April 2021

LAQM Reporting Templates

The 2021 LAQM USA Reporting Template for local authorities in Northern Ireland is now available. Completed reports should be submitted via the LAQM Portal (see below for further information) in line with the reporting deadline of 30th June 2021.

14 April 2021

LAQM Reporting Templates

The 2021 LAQM Report Templates are now available. As per previous years, Regional Groups which include several authorities are able to submit combined reports.

Completed reports should be submitted via the LAQM Portal (see below for further information) in line with the relevant reporting deadlines:

  • England (not London) ASR – 30th June 2021
  • London ASR – 31st May 2021
  • Scotland APR – 30th June 2021
  • Wales APR – 30th September 2021
  • Northern Ireland USA – 30th June 2021 (template to be published shortly)

In terms of new reporting requirements for this year, each template includes a section relating to COVID-19 impacts on LAQM. Completion of this section is encouraged for all local authorities. There is also a new mandatory requirement for local authorities in England (excluding London boroughs) to submit their NO2 diffusion tube data to the LAQM Portal via the new DTDES upload facility. This submission should be completed once all monitoring data for 2020 has been processed.

Local authorities are reminded to check that their AQMA and contact details are up to date as part of the report submittal process and update as necessary.

Covid-19 Supplementary Guidance for LAQM Reporting in 2021

As a result of impacts from COVID-19 and the associated restrictions on activity, supplementary guidance has been published to inform local authorities in England of the key changes and points of reference with respect to LAQM duties, as described in Part IV of the Environment Act 1995, for the 2021 reporting year.

This supplementary guidance, which should be read in conjunction with LAQM Technical Guidance LAQM.TG(16), has been informed by responses from the impact survey received following the release of the interim statement on COVID-19 impacts to the LAQM regime. It addresses various aspects related to local authority duties under the LAQM regime; in particular, it is provided to assist local authorities in England in completing their ASRs.

LAQM Webinar: Covid-19 Supplementary Guidance for LAQM Reporting in 2021

Date: Wednesday 28th April 2021

Time: 11:30 – 12:45, online via Zoom

As a result of impacts from COVID-19 and the associated restrictions on activity, supplementary guidance has been published to inform local authorities in England (including London) of the key changes and points of reference with respect to LAQM duties, as described in Part IV of the Environment Act 1995, for the 2021 reporting year.

This webinar will provide English local authorities with an opportunity to discuss the COVID-19 Supplementary Guidance for LAQM Reporting in 2021.

Please submit any questions you may have in advance of the webinar via the LAQM Support Helpdesk. The webinar will be recorded and made available via the LAQM Support website for those unable to attend, with any further follow-up questions able to be asked via the LAQM Support Helpdesk. Invitations to attend the webinar will be sent out separately to local authorities in England.

Technical Guidance LAQM.TG16

An updated version of the LAQM Technical Guidance LAQM.TG16 is now available. This supersedes all previous versions. The full scope of the update, which includes items of clarification, are provided in TG16 Annex D: Log of Changes. Any questions regarding these changes should be directed to the LAQM Support Helpdesk.

Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool

A new Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool has been developed to assist local authorities in processing their NO2 diffusion tube monitoring data. It allows annual mean NO2 concentration results to be calculated from NO2 diffusion tube raw monthly data, by consolidating previous LAQM tools for processing diffusion tube monitoring data into a single tool. The tool includes steps to assist with:

  1. Annualisation – the process of estimating annual mean NO2 concentrations when data capture for the year is below 75%
  2. Bias Adjustment – the process of accounting for the variable accuracy of annual mean NO2 concentrations as measured by diffusion tubes relative to the chemiluminescent reference method
  3. Fall off with Distance Adjustment – the process of estimating an annual mean NO2 concentration at a receptor location that is close to a monitoring site
  4. Calculation of the Annual Mean Concentration

The tool serves to streamline the data processing requirements of NO2 diffusion tubes and improve the quality assurance associated with NO2 diffusion tube data processing. Through alignment of the output result tables with the annual reporting template requirements, the tool facilitates ease of population of the associated annual reporting data tables.

In addition, it provides an output table which can be directly uploaded into the LAQM Portal via the new Diffusion Tube Data Entry System (DTDES), which is part of the annual submission requirements for English local authorities (excluding London boroughs) – see above for more information.

Whilst the previous LAQM tools for processing diffusion tube data currently remain available for use, use of the new Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool is strongly encouraged.

For further support on using the new Diffusion Tube Data Processing Tool, please contact the LAQM Support Helpdesk for assistance.

National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Spreadsheet

The National Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Factors Spreadsheet March 2021 Update is now available.

We would like to thank all the local authorities who have already submitted their co-location study results. Local authorities can continue to return collocation studies for diffusion tubes for inclusion (pending data quality checks) in the next update which is due in June 2021.

Diffusion Tube Precision Summary

The diffusion tube precision summary results have been updated.

Two versions of precision summary results are provided; one detailing the full set of recorded precision results for all years and all laboratories, and a second reduced version containing only the last 3 years of recorded precision results for those laboratories that currently provide diffusion tube analysis.

Diffusion Tube QA/QC Framework

The latest summaries of participating laboratories’ performance in the AIR-PT scheme for NO2 diffusion tubes have been added and are now available.

10 March 2021

The Local Authorities who have been awarded funding from the Air Quality Grant Scheme for 2020 to 2021 has now been announced. Local authorities across England have been granted more than £5 million in government funding to deliver innovative projects to improve air quality. Further details including the local authority schemes receiving funding are detailed here.

2 February 2021

The latest summaries of participating laboratories’ performance in the AIR-PT scheme for NO2 diffusion tubes have been added and are available via the QA QC Framework Webpage.

27 January 2021

COVID-19: GUIDANCE FOR LOCAL AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT REPORTING IN 2021 DUE TO COVID-19

This statement is for local authorities in England, including London, only. 

Defra wrote to local authorities on 27th January 2021 to make them aware of the guidance changes under consideration for Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) duties, described in Part IV of the Environment Act 1995, for the 2021 reporting year due to the impacts of COVID-19 and the associated restrictions on activity.

The purpose of the statement, contained in the attached letter, is to make you aware of the items under consideration, seek your views on the suggested approach and consider whether there are any additional areas we could address.

A copy of our correspondence is available here.

Local Authority Survey

To facilitate local authority consultation in relation to this statement, a short survey has been established. We would welcome your participation in this survey, which should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. Responses will be used to inform final COVID-19 guidance. The consultation survey will remain open until 10th February 2021.

Please contact the LAQM Helpdesk if you are a local authority and wish to participate in this survey.

19 January 2021

FAQ8: ‘Where can I find information about Air Quality Monitoring Equipment Suppliers? has been updated and is now available here.

FAQ140: ‘Can I use a ‘Low Cost’ Sensor System for LAQM Reporting?’ has been added and is now available here.

18 January 2021

Deadline Extended – Local air quality management: public authorities call for evidence 

We are grateful for the responses we have received so far to the Call for Evidence on designation of Relevant Public Authorities which had a deadline of close today. Following a request for extension to the deadline and in light of the difficulties being experienced at the present time, we have decided to keep the Call for Evidence open until close on 25th January to give potential respondents a little more time.

2020 Updates

9 December 2020

UKAIR website – bringing on local automatic data

In the 2019 Clean Air Strategy Defra made a commitment to bring “local and national monitoring data together into a single accessible portal for information on air quality monitoring and modelling”. Defra have now launched a service on the UKAIR website where users of the site can access automatic data from both the nationally run networks and those run by local authorities. Around 80% of automatic data from local authorities has been included in this service where the data is already in the public domain.

The automatic data will be displayed as ‘locally managed automatic monitoring data” to make a clear distinction between the data sets. Users will be able to access the local automatic data in the same way they can the national data now, for example using the data download service for specific sites or looking at site locations on a network map.

To facilitate future locally-managed data sharing (even if there is no existing dedicated website resource) a dedicated API can be established from which data can be harvested. The documentation detailing the requirements for such an API is available on UKAIR. Data originators wishing to make their data available can create an API based on this specification and contact aqharvesting@ricardo.com for any guidance they should need.

2 December 2020

FAQ105: ‘Impacts of Vegetation on Urban Air Pollution’ has been updated and is now available here.

1 December 2020

FAQ41: ‘How effective are physical barriers alongside busy roads in reducing pollutant concentration at adjacent areas?’ has been updated and is now available here.

13 November 2020

The 2021 Diffusion Tube Monitoring Calendar, providing recommended exposure dates, is now available here.