Air Quality Standards and Targets

Key Legislation:

For more detail on the Legislation relevant to this page, please use the following links:

Supporting Legislation:
Guidance Notes: Greenhouse gas conversion factors for company reporting 2013: methodology paper for emission factors

  • This report provides the methodological approach, key data sources and the assumptions used to define the emission factors provided in the 2013 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Conversion Factors.

Greenhouse gas reporting – Conversion factors 2017

  • DECC have released the emission conversion factors required when reporting on 2017 greenhouse gas emissions by UK based organisations of all sizes. User guidance is also accessible through the link provided.

Government policy on air pollution seeks policy linkages between local air pollution and global climate change and the energy generation industries including the oil and gas industry in Air Pollution: Action in a Changing Climate (PDF document) (Defra: 2010).

Part IV of the Environment Act 1995: Local Air Quality Management Policy Guidance (PG09) (PDF document) February 2009.

Part IV of the Environment Act 1995: Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 Part III: Local Air Quality Management Technical Guidance LAQM.TG(09) (PDF document) February 2009.

Consent Needed: Activities listed under the IPPC Regulations will require IPPC Permit(s). No specific consent is required  for oil and gas installations under the requirements of the Local Air Quality Management Strategies (LAQMS), however air quality management is integrated with the planning system within local authorities and impacts on air quality both from process and also transport related emissions are likely to be of ‘material consideration’ within any planning decision.In order to address air quality issues with the operation of existing, or whilst seeking permission for new onshore oil and gas infrastructure the local authority may require the application of air quality management measures (PDF document) for individual facilities; such as Sustainable Travel Plans.
How to Apply: See IPPC Permits.
Who to Apply to: See IPPC Permits.
When to Apply: See IPPC Permits.
Air quality objectives: Air quality objectives are defined for the following key air pollutants: benzene, 1-3 butadiene, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter (PM10) and sulphur dioxide.These standards relate to background concentrations of these key pollutants and not to emission levels from any individual process or facility. As such there are no standards within the Air Quality set of Regulations which apply specifically to the contribution of oil and gas installations to these background concentrations.

 

LAQM Progress Reports: Each Local Authority is responsible for monitoring and reporting on their performance against these standards in the LAQM: Progress Reports.
LAQM Progress Reports Each Local Authority is responsible for monitoring and reporting on their performance against these standards in the LAQM: Progress Reports.
Exceedance of Air Quality Objectives: Where Local Air Quality Monitoring identifies an exceedance or risk of exceedance of the air quality objective(s) for any of the key air pollutants identified within the regulations, the Local Authority has the power to designate and Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).The vast majority of the action plan tools available to local authorities are related to the control of transport related emissions and can be applied to transport operations of oil and gas installations in the same way as any other business operating in the Local Authority Area.
LAQM Progress Reports: LAQM reports are to be updated on a 3 yearly cycle of review and assessment.
Draft Air Quality (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2016These Draft Regulations propose to amend the Air Quality (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2000/97 (link here). These amendments would introduce a definition for the substance PM2 5 and establish an air quality objective for this substance.
Updated Energy and Emissions projections: 2015 A report detailing projections of the UK emissions performance against national greenhouse gas targets under existing policies has been released by DECC. It includes projections of the demand for each type of fuel for different sectors of the economy. The report includes projected energy demand for electricity and indicates what mix of generation will meet it (link here).
Local Air Quality Management review: changes to guidance and reporting This consultation has concluded and the summary of responses is available here.
The Carbon Capture Readiness (Electricity Generating Stations) Regulations 2013: These Regulations implement Article 36 of Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control).Article 36 of the 2010 Directive replicates the requirements of Article 9a of Directive 2001/80/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants.Further details are available from the UK Government’s Legislative website (PDF document).These regulations came into force on 25 November 2013.
UK rallies 12 EU countries behind backloading twin track EU-ETS reform: In July 2013, Energy and Environment Ministers from 12 EU Member States issued a joint statement calling for MEPs to support the ‘backloading’ proposals due to be voted on in Strasbourg on 3 July 2013, and for the EC to bring forward legislative proposals in delivering structural reform of the EU-ETS by the end of the year. Further details are available on the UK Government’s website.