Enhanced air quality monitoring to take place in Chichester thanks to funding bid success
More detailed air quality monitoring will take place at a key location in Chichester thanks to a £26,400 grant awarded to Chichester District Council.
The grant was awarded by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and will be used to buy a new air quality analyser which will be installed near the A27 Stockbridge Roundabout in Chichester.
The new analyser will enable the council to carry out enhanced monitoring of particulate matter (PM), which is measured in microns that are one millionth of a metre in size. At the moment the equipment monitors larger PM10 particles — this equates to 10 microns. However, the new equipment will also allow the council to monitor much smaller particles — PM2.5, or 2.5 micron particles.
"Being able to monitor PM2.5 is a better indicator of air pollution as these very small particles can pass through the lungs and into the bloodstream, affecting every system in the body," explains Councillor Penny Plant, the council's Cabinet Member for Environment. "There is a clear link between poor health and exposure to PM2.5 and as a result, new legislation was passed by the Government in 2021 sets air quality standards these smaller particles. As a council we have a legal responsibility to review and assess air quality and so this grant will help us to meet these requirements, and also help us to put into place actions to reduce air pollution."
The grant was the result of a bid by Sussex Air, which is a group of local authorities that collectively undertake air quality work across East and West Sussex.
Results will be submitted to DEFRA on a yearly basis and will be collated by the Government so they can report on the new national air quality targets. The results will also be used by the council as evidence of local air quality standards which are a key part of developing actions in the council's approved Air Quality Action Plan.
It is hoped that the new monitoring equipment will be installed in the spring of this year.
People can find out more information about the work of Sussex Air by visiting the Sussex Air website.
The Sussex Air website also allows people to sign up for a free air quality alerts service. Subscribers receive messages when poor air quality is predicted in their area.
Date of release: 16 January 2023