Prince Street Ambient Air Monitoring Station
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) for parts of Port Talbot in July 2000, due to the potential to fail an Air Quality Objective. Of all the air quality parameters set out in the legislation, PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter) is the only one which has been shown to be an issue in Port Talbot. The European Air Quality Directive sets a limit that the PM10 level within Port Talbot should not exceed 50µg/m3 (as a daily mean) for more than 35 days in any calendar year.
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council currently operate seven air quality monitoring stations around the Port Talbot AQMA. These are located in Theodore Road, Talbot Road, Docks Road, Dyffryn School, Twll yn yr Wal, Little Warren and Margam Fire Station. The Margam Fire Station site is part of the official UK Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) which is organised by Defra, the Welsh Government and the other devolved administrations.
The Environment Agency has located an air quality monitoring station at Prince Street, Margam. This monitor was deployed to help us with our regulatory duties. It is not part of the Automatic Urban and Rural Network. We are using the information collected to help us identify possible sources of airborne particulates.
The data collected from our monitor is currently included on the Welsh Air Quality website after it has been confirmed. Our aim is to make the data available on this website on a more frequent basis leading to live streaming. We are working on making this happen for the future. We have prepared a report discussing the data collected from January – December 2011. This information is available to view on the website.
The Environment Agency's Ambient Air Monitoring Team carried out the study on behalf of Environment Agency Wales.
What we did
We deployed our mobile monitoring facility at Prince Street Port Talbot between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2011 (365 days).
The overall objective of the study was to identify the local sources of air pollution and to quantify the environmental impact of the emissions from these sources on the surrounding area and the local community. Within this objective, the following individual aims were identified:
- To assess the general air quality of the area relative to the AQS objectives
- To identify specific sources causing an appreciable impact on air quality
- To identify and understand the conditions that give rise to episodes of poor air quality
What we found
The report includes analysis of particulate data collected at four monitoring locations in Port Talbot (Prince Street, Margam, Theodore Road and Twll yn y Wal Park). The report presents the measured levels of particulate (PM10 and PM2.5) compared with the UK Air Quality Strategy (AQS) objectives.
Comparison of PM10 data with the AQS objective for the 24-hour (midnight-midnight) mean indicated that the current standard was exceeded at the Prince Street monitoring site. The annual mean AQS objective for PM10 was not exceeded at any of the monitoring locations studied. Prince Street showed the highest annual average of 32.8 μg/m3[VCM].
The mean PM2.5 concentrations at Prince Street and Margam indicate that the AQS annual mean objective for PM2.5 was not exceeded at the monitoring locations. Directional analysis indicated a source of PM10 from the direction of the steel works that gave rise to highly elevated PM10 concentrations.
You can read more detail in this report: