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Emission fears prompt town air monitoring

An air quality monitoring station has been set up in Frodsham

Chairman of Frodsham Town Council Mark Warren says it's 'imperative' to record air quality data(Image: Ian Cooper)

COUNCILLORS’ concerns about the potential impact of emissions from industrial developments in Frodsham has led to an air quality monitoring station being set up in the town.

The facility, which is based at Frodsham Manor House School, will measure the levels of pollutants sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and fine particles, as well as weather data, every 15 minutes.

The data produced will provide invaluable information on local air pollution and its likely causes.

A local panel recently sought advice from Professor Duncan Laxen, of Air Quality Consultants, who recommended that further data be obtained in the area.

Existing data indicates that air quality in Frodsham is good, with the only significant pollution being from traffic on parts of the A56.

Frodsham’s new addition comes just weeks after higher than expected levels of air pollution in nearby Thornton-le-Moors prompted a joint investigation by the Environment Agency, Public Health England, Cheshire West and Chester’s environmental protection and public health teams and Essar.

Sharp increases in sulphur dioxide -  which has the potential to significantly affect people’s health, including those with heart or lung problems – were recorded by the village’s monitoring station from the neighbouring Essar plant during certain climatic conditions.

The new monitoring station has been funded in part by the member budgets of Cllrs Lynn Riley and Andrew Dawson and Frodsham Town Council.

Chairman of Frodsham Town Council Mark Warren said: “I  think air pollution is a concern everywhere, but the local air quality monitoring is the upshot of need to establish base line data on what Frodsham is exposed to in advance of the new waste  incinerator at Runcorn and potentially Ince as well.

“It's imperative we get as much data over as long a time frame as possible before commissioning, without the 'before' data the 'after' becoming meaningless.

“Frodsham Town Council is delighted to commit funding towards this project, notwithstanding what results will come to light in the long term. I think we've all an interest in the air we breath, and we're grateful to Cheshire West and Chester Council for hosting this data.”

Cllr Riley added: “We take our public and environmental health role very seriously and we are working hard across the borough to ensure that our air quality is good.

“This monitoring station is an important step in ensuring we have evidence of the state of air quality in Frodsham.”

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