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Independent study offers reassurance over air quality

14 February 2013

  • Only pollution incident in 4 months caused by Bonfire Night
  • Findlings represent most detailed analysis to date
  • Airbourne particulate levels near Plevin site well within safe limits

PLEVIN has welcomed the publication of an independent report into air quality near its Mossley plant.

The Environment Agency (EA) analysis found that levels of tiny air particles (PM10 and PM2.5) near our site, on Cheshire Street, were in line with national guidelines and within safe limits.

The report’s findings are based on detailed air quality monitoring. A mobile monitoring facility (MMF) was used for four months, from September 2011 to January 2012. The equipment took air samples, continuously monitoring levels of particulates and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Managing director Jamie Plevin said the report should serve to reassure any residents who may have concerns over air quality in Mossley.

He added: “We have a good relationship with the vast majority of people in Mossley.

“Hopefully these scientific findings, which represent the most sophisticated and detailed analysis to date, will demonstrate that Plevin is not connected in any way to alleged health problems reported by some residents living nearby.”

Over the course of 125 days of real-time monitoring carried out by the Environment Agency, there was just one occasion on which national objectives for PM10 particle concentration were exceeded – and that was Bonfire Night.

The report states: “The data suggests that a bonfire was relatively nearby, which caused these elevated PM10 levels. This is supported by the PM2.5 data which also saw elevated levels during the same period.”

It continues: “It was highly likely that the ‘exceedance’ was caused by particulate originating from a local bonfire, and as part of a nationwide pollution episode.

“This demonstrates that these high levels are not typical of the area as a whole, but can be caused by more national-based pollution events.”  

Regarding levels of PM10 particles, the report adds: “If the assumption is made that the conditions during the monitoring period were representative of a typical year, then the results would indicate that the Air Quality Strategy (AQS) annual mean objectives would not be exceeded at the site.”

The overall objective of the study was to identify local sources of air pollution, and quantify the environmental impact of emissions from these sources on the surrounding area and the local community. Within this objective, the study aimed to:  

  • Assess the general air quality of the area relative to the Air Quality Strategy (AQS) objectives
  • Quantify the impact of surrounding pollution sources on local air quality
  • Identify specific sources causing an “appreciable” impact on air quality
  • Identify and understand the conditions that give rise to episodes of poor air quality

Monitoring equipment was deployed at Miller Hey, to the north east of the Plevin site.

The report concludes: “Comparing the collected data from the monitoring at Mossley with the (Air Quality Strategy) AQS objectives showed that the monitoring location was subject to concentrations of PM10, PM2.5 and NO2 that were likely to meet their respective objectives.

“During the study no bias in the measured levels was experienced from the direction of R. Plevin. It was noted that wind from these directions was experienced 24 per cent of the overall time during the study.”

Jamie said: “We hope these findings will satisfy all of our neighbours that Plevin runs a safe, compliant operation that is not having an adverse impact on air quality in Mossley.”