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Air quality and management

Air quality monitoring

All local authorities have a legal duty to out to carry out annual reviews of air quality in their area.

Pollutant levels are reviewed and assessed against government air pollution objectives set out in the national air quality strategy. These pollutants are:

  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Sulphur Dioxide
  • Particulates (PM10)
  • 1, 3 - Butadiene
  • Benzene
  • Lead

Areas identified with pollutant levels that may be at risk of going above the objectives are declared as Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA).

Annual reports are published showing changes in air pollution concentrations and progress towards achieving the national air quality objectives.

Norwich air quality stations and live measured pollution levels

There are two static air quality stations in Norwich.

In February 2023, we installed a new Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) on Castle Meadow, replacing the unnecessarily large and outdated previous station. The new AQMS is DEFRA-compliant, with modern monitors that record oxides of nitrogen (NOx, NO and NO2) and particulates (PM10 and PM2.5). Installing the new station is part of the measures of improvements to the air quality in Norwich laid out in the Annual Status Report 2021 and 2022. This is an urban roadside site and live data can be found at the Norfolk Air Quality website.

There is also an urban background site owned and operated by DEFRA located at Norwich Lakenfields. This station measures oxides of nitrogen (NOx, NO & NO2), particulates (PM10 & PM2.5) and ozone (O3). Information and live data for this site can be found on the UK Air website.

Air quality management areas (AQMAs)

For maps and details of the AQMAs in Norwich visit DEFRA's website.

Air quality monitoring reports and assessments

See reports, assessments and plans (since 1998) which includes the 2022 Air Quality Status Report

Norfolk Countywide Air Quality Group

Norwich City Council is committed to working jointly with the Norfolk Countywide Air Quality Group to tackle poor air quality within the Norfolk area. The group which meets regularly throughout the year is made up of representatives from local authorities, the NHS and the Environment Agency within Norfolk. See the group's terms of reference.

Open fires and wood burning stoves

The use of open fires and wood-burning stoves has risen in popularity over recent years. This means that we are seeing more smoke from chimneys which has a negative effect on air quality. This can cause breathing problems such as asthma attacks and contribute to other health conditions.

The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has provided a simple Guide to open fires and wood burning stoves to reduce environmental and health impacts.

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