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Air Quality Monitoring 2016 and 2017

Defra requires all local authorities to produce a yearly report on air quality, known as an Annual Status Report.  

2016 report based on 2015 data withdrawn

In August 2017, the council withdrew its 2016 report (based on the 2015 monitoring data) due to concerns over its accuracy.

What happened?

Following the decision to withdraw the report, the council arranged for the 2016 report to be independently assessed by two air quality consultants. As a result of a subsequent internal investigation by the council, concerns were raised about the accuracy of the data in that report, as well as subsequent data collected.

Based on these outcomes, the council started an independent external audit of its air quality monitoring and reporting arrangements and put in new arrangements to ensure that the data is correct from now on.

The findings of the audit were referred to the police for further investigation, and a member of staff was convicted.

What we have done and are doing

Air Quality Reports

Following the independent assessment, the 2016 revised Annual Status Report was published and submitted to DEFRA.  The air quality consultants were also commissioned to write the council's Annual Status Reports for the next few years.

Review of Air Quality Monitoring Network

The council has undertaken a thorough review of the diffusion tube and automatic analyser network including locations, as well as a review of traffic data from Surrey County Council and other relevant considerations. 

Automatic Monitoring

Automatic monitoring continues within the Farnham and Godalming air quality management areas.  The council also appointed an independent, specialist contractor to oversee our automatic monitoring stations, including calibrations and quality assurance.  They will also ensure maximum and reliable data collection.  Near real-time monitoring results are available on-line.

Diffusion tubes

A number of diffusion tubes were relocated from January 2019 to ensure monitoring locations were relevant in terms of public exposure to air pollution and represent 'worst case scenarios'.