The 'Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2022' report has been published today by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
This statistical report is the twenty-first in a series of annual reports on air quality in Northern Ireland. It contains summary information on key air quality monitoring results for 2022 and analysis from data collected by automatic monitoring stations.
The key points are:
- Northern Ireland collected data from 22 automatic monitoring stations during 2022.
- The report provides details of air quality monitoring undertaken and gives a summary of results, as well as long-term trends. It also sets out information on the progress being made by councils in managing local air quality.
- This year, the report highlights long term trends in ozone compared to UK average levels and has a focused chapter on the Impact of Climate Change and Net Zero Policies on Air Pollution in Northern Ireland.
- Regulations limit values, target values and corresponding Air Quality Strategy objectives, have been met for the majority of the pollutants covered in this report for Northern Ireland in 2022.
- Levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) - which is measured at three sites - have remained compliant with the regulations target since the measured exceedance recorded in 2016 at Derry Brandywell. Against the stricter UK Air Quality Strategy objective for PAHs, all three sites exceeded the objective in 2021.
- The report continues to compare monitored levels of air pollutants in Northern Ireland with the 2021 World Health Organisation (WHO) global air quality guideline levels.
- Along with the Department, district councils have a duty to carry out air quality monitoring, and where air quality falls below acceptable levels they are required to declare Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). In the 2022 reporting year there were 19 AQMAs in Northern Ireland.
- The Department works closely with district councils and with other government departments to ensure that progress is being made towards meeting all air quality targets and objectives.
- The final section of the report outlines some of the actions being taken to improve air quality in Northern Ireland, for example work on the development of the Clean Air Strategy, ammonia reduction measures, transport measures and council awareness campaigns.