Air quality

The Environment Act 1995 states we must regularly assess air quality in Midlothian to verify that we meet standards for various pollutants. These include:

  • nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • particulate matter (PM10)
  • sulphur dioxide (SO2)

We report annually on ‘air quality objectives’. These are health-based standards that pollutant levels should not exceed.

Download air quality reports

Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA)

If an area fails, or is likely to fail, one or more air quality objectives, we must designate it as an AQMA.

An AQMA was declared in Pathhead in 2008 based on a predicted violation of the PM10 objective. The AQMA was revoked after improvements to the air quality in Pathhead.

Monitoring

Environmental Health staff monitor nitrogen dioxide using diffusion tubes in:

  • Bonnyrigg
  • Dalkeith
  • Loanhead
  • Pathhead
  • Penicuik

Air quality is also measured at Bush Estate and Authencorth Moss, as part of the UK Automatic Urban and Rural Air Quality Monitoring Network (AURN). The Bush Estate has an automatic 24-hour nitrogen dioxide monitor, and Authencorth Moss measures a wider range of pollutants.

The Air Quality in Scotland website has more information on air quality.

Smoke Control Areas

We are required to keep a copy of any orders made under the Clean Air Act 1993: Part III (Smoke Control Areas) and related legislation.

At this time there are no Smoke Control Areas in Midlothian.

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