Kings College research: Teenage psychotic experiences more common in areas with high air pollution

A new study (in JAMA Psychiatry) by researchers at Kings College London has found it is likely that teenagers living on polluted roads are about 40% more likely to be psychotic. There seems to be a connection between the air pollution and why adolescents in cities are twice as likely to suffer psychosis as those in rural areas.  It is not proof that the pollution causes psychosis, but it adds to mounting evidence that NOx and particulates can do far-reaching damage to the brain and lungs. They may contribute to the development of dementia and depression, as well as possibly harming the unborn foetus, by entering the placenta.  The recent study used data on 2,232 teenagers in England and Wales who were asked about psychotic experiences, such as whether they heard voices or felt they were being watched. About a third had such experiences. While most will grow out of them, these teenagers are at higher risk of going on to suffer full-blown psychosis. The answers were compared with detailed modelling of pollution levels at the teenagers’ homes. The link remained significant even after adjusted for class, drug use, family history of mental illness etc. Heathrow is a huge source of air pollution, from its planes and associated road traffic. 

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Teenage psychotic experiences more common in areas with high air pollution

Research from King’s College London provides the first evidence of an association between air pollution and psychotic experiences in adolescence.

27.3.2019  (Kings College website)

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/news-article?id=4ccf84a5-2e65-4023-b08d-bae7516dca08

from which most of the information in the Times article comes.

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The study itself is in JAMA at  https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2729441

Association of Air Pollution Exposure With Psychotic Experiences During Adolescence

27.3.2019

Teenage psychosis linked to air pollution in cities for first time

Teenagers living on polluted roads are about 40% more likely to be psychotic, the first study of its kind finds.

Air pollution goes a long way to explaining why adolescents in cities are twice as likely to suffer psychosis as those in rural areas, researchers said.

While the study does not prove that traffic fumes cause psychosis, experts said it added to mounting evidence that dirty air can do far-reaching damage to the brain and lungs.

Fine particles and nitrous oxides in the air have long been known to cause breathing and heart problems. Evidence is emerging that they can contribute to depression and dementia.

In the latest study, researchers have used data on 2,232 teenagers in England and Wales who were asked about psychotic experiences, such as whether they heard voices or felt they were being watched. About a third had such experiences. While most will grow out of them, these teenagers are at higher risk of going on to suffer full-blown psychosis.

The answers were compared with detailed modelling of pollution levels at the teenagers’ homes. Joanne Newbury, of King’s College London, lead author of the paper, said that psychotic experiences were significantly more common among teenagers exposed to higher levels of air pollution.

“For example, teenagers exposed to the highest levels of nitrous oxides had 72 per cent greater odds for psychotic experiences compared with those with lower exposure,” she said.

This means that 38 per cent of adolescents reported psychotic experiences in the quarter of areas with the highest nitrous dioxide levels, compared with 27 per cent of the quarter with the lowest, an increased risk of roughly 40 per cent.

The link remained significant even after this was adjusted for class, drug use, family history of mental illness and other factors, according to results presented in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Helen Fisher, senior author, also of King’s College London, said that the results did not show cause and effect. She added, however: “It could be that smaller particles are getting into the brain and causing inflammation.”

Highly volatile chemicals carried deep into the body by pollution could also be contributing.

Daniel Maughan, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “This new research builds on increasing evidence of a likely link between air pollution and mental health issues. We need a radical approach to air pollution as it is very likely damaging the mental health of young and older people alike.”

Sophie Dix, director of research at the mental health charity MQ, said: “This study is significant because it provides a starting point with a possible link between pollution and psychosis.

“There is no evidence that pollution necessarily causes psychosis or whether this is one of many factors or acting in isolation. There is a bigger picture here but that does not diminish the importance of these findings.”

Stefan Reis, of the Natural Environment Research Council Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said: “This new study makes a compelling case to investigate a range of mental health outcomes of air pollution exposure. Other variables worth studying could include academic attainment in early life stages and cognitive decline in old age due to early-life exposure to air pollution.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/air-pollution-traffic-fumes-linked-to-teenage-pyschosis-study-finds-tw9swg20w+

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See earlier:

TAG: Heathrow air pollution does NOT stop 2km from the airport, or just 1,000ft altitude. DfT is wrong

Teddington Action Group (TAG) have been doing research into how likely it is that air pollution will get worse, if Heathrow is allowed a 3rd runway. Their investigations indicate that government has not assessed this properly, and has ignored relevant available information from other airports. TAG say that according to Heathrow, emissions from planes do not contribute notably to emissions once the plane is above 1,000ft. The Airports Commission and DfT and its advisors set a study area of just 2 kilometres from the expanded airport boundary. There is much evidence to indicate that is wrong. Planes emit significant amounts of NO2 and particulates, which find their way down to the ground (and by definition into humans and living creatures as well as vegetation). The DfT deny this but the empirical evidence does not support the DfT. Studies between 2014 and 2016 at Los Angeles, Atlanta and Schiphol, Amsterdam, strongly suggest otherwise. Mobile monitors set up under the inward flight paths show that particulates and NO2 are transmitted by the wind up to some 20 kilometres down wind. See full article for details.

Click here to view full story…

Alistair Osborne of the Times: Heathrow expansion shows Gove’s air pollution strategy is hot air

In a blog by Alistair Osborne, of the Times, he says on air pollution: “No government minister ever got anywhere without being able to think two contradictory ideas at once. So why should Michael Gove be different? The environment secretary’s just published his Clean Air Strategy, complete with the rallying cry: “We must take strong, urgent action.” And what sort of action has the government he represents got in mind? That’s right: building a £14 billion 3rd runway at Heathrow. Yes, the same one that transport secretary Chris Grayling admits may well cause more pollution. Or, as last year’s Airports National Policy Statement put it: “Increases in emissions of pollutants during the construction or operational phases of the scheme could result in the worsening of local air quality.” Bizarrely, the H-word doesn’t get a mention in Mr Gove’s 109-page document. But maybe he didn’t want to draw attention to one awkward fact: that air quality around the airport is already in breach of EU limits for nitrogen dioxide emissions.  Read the whole article  …..

Click here to view full story…

Study identifies heavy metals in high concentrations of potentially harmful airborne nanoparticles around Trudeau airport.

A recent study by scientists at Montreal’s McGill university has found unusually high concentrations of potentially harmful airborne aerosols containing nanoparticles around Montreal’s Trudeau airport. Some contained chromium and arsenic. The study, published in December 2018 in the prestigious journal “Environmental Pollution” found these observations were statistically higher than corresponding measurements in downtown Montreal and at major highways during rush hour. The airport is thus a hotspot for nanoparticles containing “emerging contaminants” (substances produced by human activities that have, or are suspected to have, adverse ecological and/or human health effects.) The study found trends in levels of nanoparticles during the day showed concentrations that exhibited peaks during times with many flights, also showing correlations with pollutants (CO, NOx, and O3) – confirming the  anthropogenic source of the aerosols. The nanoparticles, especially containing heavy metals, are potentially a matter of public health. The study detected up to 2 million particles per cubic centimetre of air, which is more than the amount found so far at other airports.  More studies need to be carried out, as health is at stake.

Click here to view full story…

Teddington TAG shows London Assembly data proves Heathrow NOx travels far, far away from the airport (not just Grayling’s “2km”)

The Airports Commission had, as its study area for the effects of Heathrow expansion, an area of just 2 kilometres from the boundary of the expanded airport. Chris Grayling wrote to the Chair of the Transport Committee on the 23rd February 2018 saying that this area “captures over 98% of additional emissions that could occur from expansion”. Teddington TAG asks if this figure of 98% emissions captured within 2 km of the boundary is true. They located air pollution data from the London Assembly, available by Borough. It apportions how much of the NOx in different areas is from vehicles, aviation and other sources. This shows that in Richmond Old Deer Park, according to the Data Apportionment Tool, about 77% of the NOx is from aviation. In Kew / North Sheen, 11km from touch-down, about 57% is from aviation.  At Putney, which is under the flight path but is over 15 km from touch-down at Heathrow, about 33% of the NOx is from aviation. Putney is worse off than Kew as total emissions are greater. And all that is just from 2 runways! Aviation apportionment readings stretch back to Clapham Junction and beyond. So why did Grayling tell the Transport Committee that 98% was within 2km.  Ignorance of the facts? Failure to be properly informed?

Click here to view full story…

Air pollution by NOx linked to much greater risk of dementia

Research published in the BMJ indicates there is an increase in the chance of developing dementia. About 131,000 patients in London aged between 50 and 79 were followed for 7 years, with air pollution exposure estimated by post code. People over 50 in areas with the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air showed a 40% greater risk of developing dementia than those with the least NOx pollution, according to data from London. The observational study cannot establish that air pollution was a direct cause of the dementia cases, but the link between higher pollution and higher levels of dementia diagnosis could not be explained by other factors known to raise risks of the disease.  Air pollution has already been linked with cardiovascular and respiratory disease, but this is one of the first studies to examine links with neurodegenerative illness.  It is possible that perhaps 60,000 of the total 850,000 dementia cases in the UK may be made worse by air pollution.  This adds to the body of research on the wide-ranging effects of air pollution, including evidence that particles of pollutants can cross the placenta – an evidence from  China of a “huge” reduction in intelligence associated with breathing dirty air, equivalent to losing a year’s education.

Click here to view full story…

Air pollution particles found in mothers’ placentas

Scientists have found the first evidence that particles of air pollution travel through pregnant women’s lungs and lodge in their placentas. Toxic air is already strongly linked to harm in foetuses but how the damage is done is unknown. The new study, involving mothers living in London, UK, revealed sooty particles in the placentas of each of their babies and researchers say it is quite possible the particles entered the foetuses too. A series of previous studies have shown that air pollution significantly increases the risk of premature birth and of low birth weight, leading to lifelong damage to health. A large study of more than 500,000 births in London, published in December, confirmed the link and led doctors to say that the implications for many millions of women in polluted cities around the world are “something approaching a public health catastrophe”. Scientists are increasingly finding that air pollution results in health problems far beyond the lungs. In August, research revealed that air pollution causes a “huge” reduction in intelligence, while in 2016 toxic nanoparticles from air pollution were discovered in human brains.

Click here to view full story…

Data shows the NOx produced by Heathrow planes is over double that produced by road vehicles

There is a widely held belief that Heathrow’s NO2 air pollution is largely due to road vehicles, and as long as measures can be taken to reduce these a bit, then a 3rd runway could be allowed. However, research indicates that the aircraft are producing even more NOx than the road vehicles, and there is far less that can be done to cut these emissions. Indeed, if there were to be almost 50% more Heathrow flights, the amount of NOx generated by the aircraft alone would mean a massive increase locally. That is not taking into account all the extra road traffic that would inevitably be generated by a larger Heathrow, including businesses etc that locate near the airport and all their traffic. The 2013 figures from a study for Heathrow, by Ricardo-AEA Ltd show the amount of NOx emitted from planes up to 1000 metres altitude was 2761 tonnes NOx/ year, and 1524 tonnes from aircraft on the ground (ie a total of 4285 tonnes/ year). Also 274 tonnes/year from other airport sources. Then 350 tonnes/year from Heathrow associated trips on main roads in a 11km x 11km area, and 1661 tonnes/ year from non-Heathrow associated traffic in that 11x11km area. (ie. a total of 2011 for all road traffic). So the amount from planes is way over twice the amount from road vehicles. And that ignores the NOx from planes in the wider area, over 1000 metres altitude.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Evidence on air pollution, given to the High Court hearings on a 3rd Heathrow runway, by Neil Spurrier

Neil Spurrier, a solicitor from Teddington, made one of the 5 legal challenges against the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision to approve a 3rd Heathrow runway, through the Airports National Policy Statement. The legal hearings from the councils, the Mayor of London, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Plan B Earth and Mr Spurrier took place between the 15th and 19th March. There are transcripts of each day’s proceedings here. Neil addressed the issue of air pollution in particular, and the emissions of NO2 and particulates from planes themselves. He made important points, such as that air pollution is known to spread much, much further from an airport than the 2 km that the DfT has tried to use. Also that there is evidence of possible damage to the foetus from particulates found in placentas of people affected by air pollution, and that the government should not be risking the health of future generations. He made the point, on ultrafine particles, that merely because they have not been specifically studied (being part of the wider category of PM 2.5), is no reason for the government to discount them or consider their impact to be negative. The absence of evidence is not enough to avoid the precautionary principle. Read the full transcripts for details.
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The details of what Neil Spurrier said in his presentations to the Court, on 14th and 19th March – just on the subject of air pollution – are on this link.

Neil Spurrier on air pollution at High Court


Below are links to the transcripts of the first 7 days of the court hearings, dealing with the legal challenges by the Councils, Greenpeace and the Mayor of London; also Friends of the Earth; Plan B Earth; and Mr Neil Spurrier.  The last 3 days of the hearings ( 20th, 21st and 22nd March) are devoted only to the Heathrow Hub legal challenge

Links to all the transcripts are at

https://www.judiciary.uk/publications/heathrow-claimants-v-the-secretary-of-state-for-transport-transcripts/ 

The Court website says: “These transcripts have not been approved by the court.”

 

Judicial Review of National Policy Statement – Transcript of the presentation of Neil Spurrier.

 

Just a few extracts from Neil Spurrier’s presentation, are copied below:

 

But I would like to address you, my Lords, on the

emissions from the aircraft themselves.

It is, as I understand it, my Lords, the Secretary

of State’s case that they have little effect and,

indeed, Heathrow themselves have stated in meetings with

us that they don’t have effect.

============

Caroline Low, in her first witness statement, has also

confirmed this at paragraph 422.  That is volume 4,

tab 1, page 173.  In which she says:

“Where the AOS [Appraisal of Sustainability] provides estimates of population

affected by worse air quality, this is based on the

population within the 2-kilometre study area identified

by the Airports Commission.”

LORD JUSTICE HICKINBOTTOM:  Yes.

MR SPURRIER:  Now, I say that it is fundamentally wrong to

confine the study area for Heathrow expansion to

encompass just a 2-kilometre radius round the boundary

of the intended expanded airport.

The Secretary of State appears to make light of this

part of my claim.  He says, in his skeleton argument,

that “much ink has been spilt” on this.

I am sorry, but I come back, my Lords, to say that

bad air quality, below the required legal standards,

spills a lot more than just ink.

 

===========

That is Caroline Low’s witness statement

and, at paragraph 14, page 311, Caroline Low says:

“As shown above, the concentration of pollutants

decreases quickly as you move away from the POE [and

that is point of emission, I imagine].  This effect is

so pointed that the search presented by DEFRA found that

aircraft emissions produced above 100 metres altitude

have almost no impact on the ground level concentration.

“Two thirds of emissions from the landing and take

off cycle occur above 100 metres, and therefore two

thirds of the aircraft emissions have a negligible

impact on human health.”

============

The date of this document is 2018 and it comes

out just slightly after the national policy statement.

But, my Lords, first of all, it is a government

document, so I would say that the contents must have

been known, certainly ought to have been known, prior to

the ANPS.

==========

The public law error, my Lord, is, firstly,

Heathrow operates in an area which is in breach of the

air quality regulations.  The air quality in the London

boroughs — in none of the London boroughs, is my

understanding, is scheduled to comply until well after

  1. So, any increase in emissions is going to cause

a further breach of the law.  We already have an

estimate, or a forecast, that if Heathrow is allowed to

expand there is an 80 per cent chance of there being

a further breach in 2026.  High.  Mr Jaffey addressed

you on that.

From what I am saying, my Lords, that 80 per cent

may be low because there is a whole area that simply has

not been assessed.

===========

Section 1.5, “Health

concerns”:

“ultrafine particles penetrate deep into the

respiratory system, allowing interactions with lung

tissue and potential translocation into the

bloodstream.”

I’ll mention, my Lords, that there is a report now

from Queen Mary’s Hospital, which shows that this

actually does happen.

“This together with the hypothesis that the toxicity

of particulate matter is governed by the surface area of

the particulates, rather than their mass, has led to

suggestions that ultrafine particles may be particularly

harmful to health.”

HEI, that is the Health Effects Institute 2013.

===========

Caroline Low, [DfT] at page 321,

paragraph 35:

“Mr Spurrier references research ‘endorsed’ by

DEFRA’s air quality expert group that appears to show

that dispersion of particulates occurs over a wide area

and that therefore the study area drawn from the air

quality modelling is too narrow.

“While DEFRA’s report does reference these studies,

it in no way endorses them.  The research DEFRA

highlights is in respect of UFP, a form of particulate

matter emitted from aircraft.  Unlike NOx and

particulate matter UFP are not currently the basis of

air quality legislation and are not the subject of air

quality modelling.

==========

DEFRA’s air quality

expert group in their latest report still maintain that

aviation emissions above 100 metres have little impact

on ground level concentrations.”

I have to say, my Lord, I have searched the DEFRA’s

air quality expert group report and I have found no

indication whatsoever of that last statement.  Indeed,

the passage I have just read out to you shows that they

do have an effect.

I think my Lords, it was my friend Mr Crosland,

yesterday, who made the point — I think in connection

with climate change — that if you don’t know what the

answer is, the answer is not nought.

===========

but if I could take you to the abstracts because they do

show that these plane exhaust particulates spread at

least 20 kilometres and maybe even 40 kilometres

downwind.

============

 

“Over large areas downwind of LAX, [Los Angeles] concentrations of

pollutants other than PM were also elevated, figures

5(a) to (c) [and I will come to those in a minute] show

nearly indistinguishable spatial patterns of PM BC [that

is black carbon] and NO2 concentration measured

simultaneously at distances of 9.5 to 12 kilometres from

LAX.  This suggests a common source for these

pollutants …”

The figures 5(a) to (c) are just above that.  So,

here we have, my Lords, a study that is primarily on

particulates, but also did measure nitrogen dioxide,

which is clearly very much within the EU Regulations

2008 50.

===========

.  The issues are, firstly, whether or not the

18       Secretary of State has adopted a rational approach and,

19       secondly, whether he has considered matters which he

20       ought to have considered.

21           In my submission, it is not rational to disregard

22       likely impacts that could have very long and harmful

23       consequences simply because they have not been

24       addressed.

============

21           If I may, I will clarify one point about the UFPs [ultrafine particles]

22       that was raised in my last submission.  In the website

23       statement of the Queen Mary’s Hospital report on

24       particulates and the placentas of expectant mothers —

25       that is at volume 13, tab 8, page 99 — it is said that

1       as yet there is no specific evidence of the transfer of

2       particulates from the placenta to the foetus.  However,

3       I would draw your Lordships’ attention to the statement

4       that there is actual harm done to the foetus directly

5       from the particulates that have made their way into the

6       placenta.

7           I refer my Lords to page 100, in volume 13, tab 8,

8       which says:

9           “We do not know whether the particles we found could

           10       also move across into the foetus, but our evidence

           11       suggests that this is indeed possible.  We also know

           12       that the particles do not need to get into the baby’s

           13       body to have an adverse effect because if they have an

          14       effect on the placenta, this will have a direct impact

           15       on the foetus.”

 

===============

9           Just to remind us, my Lords, the principle is:

10           “Sustainable development can be summarised as

11       meeting the needs of the present without compromising

12       the ability of future generations to meet their own

13       needs.”

14           The Secretary of State is not having any regard to

15       the precautionary principle.  Indeed, I would submit it

16       is more of a gung-ho principle.  He has not acknowledged

17       my claim in respect of the particulates and nitrogen

18       dioxide being transmitted downwind from planes in the

19       air.  I pleaded it in paragraph 38 of my statement.  The

20       Secretary of State did not address that part of my

21       claim.  I raised it in my skeleton argument, and again

22       it was not addressed.

 

==========

See more at 

Neil Spurrier on air pollution at High Court

 

Read more »

Severe impact of 3rd Heathrow runway on residents laid out in High Court hearing

The Government’s approval of a third runway is being challenged at the High Court by a coalition of councils, residents, environmental charities and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.  Representing five London boroughs, Greenpeace and Mr Khan, Nigel Pleming QC said the plans could see the number of passengers using Heathrow rise to around 132 million, a 60% increase.  Mr Pleming said: “The new development, if it goes ahead, will add, in effect, a new airport with the capacity of Gatwick to the north of Heathrow” and that the adverse effects and consequences for local residents of such an expansion are “bound to be severe”. The legal challenges (other than the one by Heathrow Hub) say the Government’s National Policy Statement (NPS) setting out its support for the project fails to properly deal with the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and congestion.  The claimants argue the NPS is unlawful and should be quashed, which would mean the Government would have to start the process again and put it to another vote in Parliament. Scores of demonstrators gathered outside the court ahead of the hearing, addressed by MPs, Council leaders and campaigners. All are determined that this runways is NOT going to go ahead. The hearings will last for 2 weeks.
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Heathrow expansion would have ‘severe’ consequences for Londoners, court hears

by KATY CLIFTON (Evening Standard)

11th March 2019

Controversial plans to expand Heathrow would have “severe” consequences for Londoners, the High Court has heard.

The Government’s approval of a third runway is being challenged by a coalition of councils, residents, environmental charities and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Representing five London boroughs, Greenpeace and Mr Khan, Nigel Pleming QC said the plans could see the number of passengers using Heathrow rise to around 132 million, a 60 per cent increase.

Scores of demonstrators gathered outside the court ahead of the hearing, which was told the expansion would effectively create a “new airport”.

Demonstrators gather outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London (PA)

On Monday, the first day of a two-week hearing, Mr Pleming said: “The new development, if it goes ahead, will add, in effect, a new airport with the capacity of Gatwick to the north of Heathrow.”

He added that the adverse effects and consequences for local residents of such an expansion are “bound to be severe”.

The case is being brought against Transport Secretary Chris Grayling by local authorities and residents in London affected by the expansion and environmental charities.

Just one of the many horrors of the expansion planned by Heathrow would be as many as 700 more flights using the airport per day. Every day. That means a MASSIVELY increased noise burden. And hugely higher CO2 emissions. And much more air pollution, from both planes & vehicles

 

They claim the Government’s National Policy Statement (NPS) setting out its support for the project fails to properly deal with the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and congestion.

The claimants argue the NPS is unlawful and should be quashed, which would mean the Government would have to start the process again and put it to another vote in Parliament.

Mr Pleming said the building of a third runway at Heathrow, which was chosen as the preferred option for expanding airport capacity in the south east of England, is “politically controversial”.

He told the court Heathrow is the “busiest two-runway airport in the world” and is situated in a densely populated area.

He said: “If the (third runway) is the means of achieving expansion, there will be widespread consequences.

“There will be hundreds of thousands of additional flights each year across central London, and also affecting the south east.

“Thousands of people’s homes will be demolished. Hundreds of thousands will experience increased noise, worsened traffic and harmful air pollution.”

He said there were “errors” in the steps leading to the NPS which mean it is invalid.

Charities Friends Of The Earth and Plan B argue Mr Grayling failed to take enough account of the impact on air quality when reaching the decision to approve the third runway.

Lawyers representing Mr Grayling said the claimants’ case is “unarguable” and “premature”, as they will all have the opportunity to make representations at a later stage in the planning process.

Support from Labour MPs helped push through the proposals to expand Europe’s busiest airport with an overwhelming majority of 296 in a Commons vote in June last year.

Mr Grayling said at the time that the new runway would set a “clear path to our future as a global nation in the post-Brexit world”.

Construction could begin in 2021, with the third runway operational by 2026, the hearing, which is before Lord Justice Hickinbottom and Mr Justice Holgate, heard.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, whose Hayes and Harlington constituency includes Heathrow, said: “This is an iconic battleground in terms of climate change.”

Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, who previously resigned over the Government’s decision before returning to the Conservative Party, said: “It is a massive issue locally, but it’s a London issue. If you look at the proposals for flight paths, they are not specific, but they affect most of London.”

Craig Bennett, chief executive of Friends Of The Earth, said: “We absolutely do not see how you can have aviation expansion in the UK… while cutting our carbon emissions by 50% in the next 12 years.”

Executive director of Back Heathrow Parmjit Dhanda, who supports the expansion, said: “There is an awful lot of support for this project. [There were about 6 people outside the court, in a wan looking little gathering …. AW comment]

“It is really important that we see both sides of the argument.

“I think if this expansion did not go ahead, it would be a disaster for Britain in a post-Brexit world.”

A Department for Transport spokeswoman previously said: “Expansion at Heathrow is a critical programme which will provide a boost to the economy, increase our international links and create tens of thousands of new jobs.

“As with any major infrastructure project, we have been anticipating legal challenges and will robustly defend our position.”

A Heathrow spokeswoman previously said: “Our work in delivering Britain’s new runway will continue in tandem with this process following overwhelming support in Parliament.

“We remain focused on the work needed for our development consent order submission in 2020 and we are getting on with the delivery of this project which will benefit the whole of the UK.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/heathrow-expansion-would-have-severe-consequences-for-londoners-court-hears-a4088571.html?

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The transcript of the proceedings on the first day of the hearings, Monday 11th March, can be seen here:

https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/110319.txt 

 

The transcripts of all the days of the hearings can be seen at

https://www.judiciary.uk/publications/heathrow-claimants-v-the-secretary-of-state-for-transport-transcripts/

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Severe’ impact on residents of 3rd runway at Heathrow laid out in court

Judicial review focuses on air quality, climate change, noise and transport access

By Josh Spero (Financial Times)

11.3.2019

Building a third runway at Heathrow airport would have “severe” negative consequences for local residents, the High Court heard at the opening of a legal challenge to the government’s backing of the scheme.

Heathrow’s expansion was recommended by the Airports Commission and approved by MPs in June 2018 with a majority of 296. After the vote, the government adopted a national policy statement, which contained principles for the expansion. The judicial review, which is expected to last two weeks, is looking at the process of the statement’s adoption.

Five challenges to the decision on the future of the UK’s biggest aviation hub are being heard together, including one brought by a consortium of local authorities, campaigning organisation Greenpeace and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, on the grounds of air quality, climate change, noise pollution and transport access.

Introducing the councils’ case, Nigel Pleming QC said the expansion would enable Heathrow to add 260,000 flights a year to its current 480,000 capacity. “The new development will lead to a new airport with the capacity of Gatwick to the north of Heathrow,” he said, referring to the UK’s second-busiest airport. “The adverse consequences for affected residents . . . are bound to be severe.”

Mr Pleming, who acted for one of the councils in the 2010 challenge that derailed Heathrow’s last expansion attempt, laid out the grounds for the current review, which included a claim that the transport secretary had ignored the “high risk” that expansion would breach air quality standards.

He also said targets for changing how people travelled to Heathrow, moving from private cars to public transport, were “neither adequate nor achievable”, citing likely overcrowding on the London Underground’s Piccadilly line, which serves the airport as one example.

Lord Justice Hickinbottom, one of two judges presiding, said that while the complainants and members of the public had “sincere and deep concerns about issues such as air quality”, the review was concerned with the legality of the Airports National Policy Statement, rather than the merits or otherwise of expanding Heathrow.

Simon Dudley, leader of Windsor & Maidenhead council, one of the claimants in the review, said that since the Airports Commission had recommended a third runway at Heathrow, the process had developed a political inevitability: “We can’t stop going along that conveyor belt until we stop Heathrow in court,” Mr Dudley said.

He recommended building a hub airport elsewhere in the UK.

At a rally outside the High Court before the case opened, Susan Kramer, former MP for Richmond Park in south-west London, a constituency near Heathrow, said the cost of the third runway would finally fall on the public and compared it to budget overruns with Crossrail and the HS2 railway. “This whole strategy of underestimating the costs to get a project over the line and leaving it to the taxpayer to pick up the burden has run its course,” she said.

The Department for Transport said before the hearing opened: “As with any major infrastructure project, the government has been anticipating legal challenges and will robustly defend our position. We recognise the local impact of any expansion, which is why a world-class package of mitigations would need to be delivered.”

https://www.ft.com/content/3bf2da6e-4404-11e9-b168-96a37d002cd3

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Fungal blooms on the River Crane may be caused by pollution from Heathrow outfall

Local voluntary group, the Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE – or Citizen Crane) keep an eye on the river Crane, which flows past Heathrow. They monitor the water quality, oxygen levels and invertebrate numbers. It appears there is a current problem with  blooms of pale grey brown sewage fungus on the river bed found immediately downstream of the Heathrow outfall.  In the past there have been numerous incidents of water pollution caused by the use of glycol to de-ice planes. This then gets in to water balancing reservoir, and hence into the River Crane. Algal blooms are formed, due to the pollution, reducing the water’s oxygen and thus harming, or killing, creatures in the river. Heathrow is thought to have recently installed a £17 million water treatment system, and it had been hoped this would end the pollution incidents caused by glycol. However, it does not yet appear to be working as expected. FORCE will continue to monitor the situation closely and will also request a statement from Heathrow.
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Fungal blooms on the River Crane may be caused by pollution from Heathrow outfall

18.2.2019 (Facebook page of Friends of the River Crane Environment)

Reports from our Citizen Crane teams and the general public indicate that the fungal blooms we saw in the river over the last two winters have re-appeared during the last few days. These are manifesting as blooms of pale grey brown sewage fungus on the river bed (see close up photo from Donkey Wood from last Saturday) found immediately downstream of the Heathrow outfall and evolving to a darker brown silt cover to the river bed in Crane Park further downstream.

The water colour is reported as being a distinctive grey-green colour throughout much of the river to the Thames at Isleworth and a foam is developing downstream of higher energy sections. Our volunteers also report reduced invertebrate numbers and diversity from their weekend kick sampling surveys.

Following a number of severe fungal blooms in previous years Heathrow Airport has recently invested heavily in a new treatment system to deal with the glycol it uses to de-ice the aircraft and runways. These recent observations suggest the system is not yet working as expected. We shall continue to monitor the situation closely and will also request a statement from Heathrow.

Reports from our Citizen Crane teams and the general public indicate that the fungal blooms we saw in the river over the…

Posted by Friends of the River Crane Environment on Monday, 18 February 2019

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Heathrow’s report on water pollution

http://www.cranevalley.org.uk/documents/Improvements_to_Heathrow_Airport_Water_Discharges_from_Eastern_Balancing_Reservoir-Stakeholder_document.pdf

(one of those reports with no date, no author details, no address or contact details ….)

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See earlier:

Pollution Incident on River Crane in March 2018

9th March 2018
Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE) website

Citizen Crane volunteers at the three downstream sites in the river (Donkey Wood, Crane Park Island and Mill Road) have reported a pollution event – with low numbers of invertebrates in both January and February alongside extensive fungal blooms. The problem is particularly severe at Donkey Wood (see photo of the bloom from 5th March 2018) and appears to be linked to the outfall from Heathrow’s Eastern Balancing Reservoir.

The findings are being investigated by the Environment Agency as well as Heathrow. Historically, periods of cold weather have been followed by fungal blooms and linked to the use of glycol as a de-icer at the airport. Given the Citizen Crane data precede the recent severe cold weather last week then this problem may well intensify in the coming days and weeks. Our next survey will be on the weekend of 17th March.

FORCE understand the growth causes harm to invertebrates by smothering the river gravels and depriving them of oxygen. It should not be a risk to human health – although of course anyone going into the river should always carefully wash their hands before eating or drinking.

FORCE are in regular contact with Heathrow and the EA and will report any further information we receive. It is suggested that anyone with dogs looks at the water first and keep them out if there is a lot of fungus. The amount will vary with time and location but could be present anywhere downstream of Donkey Wood to the Thames. It should not harm the dog but could be a major job to clean out of their fur.

Judging from the experience of previous years the fungal growths will slowly dissipate over the next few months – and the river would benefit from heavy rainfall and high flushing flows.

Heathrow has responded to this long standing problem with interim improvements to the handling system at the Eastern Balancing Reservoir from this year and a new £17m treatment system is planned to be open by next winter. Hopefully this will be the last winter with glycol related pollution at this scale.

FORCE statement 9 March 2018
https://www.force.org.uk/news/pollution-incident-on-river-cr/

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See earlier:

 

Heathrow coach company fined £21,000 + for dumping toilet waste into River Crane

The Environment Agency (EA) has revealed that a Heathrow coach company has been fined for dumping toxic waste in the River Crane. Symphony Chauffeurs Ltd, based near Heathrow Airport, broke environmental law when staff poured waste into sewers, instead of taking the waste to an approved site for disposal.  The company has been fined and charged with allowing poisonous, noxious or polluting matter into the River Crane, between May 2015 and February 2016, and failing to provide the EA with documents relating to their activities. Responding to the news the Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) Jackie Clark-Basten, said: “We are glad about the outcome of this investigation by the Environment Agency.  Heathrow have a poor record of polluting the local area with hazardous substances (eg. de-icers like ethylene glycol, as well as cleaning fluids, paint, and kerosene) and yet in the Government’s draft National Policy Statement, they admit the likely detriment to local water quality with expansion, but also admit no work has been undertaken on this issue and it will only be undertaken at a much later stage in the process. The wider question that needs to now be asked is can we really afford to take the chance of further contamination of local water?”    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/12/heathrow-coach-company-fined-21000-for-dumping-toilet-waste-into-river-crane/

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See earlier:

 

Heathrow Airport fined for causing death of hundreds of fish

By Dan Coombs

Uxbridge Gazette

17.5.2010

Heathrow Airport has been fined £13,000 for causing the death of hundreds of fish in a nearby lake.

The Airport last week pleaded guilty to discharging pollutants into the Clockhouse
Lane Pits lake system near Bedfont in April 2008.

This caused oxygen to plummet, killing numerous stickleback, perch and tench,
and thousands more fish had to be relocated to an adjacent lake.

The airport uses a tunnel system allowing it to discharge surface water runoff
into the lake, but on this occasion the maximum lawful limits of pollutants was
exceeded.

The discharge contained glycol, a common ingredient of de-icing fluids, applied
to aeroplanes and runways during periods of cold weather at Heathrow, and it was
this which caused the death of the fish in the lake.

A spokesperson for the Environmental Agency described the effects on the fish
population as having a ‘devastating impact’ and caused a significant loss of revenue
for recreational companies working in and around the lake.

The airport paid £195,000 in compensation to the Princes Ski Club, who lease
the lake, for their loss of business, as it was forced to close for a week as
the clean-up took place.

The airport was also asked to pay £15,000 in court costs.


 

29.9.2010   (Water Briefing)       link

 

Company fined £40K for Heathrow groundwater pollution

A London company responsible for supplying jet fuel at Heathrow Airport was fined

£40,000 last week and ordered to pay the Environment Agency in excess of £14,000
for its costs, after severely polluting groundwater beneath the airport, with
at least 139,000 litres of Jet A-1 aviation fuel.

Heathrow Hydrant Operating Company Limited (HHOpCo), of 8 York Road, London SE1

had pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in June this year to causing
polluting matter to enter the Taplow Gravels groundwater, contrary to section
85 (1) and (6) of the Water Resources Act 1991. The case had been committed to
Isleworth Crown Court for sentence.

The court heard that on 29 November 2007 HHOpCo informed the Environment Agency

of a leak in the fuel supply pipeline to aircraft stands at Heathrow’s Terminal
One building. The leak was discovered by HHOpCo nine days earlier following an
unrelated report from BAA about a report of jet fuel odour in a nearby access
tunnel. Without this unrelated report, it is not known how long the leak would
have continued to go undetected for. HHOpCo conducted an overnight pressure test
on the hydrant system and confirmed the leak, but failed to notify the Environment
Agency immediately.

On further investigation HHOpCo staff identified a valve chamber full of approximately
8,000 litres of aviation fuel. Once the valve chamber was emptied, fuel was seen
leaking out of one of the attachments on the hydrant. Two bolts on the attachment
were so badly corroded that they had caused the leak, which was estimated at the
time of discovery to flow at 10 litres of fuel per minute. A later estimate corrected
the leak to 7 litres per minute. It is not known how long the leak had been going
on for or the total volume of fuel lost.

All bolts and valves on that section of pipeline were subsequently replaced to
stop the leak. The section was pressure tested and returned to normal operation
the following morning. The chamber in question has now been decommissioned.

HHOpCo attended an interview under caution at the Environment Agency office on

the 12 March 2009. The company admitted during the interview that a £7 million
automated leak detection system had been malfunctioning at the time and had not
detected the leak. This was also indicated in HHOpCo’s investigation report, which
revealed that the leak detection system was not working for at least five months
prior to the Environment Agency being notified of the incident. The company did
not put a manual testing system in place despite knowing that the automated system
was not working properly.

It quickly became clear that jet fuel had been leaking for some time. A specialist

remediation company sank boreholes to recover fuel and remediate the affected
area. As at June 2010 139,391 litres have been recovered and is still being recovered
at a rate of 80—100 litres per week.   The cost of remediation to date is approximately
£1 million.

Mohammed Jama, the Environment Agency’s lead officer on the case, said:

“Heathrow Hydrant Operating Company’s carelessness has led to the extensive pollution of groundwater. Fortunately, to date, we have not seen any major impact to local rivers but jet fuel in groundwater has the potential to seriously harm the environment and water quality. The fine issued reflects the serious effect that HHOpCo’s failures have had on the Taplow Gravels.”

“Once groundwater becomes polluted it is very difficult to clean up. We hope that the fine issued will act as a prompt to HHOpCo and similar companies, reminding them of the importance of compliance and making sure that their actions do not cause harm to or damage the environment.”

HHOpCo’s contractors have been in charge of remediation and monitoring of the
fuel plume and continue to provide updates to the Environment Agency.

29.9.2010   (Water Briefing)
https://www.waterbriefing.org/index.php/home/regulation-and-legislation/item/2817-company-fined-%C2%A340k-for-heathrow-groundwater-pollution?tmpl=component&print=1

 

Company fined £40K for Heathrow groundwater pollution

A London company responsible for supplying jet fuel at Heathrow Airport was fined

£40,000 last week and ordered to pay the Environment Agency in excess of £14,000
for its costs, after severely polluting groundwater beneath the airport, with
at least 139,000 litres of Jet A-1 aviation fuel.

Heathrow Hydrant Operating Company Limited (HHOpCo), of 8 York Road, London SE1

had pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in June this year to causing
polluting matter to enter the Taplow Gravels groundwater, contrary to section
85 (1) and (6) of the Water Resources Act 1991. The case had been committed to
Isleworth Crown Court for sentence.

The court heard that on 29 November 2007 HHOpCo informed the Environment Agency

of a leak in the fuel supply pipeline to aircraft stands at Heathrow’s Terminal
One building. The leak was discovered by HHOpCo nine days earlier following an
unrelated report from BAA about a report of jet fuel odour in a nearby access
tunnel. Without this unrelated report, it is not known how long the leak would
have continued to go undetected for. HHOpCo conducted an overnight pressure test
on the hydrant system and confirmed the leak, but failed to notify the Environment
Agency immediately.

On further investigation HHOpCo staff identified a valve chamber full of approximately
8,000 litres of aviation fuel. Once the valve chamber was emptied, fuel was seen
leaking out of one of the attachments on the hydrant. Two bolts on the attachment
were so badly corroded that they had caused the leak, which was estimated at the
time of discovery to flow at 10 litres of fuel per minute. A later estimate corrected
the leak to 7 litres per minute. It is not known how long the leak had been going
on for or the total volume of fuel lost.

All bolts and valves on that section of pipeline were subsequently replaced to
stop the leak. The section was pressure tested and returned to normal operation
the following morning. The chamber in question has now been decommissioned.

HHOpCo attended an interview under caution at the Environment Agency office on

the 12 March 2009. The company admitted during the interview that a £7 million
automated leak detection system had been malfunctioning at the time and had not
detected the leak. This was also indicated in HHOpCo’s investigation report, which
revealed that the leak detection system was not working for at least five months
prior to the Environment Agency being notified of the incident. The company did
not put a manual testing system in place despite knowing that the automated system
was not working properly.

It quickly became clear that jet fuel had been leaking for some time. A specialist

remediation company sank boreholes to recover fuel and remediate the affected
area. As at June 2010 139,391 litres have been recovered and is still being recovered
at a rate of 80—100 litres per week.   The cost of remediation to date is approximately
£1 million.

Mohammed Jama, the Environment Agency’s lead officer on the case, said:

“Heathrow Hydrant Operating Company’s carelessness has led to the extensive pollution of groundwater. Fortunately, to date, we have not seen any major impact to local rivers but jet fuel in groundwater has the potential to seriously harm the environment and water quality. The fine issued reflects the serious effect that HHOpCo’s failures have had on the Taplow Gravels.”

“Once groundwater becomes polluted it is very difficult to clean up. We hope that the fine issued will act as a prompt to HHOpCo and similar companies, reminding them of the importance of compliance and making sure that their actions do not cause harm to or damage the environment.”

HHOpCo’s contractors have been in charge of remediation and monitoring of the
fuel plume and continue to provide updates to the Environment Agency.

 

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and more at

 

Airports, glycols in de-icing liquids and Heathrow local water pollution

 

Read more »

ICAO’s environment committee comes up with some standards for new aircraft, years ahead

The meeting of the ICAO “Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) in Montreal has ended. The committee’s purpose is to try to reduce and limit the environmental damage done by the aviation industry (noise, air pollution, carbon emissions).  It has not been very successful to date. This meeting has agreed on an

Aircraft Engine Standard: “A new stringency level that would limit the emissions of non-volatile Particulate Matter (nvPM) from aircraft engines was agreed. The ICAO standard is expected to drive technologies to address non-volatile particulate matter, which in the long run will minimise their potential environmental and health impacts.” ie. for planes yet to be built, with any impacts decades ahead. At least admitting the problem of PM particles produced by planes.  On noise ICAO said: “The meeting also delivered …improvements of aircraft noise up to 15.5 dB below Chapter 14 limits for single-aisle aircraft by 2027, NOx emission by 54 per cent relative to the latest ICAO NOx SARPs and fuel efficiency up to 1.3% per annum can be expected for the new aircraft entering into production.” Again, for new planes, with no real impact for decades. On CORSIA they said CAEP had agreement (not spelled out) on how to assess life-cycle CO2 emissions reductions for biofuels or other lower carbon fuels.  ie. not a lot.
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Sustainable aviation takes significant step forward at ICAO 

​Global measures to address aviation’s environmental impact were agreed at a meeting of the two hundred and fifty experts of ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), which concluded today ICAO’s Montréal headquarters today.

​Montréal, 15 February 2019

ICAO website

Global measures to address aviation’s environmental impact were agreed at a meeting of the two hundred and fifty experts of ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), which concluded today.

The meeting was opened by Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the Council of ICAO, recognizing that “In the 35 years since the CAEP was established, the scope of work and the technical areas which it covers have widened. Yet, despite the monumental challenges set before it, the CAEP remains a tremendous example of international cooperation.”

The main outcomes of the meeting are as follows:

Aircraft Engine Standard

A new stringency level that would limit the emissions of non-volatile Particulate Matter (nvPM) from aircraft engines was agreed. The ICAO standard is expected to drive technologies to address non-volatile particulate matter, which in the long run will minimize their potential environmental and health impacts.

With this new standard, ICAO has completed all main environmental standards for the certification of aircraft and engines, namely for noise, local air quality (NOx, HC, CO, nvPM) and climate change (CO2), making the aviation industry the only sector with environmental mandatory certification requirements at the global level for the operation of its equipment. Once applicable, all new aircraft will need to be certified to those ICAO standards before operating.

The meeting also delivered new technology goals for the sector, including improvements of aircraft noise up to 15.5 dB below Chapter 14 limits for single-aisle aircraft by 2027, NOx emission by 54 per cent relative to the latest ICAO NOx SARPs and fuel efficiency up to 1.3 per cent per annum can be expected for the new aircraft entering into production.

Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) 

Agreement has been achieved on the means to calculate and claim the benefits accrued from the use of sustainable aviation fuels within the context of CORSIA. This is significant in terms of reducing airlines’ offsetting requirements.

The agreement included the default values and the methodologies for calculating actual values needed to calculate the life-cycle CO2 emissions reduction benefits of different feedstocks. CAEP has also agreed on the requirements for Sustainability Certification Schemes (SCS) and a process to evaluate and recommend a list of eligible SCS, which will certify fuels against the CORSIA sustainability criteria. This package of agreements provides the clarity needed for the energy sector to embark in the production of sustainable fuels for aviation, and is an important step towards CORSIA implementation.

In addition, CAEP has delivered a recommendation for the rules and procedure for the ICAO Council’s Technical Advisory Body (TAB), which will evaluate the eligibility of emissions units for use in CORSIA. Another agreement was the technical updates of Environmental Technical Manual on CORSIA, which clarifies the recommended actions by States and airlines for monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions under CORSIA.

Environmental Trends and Outlook 

The meeting agreed on the updated ICAO environmental trends for noise, local air quality (NOx and nvPM) and global climate (CO2), which will be the basis for the considerations of ICAO environmental policies at the next ICAO Assembly, in September 2019.

Important publications were also developed as part of ICAO’s eco-airport toolkit collection in the areas of renewable energy, waste management, environmental management, and eco-design of airport building.

Regarding climate change adaptation, a Synthesis Report was approved for publication, providing important information on the climate risk impacts and resilient options for the sector.

Two other important reports were agreed: one on the state of aircraft end-of-life and recycling; and the other on performance-based navigation and community engagement.

The meeting further agreed with the results of the assessment of the positive effects of operational improvements. The assessment showed that the implementation of these measures, as per ICAO global plans, savings of fuel between of 167 to 307 kg per flight can be achieved by 2025. This corresponds respectively to a reduction of 26.2 to 48.2 Mt of CO2. The meeting agreed on the publication of the white paper “State of the Science 2019: Aviation Noise Impacts Workshop”.

CAEP also considered the progress that has been achieved towards supersonic transport operations, and agreed that an exploratory study should be undertaken.

CAEP will also assess how to certify other new technologies such as hybrid and electric aircraft as part of its future work.

CAEP is a technical body of the ICAO Council, and all the technical recommendations agreed by CAEP above will be considered by the Council for final approval.

https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/Sustainable-aviation-takes-significant-step-forward-at-ICAO.aspx

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See earlier:

Critics attack secrecy at UN’s ICAO CAEP committee, tasked with cutting global airline CO2 emissions

A UN ICAO committee, Committee on Aviation and Environmental Protection (CAEP), with the job of cutting global aircraft carbon emissions (an issue of global concern) is meeting secretly, for discussions dominated by airline industry observers. The committee always meets behind closed doors; the press and other observers are not allowed in (unlike other UN committees).  The committee’s agenda and discussion documents are not released to the public or the international press. Anyone who leaks documents being discussed faces “unlimited liability for confidentiality breaches”, according to ICAO rules.  The only non-governmental body not linked to the airline industry allowed into the meeting is the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA), made up of a small group of international environmental NGOs. Transparency International says “Agencies which set common global standards for large, international industries have to be transparent in order to prevent capture by corporate interests … ”  A key concern is that the committee wants to certify biofuels, that are definitely NOT environmentally sustainable, as low carbon. And also fossil oil, produced using solar energy – also NOT a low carbon fuel. The committee needs to be open to public scrutiny.

Click here to view full story…

ICAO’s CORSIA low standards on biofuels risk undercutting EU’s new renewables rules

The UN’s ICAO is a secretive organisation, that has been woefully ineffective in limiting the CO2 emissions of global aviation. There are considerable concerns that it will try to get bad biofuels certified as low carbon, in order to whitewash the sector’s emissions in future. The global deal, CORSIA, making the first tentative steps towards restricting aviation CO2 at all is just starting. There is, elsewhere, growing understanding that biofuels are generally not the way forward, and their real lifecycle carbon emissions are far higher than their proponents make out. ICAO has now agree 2 criteria (out of 12 possible) for aviation biofuels. These are that there should have been no deforestation after 2009; and there should be at least a saving of 10% of green house gas emissions, (including emissions from indirect land-use change or ILUC) compared to fossil jet kerosene. ICAO’s environment committee will develop rules for what biofuels can be credited – ie. how much of an emissions reduction each biofuel delivers.  The effect can only be accurately accounted for using models. There is a serious danger they will try and include palm oil. And countries like Saudi Arabia are trying to get “lower carbon” fossil fuels included, if their production can be 10% more carbon efficient.  So aviation will continue to emit vast amounts of carbon for decades….

Click here to view full story…

Experts say legal obstacles no barrier to introducing aviation fuel tax for flights in Europe

EU countries can end the decades-long exemption on taxing aviation fuel. Legal experts say it is possible to tax kerosene on flights between EU countries. This could either be done at EU level through a series of bilateral agreements or by agreement between individual countries. Transport & Environment (T&E) has found that the old argument that foreign carriers’ operating within the EU – de facto a small number of flights – can’t be taxed can be overcome by introducing a de minimis threshold below which fuel burn would not be taxed.  At present (and for decades past) airlines, unlike almost all other forms of transport, pay no fuel tax on flights within or from the EU – even though aviation causes 5% of global warming. They also pay no VAT.  Despite the aviation industry’s attempts to hide behind the 1944 Chicago Convention, when the agreement was made on not taxing aviation fuel, that is not what is preventing fuel taxation. In fact it is old bilateral ‘air service agreements’ that European governments signed up to years ago that include mutual fuel tax exemptions for non-EU airlines. It remains too hard to tax fuel for international, non-EU, flights.

Click here to view full story…

CORSIA and its failings explained – great piece from Carbon Brief

In a long, detailed and very informative article from Carbon Brief, Jocelyn Timperley explains the CORSIA scheme for aircraft carbon emissions, and its failings. While airlines are starting this year to measure and record their carbon emissions for the first time, it is not expected that the scheme will do anything much to limit aviation carbon.  “It can be expected to “modestly reduce” the net climate impact of international aviation up to 2035, according to the (ICCT). This is only if high-quality offsets are used and those offsets are not “double counted”, the think-tank adds….  Unless it is extended beyond 2035, Corsia will cover only 6% of projected CO2 emissions from all international aviation between 2015 and 2050, ICCT data indicates.”  That assumes China will partake from the pilot phase. “Base emissions continue to grow under Corsia due to uncovered traffic….. The ICCT argues this means Corsia “does not obviate the need for an ICAO long-term climate goal”. Because of a range of issues, like biofuels, offsets, forestry etc : “It’s not just that Corsia is a weak measure – it’s that it’s an actively bad measure, that risks doing more harm than good.”

Click here to view full story…

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TAG: Heathrow air pollution does NOT stop 2km from the airport, or just 1,000ft altitude. DfT is wrong

Teddington Action Group (TAG) have been doing research into how likely it is that air pollution will get worse, if Heathrow is allowed a 3rd runway. Their investigations indicate that government has not assessed this properly, and has ignored relevant available information from other airports. TAG say that according to Heathrow, emissions from planes do not contribute notably to emissions once the plane is above 1,000ft. The Airports Commission and DfT and its advisors set a study area of just 2 kilometres from the expanded airport boundary. There is much evidence to indicate that is wrong. Planes emit significant amounts of NO2 and particulates, which find their way down to the ground (and by definition into humans and living creatures as well as vegetation). The DfT deny this but the empirical evidence does not support the DfT. Studies between 2014 and 2016 at Los Angeles, Atlanta and Schiphol, Amsterdam, strongly suggest otherwise. Mobile monitors set up under the inward flight paths show that particulates and NO2 are transmitted by the wind up to some 20 kilometres down wind. See full article for details.

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FLIGHT PATH CONSULTATION, EMISSIONS AND EXPANSION OF HEATHROW

TAG (Teddington Action Group) blog

Noise will be an absolute key area of the flight path consultation and our responses. However, what about air quality and emissions? Will an extra 25,000 flights with the existing two runways bring about any deterioration in air quality?

First some facts and rules:

NO2 (Nitrogen dioxide) is harmful to humans. According to a UK Government study in 2015 “Studies of long-term exposure to NO2 report associations with all-cause, respiratory and cardiovascular mortality, children’s respiratory symptoms and lung function”.

NOx is a generic term for NO and NO2. NO is relatively unstable and will convert to NO2 if exposed to oxygen.

Particulates are harmful to humans. Particulates are tiny particles. Sometimes they are carbon, but they can be tiny particles of metal. Particles are often put into three sizes:

PM10 – these are particles up to 10 micrometres (10 millionths of a metre) in diameter. These are often called course particles. These are legally defined as particulate matter which passes through a size-selective inlet as defined in the reference method for the sampling and measurement of PM10

PM2.5 – these are particles up to 2.5 micrometres in diameter and are often called fine particles. These are legally defined as particulate matter which passes through a size-selective inlet as defined in the reference method for the sampling and measurement of PM2.5. Diesel engines emit a significant amount of PM2.5s

Ultra-Fine Particles (UFP) do not have a specific legal definition, but scientists consider these to have a diameter of up to 0.1 micrometres or 100 nanometres. They do however come within the legal definition of PM2.5s since they will pass through a PM2.5 inlet or filter. Ultra-Fine Particles are particularly harmful as when emitted there are so many of them and they have a large total area. They are known to get into the blood stream and in recent research by Queen Mary’s University Hospital have been found in the placentas of pregnant women.

Dr Miyashita of the Hospital said: “We’ve known for a while that air pollution affects foetal development and can continue to affect babies after birth and throughout their lives. We were interested to see if these effects could be due to pollution particles moving from the mother’s lungs to the placenta. Until now, there has been very little evidence that inhaled particles get into the blood from the lung.”

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The EU passed legislation in 2008 requiring air quality to be of a certain standard. This was EU Directive 2008/50. This EU legislation was then adopted by the UK into The Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010. These regulations lay down certain requirements:

  • The Government must have ensured that by 2010 with a long-stop date of 2015 that NO2 is limited to 40 micrograms per cubic metre average in a year, PM10s are limited to 40 micrograms per cubic metre average in a year and PM2.5s are limited to 25 micrograms per cubic metre average in a year. In addition:
  • The Government must “ensure that all necessary measures not entailing disproportionate costs are taken to ensure that concentrations of PM2.5…..do not exceed the target values specified”. Those target values are reduced from 25 micrograms per cubic metre under a specific duty upon the Government to reduce the national exposure to PM2.5s. That reduction is to 20 micrograms per cubic metre by 2015 and thereafter until 2020 to reach a series of levels depending on pollution concentrations to between 20 and 8.5 micrograms per cubic metre. When the target reduction gets to 8.5 micrograms, the target reduction is zero. In other words the object is to rid the country of these particulates

According to the Kings College air quality group LondonAir, the PM concentrations in all London Boroughs in 2016 failed to meet the reduction requirements. The projection is that the boroughs of Richmond, Wandsworth, Hounslow and Hillingdon will improve but all be above 13 micrograms per cubic metre of PM2.5s in 2020 rather than the target of 8.5 micrograms.

NO2 is no better. In 2013, updated in 2016, Hillingdon had substantial breaches. By 2020 Heathrow and its surrounding areas are still forecast to breach. Heathrow itself is forecast to still be in breach of the NO2 limit in 2030 – and that is with 2 runways. Heathrow has stated in the past that it does not consider that it is bound by the air quality targets within the airport boundary as it is private land.

So; will a third runway detract from the steady improvement in air quality?

According to Heathrow, emissions from planes do not contribute notably to emissions once the plane is above 1,000ft.  They have produced an illustration for their modelling to both members of the Community Noise Forum and to Parliament in evidence to the Transport Committee illustrated as follows:

The view of Heathrow is supported by the Government. Sir Howard Davies and the Airports Commission’s advisors, Jacobs, set a study area of just 2 kilometres from the expanded airport boundary. The Government Appraisal of Sustainability carried out by WSP of Exeter expressly followed the study area of Jacobs keeping it to 2 kilometres from the boundary.

Is this right though?

Empirical evidence would suggest that it is not right and that planes emit significant amounts of NO2 and particulates, which find their way down to the ground (and by definition into humans and living creatures as well as vegetation). The DfT deny this but the empirical evidence does not support the DfT.

Studies between 2014 and 2016 at Los Angeles, Atlanta and Schiphol, Amsterdam, strongly suggest otherwise. Mobile monitors set up under the inward flight paths show that particulates and NO2 are transmitted by the wind up to some 20 kilometres down wind.

Illustrations in the 2014 research paper of Los Angeles show the elevated levels taken which follow the wind direction:

Layout of Los Angeles Airport

Particulates measured by the mobile monitor having travelled downwind

Particulates shown downwind in various directions

NO2 measured well beyond 2 kilometres from the airport boundary

The text of the Los Angeles research states, amongst other things, that:

“The size of the impacted areas with high PN concentration increases was remarkable. At 16 km downwind, a 2-fold increase in PN concentration over baseline concentrations was measured across 6.5 km. Assuming a trapezoidal shaped plume with parallel edges of length 1.5 and 6.5 km, PN concentrations were at least doubled over an area of 60 km2. Eight km downwind, a 5-fold increase in PN concentrations over baseline concentrations extended across 3 km and covered a total area of 24 km2. (Concentrations in this large area exceeded 71,000 particles/cm3, the average concentration on Los Angeles freeways.14) Within 3 km of the airport boundary, concentrations were elevated nearly 10- fold, exceeding 100,000 particles/cm3, with concentrations of 150,000 particles/cm3 occurring over a several km2 area.”

We know from the recent news the terrible impact of poor air quality upon vulnerable people like asthma suffers. Should we have increases in pollution from planes – not to mention the land vehicles that will be going to and from an expanded airport?

Do the Government know of this research? The Air Quality Expert Group reporting to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2018 state that:

“More recently, Riley et al. (2016) measured downwind of two large airports in the USA: LAX and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL – Atlanta, GA), using a mobile monitoring platform. Riley et al. (2016) found a 3–5-fold increase in UFP concentrations in transects under the landing approach path to both airports, relative to surrounding urban areas with similar ground traffic characteristics. The measurements therefore suggest that aircraft plumes mix downwards to a sufficient extent to be detected at ground-level at concentrations similar in magnitude to road vehicle sources. The implications of this work are potentially important for exposure to UFP concentrations. For example, a location such as Heathrow Airport, where aircraft tend to approach the airport from the east (flying over the London conurbation), there is potential for considerable exposure to UFP from aircraft”.

The short answer is that the Government do know of this research.

The record of the Government in bringing air quality up to standard is atrocious. Mr Justice Cranston said, when giving judgment in the third ClientEarth case on whether the Government had produced a satisfactory Air Quality Program:

“It is now eight years since compliance with the 2008 Directive should have been achieved. This is the third, unsuccessful, attempt the Government has made at devising an AQP [Air Quality Program] which complies with the Directive and the domestic Regulations. Each successful challenge has been mounted by a small charity, for which the costs of such litigation constitute a significant challenge. In the meanwhile, UK citizens have been exposed to significant health risks.”

 

References

Hudda et al. Emissions from an International Airport Increase Particle Number Concentrations 4‑fold at 10 km Downwind – study at Los Angeles 2014 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215878/

Keuken et al. Total and size-resolved particle number and black carbon concentrations in urban areas near Schiphol airport (the Netherlands) 2016 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231015000175

Riley et al. Ultrafine particle size as a tracer for aircraft turbine emissions 2016. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S135223101630348X

Defra Air Quality Expert Group, Ultrafine Particles (UFP) in the UK 2018 https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat09/1807261113_180703_UFP_Report_FINAL_for_publication.pdf

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Flight Path Consultation, Emissions and expansion of Heathrow

 

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Alistair Osborne of the Times: Heathrow expansion shows Gove’s air pollution strategy is hot air

In a blog by Alistair Osborne, of the Times, he says on air pollution: “No government minister ever got anywhere without being able to think two contradictory ideas at once. So why should Michael Gove be different? The environment secretary’s just published his Clean Air Strategy, complete with the rallying cry: “We must take strong, urgent action.” And what sort of action has the government he represents got in mind? That’s right: building a £14 billion 3rd runway at Heathrow. Yes, the same one that transport secretary Chris Grayling admits may well cause more pollution. Or, as last year’s Airports National Policy Statement put it: “Increases in emissions of pollutants during the construction or operational phases of the scheme could result in the worsening of local air quality.” Bizarrely, the H-word doesn’t get a mention in Mr Gove’s 109-page document. But maybe he didn’t want to draw attention to one awkward fact: that air quality around the airport is already in breach of EU limits for nitrogen dioxide emissions.  Read the whole article  …..

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Heathrow expansion shows Gove’s strategy is hot air

he Times)

No government minister ever got anywhere without being able to think two contradictory ideas at once. So why should Michael Gove be different?

The environment secretary’s just published his Clean Air Strategy, complete with the rallying cry: “We must take strong, urgent action.” And what sort of action has the government he represents got in mind? That’s right: building a £14 billion third runway at Heathrow. Yes, the same one that transport secretary Chris Grayling admits may well cause more pollution. Or, as last year’s Airports National Policy Statement put it: “Increases in emissions of pollutants during the construction or operational phases of the scheme could result in the worsening of local air quality.”

Bizarrely, the H-word doesn’t get a mention in Mr Gove’s 109-page document. But maybe he didn’t want to draw attention to one awkward fact: that air quality around the airport is already in breach of EU limits for nitrogen dioxide emissions. True, Heathrow’s not the main culprit: the key cause is the cars on the adjacent M4, M25 and A40. The airport reckons it directly contributes only 16 per cent of emissions at two key monitoring sites. Even so, the government is yet to spell out how things will be improved by adding 260,000 flights and 50 million passengers a year.

Hence air quality’s star billing in the judicial review due to start in March: a joint effort from, among others, local authorities, the London mayor and environmental groups. The pre-trial hearing takes place today. And in the view of Friends of the Earth’s Laura MacKenzie: “The government should never have entertained the idea of a climate-wrecking third runway, with Heathrow already the UK’s single biggest source of [carbon] emissions.”

So here’s the key quandary: how to convince a judge that an airport already in breach of legal air quality limits will be less in breach after a vast expansion project. True, post-Brexit (should that ever happen), the government could simply ignore the EU’s pesky limits. But that hardly squares with Mr Gove’s latest plan. So what are the other options?

Well, Heathrow’s proposed low-emission zone within the perimeter fence will help, but the main problem is outside the fence. And even if you’re daft enough to believe its claims that it can handle an extra 50 million passengers without any rise in cars to and from the airport, what about the traffic going past?

Airports create business, £61 billion of benefits from the third runway apparently, [in fact, when the costs are subtracted from possible benefits, the net figure is somewhere between +£3 billion and about – £1.5 billion – DfT’s own figures – AW comment] which in turn creates traffic.

And even if passengers will have the option of the (delayed) Crossrail, what about the freight? Volumes are meant to be doubling. Is that also coming by public transport?

As Mr Gove reiterated yesterday, the government’s big idea is to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040. But it’s years away: far too late for this year’s judicial review over a runway due to be in service by 2026.

Will a judge really allow that to go ahead on a government promise that things may be better 14 years after it starts operations, not least a promise from this government?

In fact, that’s the problem with Mr Gove’s latest effort: it’s mainly hot air. Not mentioning Heathrow tells you that.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/gove-s-strategy-is-a-load-of-hot-air-vc3nct8p3?shareToken=098980aead1e32c53210ebbeb1961b2d

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New study by London TravelWatch shows more airline passengers using cars or cabs to get to Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton

A new report has been produced by London TravelWatch. “Way to go: Improving public transport access to London’s airports“. It gives comprehensive details about the various components of surface access transport, with information on what works well and what does not for each airport, and current state of any improvements.  The report indicates that airline passengers are more likely to travel by car or taxi to catch flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton than they were 7 years ago, in a trend they say is “concerning”. Despite major investment in rail and coach links to the three airports, the proportion of passengers using public transport actually fell slightly between 2012 and 2016. But at Stansted, with accessibility improved by new coach connections, the use of public transport had improved. The proportion using public transport fell from 41% to 39.1% at Heathrow, 44% to 43.6% at Gatwick and 33% to 31.4% at Luton. Failings of public transport and the growth of taxi apps like Uber cited as reasons. Numbers using public transport rose at Stansted from 51% to 54.7% and at London City from 50% to 50.9%. Heathrow continues to encourage car parking, from which it earns huge revenues.
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More passengers ‘shun public transport and use cars or cabs to get to airports’

by JONATHAN PRYNN  (Evening Standard)

18.1.2019

Airline passengers are more likely to travel by car or cab to catch flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton than they were seven years ago, in a trend described as “concerning” by a new report.

Despite major investment in rail and coach links to the three airports, the proportion of passengers using public transport actually fell slightly between 2012 and 2016, the survey found.

The major exception to the trend was Stansted, with accessibility improved by new coach connections directly to Underground stations such as Stratford, Paddington and Golders Green. The report, from the London TravelWatch group, said the drop in passengers using public transport “is a concerning trend if the objectives of the airports and the Mayor of London are to be met.”

The proportion using public transport fell from 41 per cent to 39.1 per cent at Heathrow, 44 per cent to 43.6 per cent at Gatwick and 33 per cent to 31.4 per cent at Luton, with public transport failings and cab apps like Uber cited as reasons. It rose at Stansted from 51 per cent to 54.7 per cent and at London City from 50 to 50.9 per cent.

London TravelWatch wants improved interchanges, Oyster/contactless extended on national rail services and more use of contactless bank cards on local buses outside Greater London.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/more-passengers-shun-public-transport-and-use-cars-or-cabs-to-get-to-airports-a4042941.html

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The report by London Travel Watch is at 

http://www.londontravelwatch.org.uk/documents/get_lob?id=4693&field=file

It has a lot on transport to and from Heathrow from Page 35 to Page 41.

And a lot of Gatwick from Page 41 to Page 46.

Then details on Stansted Page 47 to Page 49

and Luton on Page 50 to 52

and  London City airport Page 52

 

 

 

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Study identifies heavy metals in high concentrations of potentially harmful airborne nanoparticles around Trudeau airport.

A recent study by scientists at Montreal’s McGill university has found unusually high concentrations of potentially harmful airborne aerosols containing nanoparticles around Montreal’s Trudeau airport. Some contained chromium and arsenic. The study, published in December 2018 in the prestigious journal “Environmental Pollution” found these observations were statistically higher than corresponding measurements in downtown Montreal and at major highways during rush hour. The airport is thus a hotspot for nanoparticles containing “emerging contaminants” (substances produced by human activities that have, or are suspected to have, adverse ecological and/or human health effects.) The study found trends in levels of nanoparticles during the day showed concentrations that exhibited peaks during times with many flights, also showing correlations with pollutants (CO, NOx, and O3) – confirming the  anthropogenic source of the aerosols. The nanoparticles, especially containing heavy metals, are potentially a matter of public health. The study detected up to 2 million particles per cubic centimetre of air, which is more than the amount found so far at other airports.  More studies need to be carried out, as health is at stake. 
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SERIOUS AIR POLLUTION AT TRUDEAU AIRPORT

15.1.2019

A recent McGill study found unusually high concentrations of potentially harmful airborne nanoparticles around the airport. It is interesting to note that citizens on the streets ask for more studies on the subject.

‘There is some hope that people become more aware of the dangers of aircraft emissions,’ says Pierre Lachapelle from Les Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau, affiliated with UECNA, in the interview below.  At  the link below:

https://www.uecna.eu/serious-air-pollution-at-trudeau-airport/

It is a matter of public health. The new study found a high concentration of particles around the airport. Some contain heavy metals, like Chromium and Arsenic. The study published in December in the journal Environmental Pollution detected up to 2 million particles per cubic centimetre. This is more than the amount found so far in any measurement at any other airport.  People near the airport report black spots on garden furniture, probably from the airport. It is better to get as many studies as possible on this, for health. Residents agree more studies should be done.

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Most of the airborne particles are considered benign, but some nanoparticles include heavy metals that could be hazardous to your health.

Although Dr. Parisa Ariya, who conducted the study, said these particles won’t kill you, the fact that there is a high concentration of certain nanoparticles means that more research will need to be done.

Since Dr. Ariya’s study was only a physical and chemical one, she said it will require public health research.

“It definitely reccommends a concentrated, integrated study,” Ariya said.

President of citizen’s group ‘Les Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau,’ Pierre Lachapelle said he agrees that more needs to be done in terms of public health.

“Now I think it’s time to see what is the public health concern,” he said.

Concerns have already been raised, as Lachapelle’s neighbors have dealth with airborne pollution from jets leaving the airport left on their laundry.

“There are black spots on their laundry at the end of the day,” Lachapelle said.

He said he’s unsure of what that is, and Ariya said there are still many ‘unknowns’ out there.

But for Ariya, what is known for certain is that it has to be looked at a little closer before jumping to any conclusions.

“We have to do the research studies, with the collaborator from health sciences as well, then we would be able to see if the concern is valid,” Ariya said.

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Physicochemical studies of aerosols at Montreal Trudeau Airport: The importance of airborne nanoparticles containing metal contaminants

Highlights

Airborne particles at the Montreal International Airport were studied systematically.

Total number density of aerosols reached a maximum of 2 × 106 cm−3.

Correlations with pollutants (CO, NOx, and O3) confirm anthropogenic source of aerosols.

Presence of metal/metal oxide emerging nanoparticles was detected.

Airport pollutants can reach neighbouring populated areas, causing health concerns.

Abstract

Airborne particles, specifically nanoparticles, are identified health hazards and a key research domain in air pollution and climate change. We performed a systematic airport study to characterize real-time size and number density distribution, chemical composition and morphology of the aerosols (∼10 nm–10 μm) using complementary cutting-edge and novel techniques, namely optical aerosol analyzers, triple quad ICP-MS/MS and high-resolution STEM imaging. The total number density of aerosols, predominantly composed of nanoparticles, reached a maximum of 2 × 106 cm−3 and is higher than reported values from any other international airport. We also provide evidence for a wide range of metal in aerosols, and emerging metals in nanoparticles (e.g., Zn and Ni). The geometric mean, median and 99th and 1st percentile values of observed nanoparticle number densities at the apron were 1.0 × 105, 9.0 × 104, 1.2 × 106 and 9.3 × 103 cm−3, respectively. These observations were statistically higher than corresponding measurements in downtown Montreal and at major highways during rush hour. This airport is thus a hotspot for nanoparticles containing emerging contaminants. The diurnal trends in concentrations exhibit peaks during flight and rush hours, showing correlations with pollutants such as CO. The HR-TEM-EDS provided evidence for nano-sized particles produced in combustion engines. Implications of our results for air pollution and health are discussed.

    This paper has been recommended for acceptance by Prof. Wen-Xiong Wang.

     

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    Richmond Council condemns latest Heathrow consultation – for unacceptable increases in noise and air pollution

    Heathrow has a consultation, closing on 4th March, on its future airspace, both for the existing 2 runways and with a possible 3rd runway. Heathrow claim they will take the responses and view of residents etc into account. However, Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, has condemned the latest consultation – claiming 25,000 extra flights would be disastrous for the borough. He, said: “We have always said that Heathrow needs to be better and not bigger. But clearly size is everything to the airport. Heathrow are proposing the biggest changes to its flight path since it opened. People living in Richmond and other areas of West London will find their respite from overhead noise cut under these proposals. Not to mention the additional 25,000 more flights a year – which will no doubt be crammed into the early morning schedules, delivering more misery for our residents. Let’s not forget, these extra flights will still require Planning consent.” He said it was a bad case of the government “putting the cart before the horse” in having got a parliamentary vote in favour of the runway (many votes by MPs who very little indeed about it) before details of flight paths and other impacts were known.
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    Richmond Council condemns latest Heathrow consultation

    9th January 2019

    By Amar Mehta @amarmehta94
    Reporter – Richmond & Wandsworth Guardian

    The airport is asking for local communities to help shape the airport’s plans for its future airspace, both for the existing runways and as part of the proposed expansion.

    The consultation will run until March 4 and focus on three key areas: Airspace change for an expanded Heathrow, airspace change to make better use of the current runways and future operations for an expanded Heathrow.

    There will be over 30 consultation events across local boroughs throughout the consultation period, where members of the public will be able to ask questions and provide their feedback.

    A full list of dates, times and locations can be found at : http://afo.heathrowconsultation.com The nearest local event is in Twickenham on the 13 February 2019 from 2-8pm in York House.

    Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion, invites local people to participate in the consultation, she said: “Expansion at Heathrow is a unique opportunity to build a long term, sustainable legacy for those closest to the airport as well as for Britain.

    “We want to work in partnership with our local communities to ensure we make the most of the opportunity that expansion brings, including the creation of thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships.

    “We are committed to delivering expansion responsibly and putting the needs of local communities at the heart of our growth plans. This stage of open and transparent consultation is critical to developing the best outcomes from Heathrow’s future airspace and operations, and we encourage you to take part and help shape our plan for a fairer, future Heathrow.”

    However, Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, has condemned the latest consultation – claiming 25,000 extra flights would be disastrous for the borough.

    Cllr Roberts, said: “We have always said that Heathrow needs to be better and not bigger. But clearly size is everything to the airport.

    “Heathrow are proposing the biggest changes to its flight path since it opened. People living in Richmond and other areas of West London will find their respite from overhead noise cut under these proposals.

    “Not to mention the additional 25,000 more flights a year – which will no doubt be crammed into the early morning schedules, delivering more misery for our residents. Let’s not forget, these extra flights will still require Planning consent.

    “This kind of expansion would see an unacceptable rise in noise and air pollution, damaging the environment and posing a risk to people’s health – and all at a potential cost to tax payers of billions of pounds.

    “It is extremely disappointing that only now we are seeing the proposed areas affected by additional planes, seven months after the Government made its decision to expand the airport.

    “Making a decision before understanding the full impact of expansion is putting cart before horse… . again!”

    Richmond Council is part of a coalition of councils and others – including the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Windsor and Maidenhead, and Hammersmith and Fulham, as well as the Mayor of London and Greenpeace – that are seeking a judicial review of the Government’s decision to give policy support in the Airports National Policy Statement (“NPS”) for a third Heathrow runway.

    https://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/17346056.richmond-council-condemns-latest-heathrow-consultation/

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