Concern over pollution action plan delay

AN action plan to combat three “pollution hotspots” in Ipswich will not be ready until May next year at the earliest, eight months behind schedule, The Evening Star has learned.

AN action plan to combat three “pollution hotspots” in Ipswich will not be ready until May next year at the earliest, eight months behind schedule, The Evening Star has learned.

Back in July the Star revealed there were three spots in town where there are high levels of the dangerous chemical nitrogen dioxide.

The problem areas - Chevalier Street at the junction with Norwich Rd, St Margaret's Street and the Star Lane gyratory system - were identified in March 2006. All three sites experience high levels of traffic at peak times.

Government guidance is that after the sites were recognised as problem areas action plans to tackle the issue should be prepared within 18 months - which should have been last month.


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A new update report, to go before Ipswich Borough Council's executive next Tuesday, states that a draft action plan will be prepared by next May at the earliest.

Louise Gooch, responsible for environment at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “We have been working very hard behind the scenes to make sure there isn't any further slippage.

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“In my initial meeting with officers it seemed that things weren't progressing as fast as they should and I made my feelings clear about that.

“Since then a dedicated officer has been appointed to do this.”

Cllr Gooch said the action plan aims to identify the underlying causes of high nitrogen dioxide levels in the areas and suggest ways of tackling this.

Nitrogen dioxide is a substance that can decrease lung function and increase the risk of respiratory problems, particularly in children.

Short-term exposure to the substance at peak levels can increase respiratory allergic reactions.

Should more be done to improve the environment in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Nitrogen Dioxide - the facts

Nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, is toxic by inhalation

Long-term exposure to NO2 at high levels causes adverse health effects

The most prevalent source of NO2 is internal combustion engines, which emit nitrogen oxides near people

A major industrial source is pulp mills

A recent study by researchers at the University of California suggests a link between NO2 levels and sudden infant death syndrome

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