Ricardo-AEA has been awarded three contracts by the UK Government’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The contract will see the consultancy provide quality assurance and quality control services to the UK’s largest air quality monitoring network for a variety of stakeholders, including the UK’s statutory reporting requirements to the EU as well as its own citizens.
Air quality regulations are part and parcel of wider EU Directives on environmental protection policies. These regulations have been passed onto local authorities to monitor and police. To help the UK fulfil its statutory Europeans reporting requirements, the UK's Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) has been leveraged.
The AURN is the largest air quality monitoring network in the UK consisting of a set of sensors that are strategically positioned around the UK to measure a wide range of atmospheric parameters. The system is designed to measure the quality of the air in the UK, including levels of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO) and particles (PM10, PM2.5). The purpose of the network is to capture relevant atmospheric data, which is then analysed in relation to meeting public policy guidelines, identifying long terms trends and transmitted to a variety of stakeholders, including the public. The network has existed since the 1970s, comprises of 149 stations and produces 5.5 million measurements yearly.
As part of the deal, Ricardo-AEA will, over a period of three years, deliver independent common quality assurance and quality control services for the reporting of resultant data from capture stations.
“We look forward to supporting Defra over the next three years through the provision of accurate and reliable measurements of air pollutants across the UK,” comments Sean Christiansen, Practice Director for Air Quality and Environment at Ricardo-AEA. “Ricardo-AEA has an outstanding track record in the provision of air monitoring network services to governments. This contract award reinforces Ricardo-AEA’s position as Europe’s premier Air Quality Consultancy.”