Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Pollution near dock exceeds limits

SPECIAL measures will have to be taken near Felixstowe port to tackle air pollution levels which have exceeded legal limits.

The area around Dock Gate Two suffers from heavy traffic - thousands of articulated lorries every day - plus it is just yards from the quaysides and the fumes pumped out by ships' funnels and container-handling equipment.

Trinity Avenue, which leads to Dock Gate Two roundabout, will also see a further increase in traffic in the years ahead as the port expands, sending an extra million trucks onto the roads, some of which will pass through the area.

Measuring devices have found nitrogen levels in the area are too high and now it will have to be declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and a plan drawn up to show how pollution levels will be reduced.

A report to Suffolk Coastal's cabinet meeting said tests near the Dooley Inn, Ferry Lane, found nitrogen dioxide concentrations exceeded the air quality standard of 40 micrograms per cubic metre.

The council now has to produce an action plan within 18 months setting out what measures it will introduce to reduce the pollution.

“This action plan is likely to involve relevant district council and county council departments, Felixstowe Town Council, local businesses and local residents,” said cabinet member Andrew Nunn.

“All suggestions to improve air quality at the location will be welcome and will be investigated.”

Consultants will be employed to help.

Ongoing measuring and forecasts for the Adastral Close estate near the port expansion area show once the redeveloped Landguard Terminal is up and running the levels around the homes will be exceeded, too.

The council is already in talks with the Port of Felixstowe.

Port officials say they are investigating the possibility of installing electricity supply points for cranes to use when idling and if this is done the air quality targets should be met in Adastral Close.

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