HMIP in the hot seat over East London air pollution

The rash of new power plants and incinerators in East London and along the Thames estuary has provoked calls from local authorities and pressure groups for a regional inquiry to assess the cumulative impact on air quality. The Government appears determined to resist their demands - leaving HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) with sole responsibility for ensuring that air quality standards are met.

In all, ten major industrial developments are either being built or are the subject of planning applications along the East Thames corridor.

The area carries "an already significant pollution burden", according to John Rice, director of the South East Institute of Public Health (SEIPH). The main area of concern is nitrogen dioxide, although sulphur dioxide concentrations also rise occasionally to high levels.

East London is not cover

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