Air quality has significantly improved in Wales though there is still room for improvement, particularly in Port Talbot. Historically, the town has a high level of pollution that is generally attributed to the industrial nature of the area. In addition, there are also emissions derived from road transport and nearby industrial sites.
The Welsh Government has produced a Clean Air for Port Talbot short term action plan to address measures that can be taken, in addition to everyday activities, where there is a risk of particulate matter limit values being exceeded. There should be no more than 35 days a year when daily average particulate matter exceeds European limits on air pollution.
The draft plan outlines a number of actions to be undertaken by the Welsh Government, Environment Agency Wales and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council. Comments received from the public and local interest groups during this consultation period will be used to develop a final plan. In 2013 a second public consultation on a revised plan will be carried out.
Environment Minister, John Griffiths, said:
“We are taking steps to deliver actions that make a difference to ordinary people, their families and communities.
“We are doing this by acting in the long term interests of the people of Wales, putting sustainable jobs and growth first but never losing sight of other factors that are vital to people’s long term quality of life. I encourage everyone living in the Port Talbot area to read our plan to improve air quality in their neighbourhood and to respond to this consultation.”