The treatment of contaminated land at the Southall Gasworks site resulted in some unpleasant odours in the area. A requirement of the planning conditions was that air quality monitoring was carried out by the developer.
Monitoring is carried out at 28 locations on the site boundary and at down-wind locations. The results provide information on air quality at the boundary and nearest population areas including residential properties, schools and commercial facilities.
Some of the monitoring equipment is sampling continuously to capture short term ‘peak’ concentrations and to provide alerts to the contractors to help in managing any VOC emissions. Passive monitoring equipment is also being used, where air passes onto a tube which is then analysed by an accredited laboratory on a weekly basis. Testing is undertaken for a range of chemicals classed as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Monitors have also been deployed to detect potential dust and noise nuisance from building activities. Odours are also being monitored by technical staff who carry out ‘sniff’ tests on the site and in the surrounding areas. As well as checking against health-based standards, the results of VOC monitoring are compared to odour thresholds.
November 2021 update:
Ealing Council has commissioned independent air quality monitoring around the site. Near real-time data is available at airqualityengland.co.uk. Further monitoring sites will be added in the coming weeks.