PRN: Government Forecasts Smog in London on Eve of Closing Ceremony
Government Forecasts Smog in London on Eve of Closing Ceremony
LONDON, August 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
The Government's air pollution website published the following forecast on Wednesday 8th August:
"On Friday and Saturday it is expected that the increasing pressure over the UK will cause air to become more stagnant with some recirculation of air masses. Â There is therefore a likelihood of an increase to 'Moderate' ozone concentrations on Friday and Saturday, especially across southern England.
"Localised increases in PM10Â [dangerous airborne particles] and NO2Â [nitrogen dioxide] concentrations to 'Moderate' levels at roadside locations in London are also likely on Friday and Saturday under the calmer, drier weather conditions."
This Government forecast follows wet and windy weather since the Opening Ceremony and the worst summer smog since July 2006 that occurred on the eve of the Olympics.
Simon Birkett, Founder and Director of Clean Air in London (CAL, http://www.cleanairinlondon.org), said: "An investigation by Clean Air in London has found the Government consistently 'under-predicted' air pollution levels in the week before the Olympics and then failed to warn the public when that summer smog was underway.
"Amazingly, CAL's investigation found environment ministers issued a press release announcing they were downgrading 'air quality' as a Government priority on 24th July when they should have been issuing a press release to warn the public of the worst summer smog for six years. In double standards, the next day the same ministers (rightly) recommended 'air pollution and other emissions' as the first of five environmental Key Performance Indicators for companies.
"Matters have not been helped by the Mayor's approach to achieving the 30% reduction in background traffic needed for the Olympic Route Network to operate successfully, which risks worsening the forthcoming smog episode and may have included the use of pollution suppressants by official air quality monitoring stations. The Mayor should have banned the most-polluting diesel vehicles and encouraged the less-polluting 70% of vehicles to drive into London.
"With events in London reaching a crescendo, we need the Mayor to take a lead in protecting athletes, visitors and Londoners after the Government has failed to do so."
About Clean Air in London
Clean Air in London manages a cross-party campaign to achieve urgently and sustainably full compliance with WHO guidelines for air quality throughout London (and elsewhere).