A new award has been created to highlight the importance of air quality monitoring stations (AQMSs), by recognising those that create and maintain the best sites.
A network of AQMSs spans the UK, providing data on the air that citizens breathe. These stations provide vitally important data to: track long term trends in air quality; inform national strategy and decision making on issues that affect air quality; identify pollution hotspots, and provide daily information for people with health conditions that make them susceptible to air pollution.
The ‘Golden (AQ) Site Award’ will be judged by a group of leading air quality professionals and presented every two years at the AQE Conference/Exhibition. AQE 2017 (Telford, UK, 24-25th May) organiser Marcus Pattison says: “There is already a ‘Golden Stack Award’ for the industrial site with the best monitoring installation, and this has encouraged healthy competition in the creation of safe, ergonomic monitoring sites, so it is logical to extend this into the ambient AQ monitoring sector, and we are excited to see which sites are nominated.”
Local Authorities and others will be encouraged to nominate their sites via a dedicated weblink (www.airmonitors.co.uk/aqe-show) and the winner will receive a trophy as well as a plaque for display at the winning site. Judging criteria will include safety, location, service vehicle parking, cleanliness/state of repair, power and internet availability. However, the judges may also take into account other issues such as nearby toilets and refreshments.
The competition is being sponsored by the company Air Monitors Limited, which is responsible for supplying and servicing many of the UK AQMSs. Their Jim Mills says: “We hope that this competition will help to highlight the importance of air quality monitoring whilst encouraging AQMS owners to think carefully about what it takes to create a safe, effective, sustainable monitoring resource.”