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Updated Air Quality Strategy for the tidal Thames released

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has released an update of its Air Quality Strategy for the tidal Thames, reflecting progress made in the two years since the strategy was launched and new actions responding to rapid changes in technology and regulation.

The Air Quality Strategy, launched in May 2018, was the first evidence-based air quality strategy for a UK port. Since then, the PLA has worked with customers and stakeholders to deliver a number of the actions the strategy identified. These include: publishing the emissions reduction roadmap for inland vessels on the tidal Thames; convening London’s first Greening Inland Shipping conference; and completing an air quality monitoring programme around its Greenwich Ship Tier mooring.

Over the same period, Government regulation related to maritime air quality has evolved. In particular, the Department for Transport published the Clean Maritime Plan in July last year, following on from the Government’s adoption of a legally binding Net Zero target by 2050.

The PLA is updating its Air Quality Strategy in line with Department for Transport requirements for major ports to share their understanding of the impact of port operations on air quality and provide an action plan for mitigation. The update features five new actions including proposals for developing a River Ultra Low Emission Zone, green technology demonstration project, diffusion monitoring of ozone from river operations and investigating port call optimisation.

PLA head of environment, Tanya Ferry commented:

“Over the last two years we have made substantial progress, completing six of the actions identified and making strong progress with the others. The same period has seen amazing progress in regulation, technology and understanding of air quality. We’re taking the opportunity of the DfT’s call for major ports to produce air quality strategies to review and update our strategy, in light of what we’ve learnt and the new options now available.”

The PLA is running a survey to gather customer and stakeholder feedback on the updated Strategy. The survey closes on 3 July 2020.

You can access the updated strategy on the PLA website here.

The survey can be accessed via this link.