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BRE seeks response to emission codes

COMMENTS ON draft codes of practice covering the emission of dangerous particles from construction sites are being urgently sought by the Building Research Establishment.

Future planning permission could depend on compliance with the new codes, which are intended to limit air pollution by the so-called PM10 particles, a known health hazard. These could be produced by common construction activities such as demolition, concrete cutting, ground works or aggregate handling. Major changes in operating methods and consecution technology may be needed to meet the new codes, the BRE believes.

The code is being prepared on behalf of the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions, and all comments were due in by the end of last month. But BRE head of air pollution Dr Vina Kukadia said she was still willing to accept contributions from interested parties.

'Final drafts will be discussed at a BRE seminar next January,' Kukadia added. 'The idea is to produce codes in collaboration with all interested parties that are acceptable to both local authorities and the construction industry.'

Under Part IV of the 1995 Environment Act, local authorities are responsible for monitoring air pollution and enforcing controls on particle emissions. Kukadia said construction-related sites are seen as a major emitter of PM10 particles, and that local authorities will have the power to enforce the new codes as a condition of planning approval.

She added: 'I've had an excellent response to the leaflet I sent to local authorities and trade associations and other interested parties but it hasn't always got to the right person. Any extra information would be very welcome - especially on the problem of monitoring emissions from site.'

Dr Kukadia can be contacted at the BRE, Watford, on (01923) 664878.

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