Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Fury at London 2012 plant emissions

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has come under fire from environmental lobbyists and London mayor Boris Johnson for failing tackle plant emissions on its sites.

The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) has claimed that the ODA has failed to follow best practice guidance on particulate emissions from plant vehicles. It is campaigning for plant on ODA sites to be retrofitted with filters to cut emissions.

In his draft air quality strategy published in October 2009, London mayor Boris Johnson pledged to reduce particulate emissions from construction sites, demanding that all sites use best practice guidance issued by his office.

London is the only area of the UK that is currently failing to comply with EU air quality standards.

In December the UK was denied extra time to comply, and could now face an EU fine of up to £300M.

Failing to meet standards

None of the Olympic Park plant has so far been fitted with filters under the guidance, said EIC Transport Pollution Control Working Group chairman Mike Galey, even though the ODA said it would commit to implementing the guidance.

The ODA is currently carrying out a “desk study” of the issue that could result in the filters being retrofitted, but Galey says this is likely to be too late.

“Maybe by this summer they’ll start to fit equipment − but that’ll be maybe two years after construction [on key structures] began,” he said. “The most polluting diesel plant will have come and gone away again.”

Some of the newer plant may have been manufactured with suitable in-built technology, said Galey, but it is the older machines that are the most polluting and most in need of filters.

Official guidance

The guidance document The Control of Dust and Emissions from Construction and Demolition, issued by the London Mayor in 2006, states that plant over 37kW should be fitted with suitable exhaust after-treatment equipment from an approved list.

But the ODA had reservations regarding the breadth of approved equipment available, its possible effect on engines, cost benefits, and health and safety issues, said Galey.

An ODA spokesman said it was reviewing the use of retrofitting on site plant with particulate filters “taking into account value for money”.

“The ODA has implemented many measures to cut the effects of its work on air quality, such as a requirement for all contractors to use ultra low sulphur diesel,” he added.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Hmmm... more "Official Guidance" which roughly translates as:

    "screw the cost, if we're honest we know it's like peeing in the ocean but we just have to be seen to be green and keep the tree huggers happy as we can't stand them standing outside our window carping on about the bloody whales... and don't worry 'cos the tax payer will pick up the bill. Oh and memo to all departments and members of staff... if you are going to pee in the Ocean, please ensure that your "plant" is fitted with suitable filters and after-treatment equipment from an approved list. Also note that equipment on the approved list will probably be out of stock, three times the price of identical equipment not on the approved list and manufactured in a third world country that doesn't give a rats ass about the environment, pollution or the bloody whales... but don't worry, the tax payer will pick up the bill and at least we're doing our bit hey?"

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.