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Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what changes have been made to his Departments air quality monitoring programme in the last two years; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA and the devolved Administrations reviewed air quality monitoring needs in the light of the 2007 Air Quality Strategy and new EU Air Quality Directive requirements and improvements in the concentrations of some pollutants.
As a result some new sites/monitors have been brought into the network or installed, while others have been removed from the network or closed. The changes to
the Automatic Urban and Rural and Hydrocarbons networks fall into three broad areas:
A reduction in the number of carbon monoxide (from 79 to 26) and sulphur dioxide (from 76 to 48) monitors, commensurate with the generally low levels of both pollutants currently found. However, there will be increased sulphur dioxide monitoring in some areas around particular industrial hotspots.
Movement of oxides of nitrogen monitors from agglomerations to zones, and from urban background to roadside, in line with the requirements of the new air quality Directive.
The creation of a ultrafine particulate matter (PM2.5) network, and changes to the fine particulate matter (PM10) network, in line with the requirements of the new air quality Directive.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many of his Department's air quality monitoring sites have been closed in each of the last three years; and how many air quality monitoring sites have been opened in that period, broken down by region. 
Jonathan Shaw: The number of air quality monitoring sites which have been closed and opened in 2005, 2006 and 2007, broken down by zone and agglomeration are shown in the following table. Data are included from the following monitoring networks: automatic urban and rural network; automatic and non-automatic hydrocarbon networks; black smoke network; heavy metals network; particle numbers and concentrations network; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and toxic organic micro pollutants networks; and the acid deposition and rural sulphur dioxide network.
Agglomerations are continuous urban areas with populations greater than 250,000. Zones in England are based on the Government office regions and in the devolved Administrations are based on administrative areas.
|Number of air quality monitoring sites which have closed and opened in each zone and agglomeration during 2005-07|
|Zone/agglomeration||Closed( 1)||Opened( 1)||Closed( 1)||Opened( 1)||Closed( 1)||Opened( 1)|
|(1) A monitoring site which is in more than one network is counted for each network, for example, the closure of Bradford Centre in West Yorkshire urban area in 2007 is counted separately for the automatic urban and rural network and the black smoke network. Site relocations within the same zone or agglomeration have not been included.|
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