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  • www.defra.gov.uk

    Quality Assurance and Quality Control

    (QA/QC) Procedures for UK Air Quality

    Monitoring under 2008/50/EC and

    2004/107/EC

    September 2013 (updated September 2016)

  • © Crown copyright 2016

    You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or

    medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence,

    visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/ or write to the

    Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or e-mail:

    [email protected]

    This document/publication is also available on our website at:

    www.gov.uk/defra

    Any enquiries regarding this document/publication should be sent to us at:

    [email protected]

    Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

    Nobel House

    17 Smith Square

    London SW1P 3JR

    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/ mailto:[email protected] http://www.gov.uk/defra mailto:[email protected]

  • Executive Summary

    This report has been prepared for the UK Department of Environment, Food and

    Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and

    Northern Ireland.

    Within the UK, air quality monitoring is undertaken to provide information on air

    pollutant concentrations. The primary function of the monitoring is to provide data for

    the purpose of assessing the UK’s compliance with EU Directives on Air Quality. The

    data are also used by scientists, policy makers and planners to enable them to make

    informed decisions on managing and improving air quality for the benefit of health

    and the natural environment.

    The UK’s air quality compliance monitoring is divided into several sub-networks for

    operational and management purposes. The relevant sub-networks are:

    • The Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN);

    • The UK Hydrocarbon Network;

    • The UK Urban and Industrial Metals Network;

    • The Rural Metals Network; and

    • The Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) Network.

    To ensure that the data produced are fit for purpose, robust QA/QC procedures are

    in place for each pollutant. Responsibility for their implementation rests with the

    relevant management and QA/QC contractors for the sub-network. These ensure the

    accuracy and precision of the published pollutant concentrations.

    This report outlines the EU and UK data quality requirements and describes how these are addressed for all the relevant pollutants monitored. The report covers:

    • Measurement methods

    • Type-testing and equivalence of analysers

    • Data telemetry, and validation of provisional data

    • QA/QC including network inter-comparisons and data ratification

    • Traceability of the measurements to national and international standards.

    • Calculation of uncertainty for comparison with Data Quality Objectives.

    Finally, a separate chapter is included, providing additional information on the

    QA/QC arrangements in place for air quality monitoring in Gibraltar, where these

    differ from those used in the UK.

  • Contents

    1 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 1

    1.1 Scope ............................................................................................................. 1

    2 EU Requirements ................................................................................................ 3

    2.1 EU Legislation on Ambient Air Quality ............................................................ 3

    2.2 Pollutants Covered ......................................................................................... 4

    2.3 Data Quality Objectives (DQOs) ..................................................................... 5

    2.4 Measurement Methods ................................................................................... 6

    3 Overview of UK Compliance Monitoring .............................................................. 8

    3.1 Overview of the AURN ................................................................................... 9

    3.2 Overview of the Hydrocarbon Network ......................................................... 13

    3.3 Overview of the Urban and Industrial Metals Network .................................. 17

    3.4 Overview of the Rural Metals Network ......................................................... 20

    3.5 Overview of the PAH Network ...................................................................... 25

    3.6 Other Measurements .................................................................................... 30

    4 Type Testing and Equivalence of Analysers ..................................................... 33

    4.1 EU Requirements ......................................................................................... 33

    4.2 Type-Approval of Analysers for NOx, SO2, O3 and CO ................................ 33

    4.3 Equivalence Testing for PM10 and PM2.5 ...................................................... 36

    4.4 Equivalence and Type Testing of Benzene Measurement Techniques ........ 37

    4.5 Equivalence and Type Testing of Metals Measurement Techniques ........... 38

    4.6 Equivalence and Type Testing of PAH Measurement Techniques ............... 40

    5 Data Telemetry, Validation and Dissemination ................................................. 41

    5.1 Data Handling in the AURN .......................................................................... 41

    5.2 Data Handling for Automatic Hydrocarbon Monitoring ................................. 44

  • 5.3 Data Handling for Non-Automatic Benzene Monitoring ................................ 45

    5.4 Data Handling for Metals Monitoring ............................................................ 46

    5.5 Data Handling for PAH Monitoring ............................................................... 48

    5.6 Data Handling for Other Measurements ....................................................... 49

    6 Quality Assurance and Quality Control ............................................................. 52

    6.1 UK National Reference Laboratories ............................................................ 52

    6.2 QA/QC in the AURN ..................................................................................... 53

    6.3 QA/QC of Automatic Hydrocarbon Measurements ....................................... 66

    6.4 QA/QC of Non-Automatic Benzene Measurements ..................................... 67

    6.5 QA/QC of Urban Metals Measurements ....................................................... 68

    6.6 QA/QC of Rural Metals Measurements ........................................................ 70

    6.7 QA/QC of PAH Measurements ..................................................................... 70

    6.8 QA/QC for Other Measurements .................................................................. 71

    7 Traceability of Measurements ........................................................................... 77

    7.1 Traceability for NOx, SO2, CO and Zero Air ................................................. 77

    7.2 Traceability for Ozone .................................................................................. 80

    7.3 Traceability for PM10 and PM2.5 .................................................................... 81

    7.4 Traceability of Automatic Hydrocarbon Measurements ................................ 82

    7.5 Traceability of Non-Automatic Benzene Measurements ............................... 83

    7.6 Traceability of Metals Measurements ........................................................... 83

    7.7 Traceability of PAH Measurements .............................................................. 84

    8 Uncertainty of the Measurements ..................................................................... 86

    8.1 Uncertainty in the AURN .............................................................................. 87

    8.2 Uncertainty of Automatic Hydrocarbon Measurements ................................ 88

    8.3 Uncertainty of Non-Automatic Benzene Measurements ............................... 89

  • 8.4 Uncertainty of Metals Measurements ........................................................... 90

    8.5 Uncertainty of PAH Measurements .............................................................. 92

    9 Gibraltar ............................................................................................................ 95

    10 References ...................................................................................................... 96

  • 1

    1 Introduction

    1.1 Scope This document provides information on the quality assurance and quality control

    (QA/QC) procedures applied to air quality monitoring undertaken within the United

    Kingdom (UK) to assess compliance with European Union (EU) Directives on air

    quality.

    For operational and management reasons, the UK’s air quality compliance

    monito

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