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Denbighshire council to install air quality monitors on Ruthin housing estate

A council is installing air quality monitors on a residential housing estate plagued by smoke.

Denbighshire council has moved to buy the machine in a bid to establish what is in the smoke clouds which residents say have blighted Ruthin’s Glasdir estate for more than six months.

Last month one described how she and her young family had to keep windows closed because of the drifting fumes.

She also revealed how a monitor she’d bought to track the pollution advised she leave the area because the air quality in her home was so bad.

One company with chimneys on the adjacent industrial estate is already regulated by Natural Resources Wales and another by Denbighshire council.

Last month NRW said it believed the company it regulates was “compliant with its environmental permit” but was continuing to work with the authority.

Now Denbighshire council is investing in an air quality monitor to check pollution levels.

Local county councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts said the device will be in situ for three months initially.

He said: “Denbighshire hasn’t been stalling but we have to get the right equipment to pin-point the pollution at its source.

“It will be operational 24 hours a day so residents can be assured things happening in the evening will be monitored.

“This air quality monitor will give us solid scientific evidence of what is coming out of the chimneys.

“The initial three month trial will determine how we monitor things afterwards but we only have pictures as evidence, so getting this equipment is vital to understanding the problem. The science is key in this.”

It is understood officers from the council will also be meeting with NRW again in the near future.

Emily Boucekkine, 32, who lives on the estate and has two small children  described last month how she regularly has to shut her windows because of the smoke clouds.

She and husband Liam, 33, even bought an air quality monitor which measures particulate matter hoping it would “reassure” them everything was safe – but it threw up some alarming results.

On one occasion it reached its maximum reading and advised her to “leave the area”.

Reacting to the news the local authority was installing the air quality monitor, she said: “I’m pleased they are fitting the air quality monitor for three months.

“Originally there was talk of it only being there for four weeks which just wouldn’t have been enough.

“However, I do feel very frustrated there are still occasions when the smoke is so awful – like we have seen once last week and once so far this week.

“This has been going on for well over six months.”

Photo credit: Sarah-Jane Bell

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