A NEW air monitoring station has been installed in Chirk.

The Air Quality Monitor, which is located on Lloyds Lane, has been funded by Kronospan as part of a recent planning permission, and will measure the levels of two key pollutants over the next five years to complement the ongoing monitoring already carried out in the area.

The data recorded will be immediately accessible online which, following the fire in January in the area, will provide some reassurance to residents about what is going on around them.

Cllr Hugh Jones, lead member for communities, partnerships, public protection and community safety, said: "For some considerable time residents in Chirk have asked for continuous air quality monitoring to be installed and I’m really pleased that this station is now up and running and providing useful data.

"Should a similar incident occur, the monitoring results will indicate if there are any elevated levels of pollutants in the air and allow our officers and Public Health Wales to take the most appropriate course of action.

"During the previous incident residents had to wait for air quality monitoring equipment to arrive from South Wales which further complicated an already difficult situation.

"Thankfully this will not happen again thanks to this station."

The station monitors for the following pollutants which includes fine particles and nitrogen oxides, with these levels being controlled by the Air Quality (Wales) Regulations 2000 (as amended).

It also monitors for volatile organic compounds, which are a range of organic chemicals which easily vaporise at room temperature, wind speed and direction.

A spokesperson for the council, added: "We’re currently updating our Air Quality website which will provide further details on how to interpret the results from the site.

"We will also provide a summary of the monitoring results in our annual Air Quality report which will be assessed by the Welsh Government and then published on our website."

The monitoring results can be viewed online via www.airqweb.co.uk or on a compatible smartphone via the AirQApp