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London plant emissions clampdown just five weeks away

London plant emissions clampdown just five weeks away

2 August 2015 Email this article


From 1st September 2015, all plant on Greater London construction sites will have to at least meet the Stage IIIA standards for NOx and particulate matter (PM) emissions.

The new rules will apply to non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) of net power between 37kW and 560kW. The engine emissions standards, familiar to all plant owners, are set out in the EU Directive 97/68/EC.

In practice, this means that all equipment more than 10 years old will need to be replaced or retrofitted on all developments in central London, and major developments in outer London (10 homes or more or 1,000 sq. ft. in other developments), with occasional exemptions for specialist construction machinery.

The European Union Stage IIIA regulations came into force progressively after 2006 and Stage IIIB after 2011. There was flexibility for manufacturers to have a proportion of their output to the former standard for a period and for dealers to clear old stock. Use of older machines remained – and still remains – legal; the onus is on manufacturers so that fleets gradually become cleaner as machines are renewed over the course of years.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London, who introduced the new regulations, said: “Whilst construction sites will be expected to comply with the standards from this date, for at least the remainder of this year there will be a focus on awareness-raising and education rather than enforcement, as was standard practice for the introduction of the low emission zone (LEZ) for road vehicles.”

Enforcement of the regulations will be the responsibility of the London boroughs as part of their statutory air quality duties. To assist with this, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has developed a new non road mobile machinery (NRMM) database to enable remote monitoring of construction sites to ensure only compliant or exempt equipment is used. In addition, compliance with the new NRMM LEZ requirements will be assessed as part of inspections by the Considerate Constructors Scheme, although this scheme does not take enforcement action and will be used only to confirm that boroughs are enforcing the new requirements and provide further data to assess the impact of the scheme.