New look and data for UK’s Air Pollution Information System (APIS)

The UK’s leading web database on the impacts of air pollution on the natural environment, APIS, has been given a makeover – it’s now easier than ever to search for the information you want.

APIS is freely available and provides users with a one-stop-shop to evaluate the impact of air pollution on natural habitats. It is used by the UK’s air pollution regulators and local planning authorities to evaluate air pollution impacts as part of their consenting or permitting work.

The new, improved APIS also provides site specific data on nitrogen and acid deposition across the whole UK network of protected sites. Pollutant deposition and concentration data is available for all locations through a ‘search by location’ tool. Each Area/Site of Special Scientific Interest is now listed as well as the UK’s areas of European importance, which were previously available.

Following feedback from users, the improvements made to the site include:

  • An updated application to assess the risk of air pollution impacts on ecosystems - known technically as the Site Relevant Critical Load tool. The website includes revised modelled deposition data and new ‘critical loads’ for nutrient nitrogen and acidity.  Where a critical load is exceeded, there is a risk of air pollution damage to the habitat.
  • The inclusion of all Areas/ Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the UK.
  • The ability to assess nitrogen and sulphur deposition to a site, examine the major source inputs and produce data and graphs for each designated feature on the site.
  • A guide for users has been updated, with four online tutorials to help you find your way around the website.
  • A simpler search tool for assessing air pollution impacts on a particular habitat (pollutant-habitat records).
  • A new ‘query by location’ tool to look up multiple pollutants at the same time.
  • A new look and feel, with a wider page layout which works on bigger screens.
  • Feedback forms, to help us continually improve the site.

Simon Bareham, CCW’s Senior Pollution Impacts Advise said: “APIS provides a vital source of information to a wide range of users – pollution regulators, conservation agencies, academics, students, industry, local authorities, environmental consultants and the public at large.

“It’s really important that APIS is up-to-date and is as user friendly as possible so that we can all make best use of its comprehensive data linking air pollution to impacts on habitats -  crucial for decision making on a wide range of issues.”