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Plumeplotter FAQ



Plume Plotter

What is Plume Plotter?

It’s a website that shows a real-time display of the air pollution from the Javelin Park incinerator if it existed now.

A typical incinerator produces as much pollution (in terms of oxides of nitrogen and particulates) as a 5-7 km stretch of typical motorway, according to the government’s pro-incineration document: Incineration of Municipal Solid Waste.

Does Plume Plotter just show the wind direction then?

No, there is more to it than that. Plume Plotter calculates how high the plume rises and how it disperses with distance using latest local weather information including wind speed, wind direction and temperature. The display shows how much pollution reaches ground level at each point on the map.

Where does the pollution go?

See for yourself, at: Plumeplotter.com.

The air is already polluted so how can you tell where it’s coming from?

That’s why, as well as showing the amount of each pollutant, the website compares it with the background level. For example, if Plume Plotter shows 50 micrograms per cubic metre of nitrogen dioxide at a certain location, this is 327% of the background level in the area, so the predicted level there right now is more than four times the average.

How accurate is Plume Plotter?

No model is completely accurate, and Plume Plotter is based on a simple model which is definitely not the state of the art in air pollution modelling.

Plume Plotter is based on an old model (from the 1970s) and doesn’t take hills into account (e.g. the Cotswolds Escarpment).  However, it does show the possible effects of how high and far a plume can go if unobstructed by hills.

All models, like the ones used by UBB, are only there to give an idea / impression, have their drawbacks and are not 100% accurate.

Is Plume Plotter anti-incinerator?

No, Plume Plotter is objective and unbiased. Anyone can see how it is implemented and point out any errors.

Data about the incinerator and its emissions is taken from the incinerator planning application documents.


How do I see the Incinerator Pollution Levels?

The concentrations of pollutants at the maximum point at ground level under the plume are shown compared to the average background levels. These are shown by hovering over or clicking the "DETAILS" link as shown below.

pollutant levels



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