Air quality


About the air quality legislation

Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 requires local authorities to the regularly review and assess air quality within its area. This involves comparing the measured or predicted pollutant levels against national air quality standards and objectives prescribed in regulations for the purpose of local air quality management (LAQM). The air quality objectives applicable to local air quality management in England are set out in the Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000 (SI928) and the Air Quality (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (SI 3043).

What we're required to do

Should we identify area(s) where objectives are being or are likely to be exceeded, then it is required to carry out detailed assessment(s). Should exceedances still appear likely, the local authority must designate the area(s) as air quality management areas (AQMAs) and produce an action plan. The action plan must set out what measures we intend to introduce in pursuit of the air quality objectives. It should include timescales to indicate by when measures will be implemented. We're not obliged to meet the objectives, but we must show that we are working towards them.