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Air Pollution: Hertfordshire

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) resources and (b) advice are issued to councils to help improve air quality management areas; and what change there has been in the air quality in (a) St. Albans and (b) Hertfordshire over the last 10 years. (189483)

Local authorities have statutory duties for local air quality management under the Environment Act 1995. To help local authorities carry out their duties, the Department runs an air quality grant programme, which allows local authorities to bid for a share of the approximately £2.3 million available. The Department also provides statutory guidance on local air quality management, which is in the process of being revised for publication later in 2008. In addition, DEFRA funds the UK Air Quality Archive website and air quality help desks, providing specialist advice to local authorities.

St. Albans and Hertfordshire are not on the Automatic Urban and Rural Network through which DEFRA monitors air quality. However, St. Albans district council undertakes continuous ambient air quality monitoring as part of the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Air Pollution Monitoring Network (www.hertsbedsair.org.uk).

Local authorities are responsible for local air quality management under part IV of the Environment Act 1995, which includes the responsibility to report on levels of air pollution in their area assessed against the objectives contained in the Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000 (as amended).