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Air Pollution

Volume 480: debated on Friday 17 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of air quality in the UK's most polluted areas in each of the last eight years. (227095)

I have been asked to reply.

Since 1997, local authorities have had a statutory duty to review current, and likely future, air quality within their area against national objectives for seven air pollutants. Where any pollutants are exceeding, or are likely to exceed, an air quality objective, the local authority must declare an air quality management area, and prepare and implement an action plan of measures to work towards meeting the relevant objectives. About 200 local authorities across the UK have declared air quality management areas, primarily for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10).

DEFRA also undertakes its own air quality monitoring across a number of national networks. Information on these, as well as information on local authorities with air quality management areas and an annual report on DEFRA's air quality monitoring activities, is available in the Air Quality Archive at: