Consultation on the review of the Local Air Quality Management Policy Guidance

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Closes 6 Jun 2022

Introduction

This consultation presents proposals to strengthen the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) framework to enable local authorities to take more effective, co-ordinated actions to achieve their air quality objectives and deliver improvements to public health.  

As part of the process of revising the statutory guidance, the government is committed to consulting those likely to be affected by the change. Public consultation helps to ensure that the views of those impacted by changes are taken into consideration.  

The questions included are designed to provide an opportunity for interested parties to express their views and opinions.  

As part of the legislative changes introduced by the Environment Act 2021, we are also consulting on the designation of National Highways as a Relevant Public Authority, under Part IV of the Environment Act 2021 and the associated Regulatory Triage Assessment. This consultation will run concurrently. Proposals relating to the designation of National Highways as an Air Quality Partner are not considered here. 

Responding to this consultation  

Due to the mix of questions covered in this strategy, there is no requirement to input on every chapter or to provide answers for each consultation question. 

Duration  

This consultation opens for 10 weeks and will close on 6th June 2022.  

After the consultation  

A summary of the responses to this consultation and the Government response will be published and placed on Government websites at www.gov.uk/defra.  

The summary will include a list of respondents and organisations that responded but not personal names, addresses or other contact details. However, information provided in response to this consultation document, including personal information, will be shared with the Devolved Administrations and may be subject to publication or release to other parties or to disclosure in accordance with the access to information regimes e.g. Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Data Protection Act 2018.  

If you want information, including personal data that you provide to be treated as confidential, please say so clearly in writing when you submit your response to the consultation and explain why you need these details to be kept confidential.  

Defra is the data controller in respect of any personal data that you provide, and Defra’s Personal Information Charter, which gives details of your rights in respect of the handling of your personal data, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs/about/personal-information-charter 

Background to the LAQM Policy Guidance Review 

The local air quality management (LAQM) regime is the statutory process by which local authorities monitor, assess and act to improve local air quality. 

The LAQM framework requires local authorities to regularly review and assess air quality in their areas and to determine whether the air quality objectives (expressed as concentration limits) set out in the Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000 (2002 as amended) are likely to be achieved. Where exceedances are considered likely, the local authority must then declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and prepare an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) setting out the measures it intends to put in place to bring air pollution to within limits by addressing the issues identified.  

At the time of publication of this consultation, over 500 Air Quality Management Areas were in place for all monitored pollutants in England, with some dating back to 2001

In our Clean Air Strategy (2019) we committed to driving and enabling greater local action on air pollution by ensuring the responsibility for improving local air quality sits at the right tier of local government. The Environment Act 2021 amends the Local Air Quality Management Framework to enable greater co-operation at the local level by broadening the range of organisations that play a role in improving local air quality. Following the passage of the Act, the policy and technical guidance will be revised and published to provide further clarity on roles and responsibilities, taking account of the legislative changes.  

As part of the process to improve the Local Air Quality Management Framework, we are consulting on the introduction of changes to the Framework aimed at strengthening the ability of local authorities to comply with the objectives across their areas. We are also seeking views on new areas for consideration such as air quality disparities, the importance of community engagement and air quality and climate change, to deliver an up to date framework that drives improvements in local air quality.  

1. What is your name?
2. What is your email address?
If you enter your email address then you will automatically receive an acknowledgement email when you submit your response.
3. Which best describes you?
4. Would you like your response to be confidential?