The purpose of this consultation is to invite discussion on the best way to address shortcomings identified in Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) delivery in England.
LAQM has been in place since 1997. While it has greatly improved our knowledge of the sources and extent of air pollution it has proved difficult to quantify the impacts and effectiveness of measures introduced to improve air quality and very few authorities have been able to revoke any Air Quality Management Areas as a result of their interventions.
Furthermore, LAQM is very administrative and report and diagnosis driven. It also does not usually take into account compliance with EU limit values. However, we face a significant challenge in meeting health based EU limits for air quality and also a significant infraction risk arising from that. It is therefore perhaps more important that local authorities focus their actions on what is needed to achieve these obligations and to reduce the public health impacts of poor air quality rather than to continue their current focus on local assessment and reporting.
There is a need therefore to reinvigorate and refocus LAQM on action to help the UK meet EU air quality standards and to clarify its role alongside other actions to improve air quality (by national government etc) and to highlight what local authorities can do through working together to improve air quality.
A summary of responses will be compiled based on comments submitted during the 6 week consultation period. The consultation is aimed principally at air quality practitioners in England, but we want to hear views from as wide a range of interested parties as possible. To this end we will also be holding a workshop to gather futher evidence/views.
For more information, please download our LAQM review consultation documents (below).
Please answer the consultation questions using the online survey. This will make for greater consistency in responses and allow us to better analyse the results. If you prefer, you may also send your response via email/post (refer to the consultation letter for further details).
We look forward to hearing from you.
What Happens Next
This is an options consultation and is the first stage of a two part exercise. It concerns policy which impacts on local authorities in England (air quality is devolved). It is not expected to have wider impacts on business, competition or the economy. A second-stage consultation and impact assessment will be necessary to determine any costs to businesses and others, subject to which option or variation of options the Government proposes to implement following this consultation. After the consultation closes a summary of responses will be published.