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Air Pollution

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL2763, tabled on 15 September 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to grant new regulatory powers to councils to combat non-transport related pollution.

Answered on

29 September 2021

Local authorities already have powers to require controls on many non-transport sources of pollution through environmental permitting. Through the Environment Bill we are strengthening the Local Air Quality Management framework to broaden the range of partners required to work with local authorities to tackle local sources of pollution, and making it easier for local authorities to use their powers to tackle domestic solid fuel burning. We will continue to work with local authorities to review existing powers and build capability.

There are already emission standards that Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) must comply with before they are sold, and the Government recently agreed to increase the stringency of these standards. Defra also recently completed a research project aimed at improving the evidence base on emissions from NRMM, and we are currently considering next steps. We have introduced Medium Combustion Plant and Specified Generator controls which require new generators to meet nitrogen oxide emission limits from January 2019.   Further, since October 2019, operators of existing diesel generators which may pose a risk to local air quality have been required to hold an environmental permit and comply with permit conditions to protect local air quality.

New solid fuel boilers placed on the market after 31 December 2019 must comply with the requirements of Ecodesign Regulation (EU) 2015/1189 and new regulations will also come into force in 2022 which mean that all new stoves sold in England will need to meet agreed, stringent emission standards. This will raise the minimum standard of new appliances across the country.

As outlined in our Clean Air Strategy we will also consider the case for tighter emissions standards for medium combustion plants to those already introduced and to consider how to tackle emissions from smaller plants which do not fall within the scope of these regulations or eco-design regulations.