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Air Pollution

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 78321, tabled on 19 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government will take to ensure effective collaboration on air quality between councils and other relevant public bodies as laid out in the Environment Bill.

Answered on

24 November 2021

The Environment Act strengthens the Local Air Quality Management Framework in England to enable a more collaborative approach to improving air quality where a local air quality objective is not being met. The Act strengthens requirements for all tiers of local Government to work together to improve air quality and requires neighbouring local authorities to co-operate where this is necessary to ensure local air quality objectives are met.

The Act also provides for a new power for the Secretary of State to designate, after formal consultation, “Relevant Public Authorities”. Designated Relevant Public Authorities will be required to collaborate with local authorities where a pollution source in their area of influence contributes to a failure to meet a local air quality objective. We will consult on designating the first Relevant Public Authority – National Highways - early in the new year. This will ensure all highways authorities collaborate where necessary. We are working to identify which further public authorities should be designated.

We will also consult early in the new year on revised Local Air Quality Management statutory guidance which will set out the steps local authorities should take to engage their air quality partners.

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