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Air Quality

The Environment Act 1995 gives local authorities the responsibility to periodically review and assess local air quality. This involves measuring air pollution and trying to predict how it will change in the next few years. Where air quality objectives are unlikely to be achieved, air quality management areas have to be declared. The Local Authority then develops action plans aimed at reducing air pollution.

Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA)

Since December 1997 each local authority in the UK has been carrying out a review and assessment of air quality in their area. This involves measuring air pollution and trying to predict how it will change in the next few years. The aim of the review is to make sure that the national air quality objectives will be achieved throughout the UK by the relevant deadlines. These objectives have been put in place to protect people's health and the environment.

If a local authority finds any places where the objectives are not likely to be achieved, it must declare an Air Quality Management Area there. This area could be just one or two streets, or it could be much bigger.

Then the local authority will put together a plan to improve the air quality - a Local Air Quality Action Plan.

Southend has one AQMA – at The Bell junction.

Page last updated: 15/09/2016