Air Pollution: Pollution Control

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22nd November 2018.

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Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to include provisions for achieving World Health Organisation limits on (a) nitrogen dioxide, (b) PM2.5 and (c) PM10 emissions by 2030 in his forthcoming Environment Bill.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We consulted on our Clean Air Strategy earlier this year, which set out our plans to reduce exposure to air pollution including fine particulate matter, and which signposts our intention to progressively move towards WHO guideline levels for PM2.5, committing to halve the population living in areas with concentrations of fine particulate matter above WHO guideline levels by 2025. This goes further than European Union requirements and we are the first industrialised nation to commit to progressively reducing fine particulate matter pollution in this way.

Through our UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations, we are working with local authorities to assist them in reducing exposure to nitrogen dioxide, and to bring these within agreed limits in the fastest possible time.

WHO guidelines are very ambitious, which presents a particular challenge for all countries, particularly in large urban areas and some coastal areas. We will set out provisions to be included in the Environment Bill in due course. Our final Clean Air Strategy will be published shortly.

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