Air Pollution

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Party Chair, Co-operative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what monitoring of air quality takes place in each local authority area in England; and if he will make a statement.

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

Local authorities have a statutory responsibility to review and assess local ambient air quality, and are responsible for mitigation of air pollution where people are likely to be exposed. Defra provides guidance and support to local authorities on monitoring; positioning of monitors is expected to be in line with national and local priorities.

In addition, Defra’s national network of air quality monitors currently comprises 272 sites across the UK and is managed by the Environment Agency. Sites are organised into networks that gather information on a wide range of pollutants in towns and cities as well as in rural areas. Some monitoring sites are focused on measuring specific sources, e.g. road traffic or industry whilst others are focused on background concentrations.

Monitoring data is made available on our UK-AIR website. Data from the Automatic Urban and Rural Network is reported in near-real-time and is updated every hour. The website is:

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