First steps to cut air pollution

20 Sep 01
Local government officials have welcomed tough new targets on cutting air pollution but are seeking government help in implementing them.

21 September 2001

The government wants local authorities to halve air pollution over the next nine years – which could mean banning traffic from badly affected areas.

Ian Foulkes, head of public protection at the Local Government Association, told Public Finance: 'This is clearly a resource issue for local government. For example, we need much more investment to sort out the fiasco that is public transport. We hope that central government doesn't just come up with these targets and then backs away leaving local government as the "bad cop" who has to manage them.'

Environment minister Michael Meacher set out stringent new targets in an air quality strategy consultation document published by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs on September 17.

The average daily level of particles must not exceed 50 micrograms per cubic metre on more than seven days a year.

The paper is a response to recent findings by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants.


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