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Introduction to the UK National Air Quality Strategy (NAQS)

The UK National Air Quality Strategy aims to ensure that air quality in public spaces poses no significant risk to human health and quality of life.

To implement the Strategy the Section Reviews and Assesses air quality and produces daily and annual air quality reports. If in any area air quality fails to meet national pollution objectives, the Council is legally obliged to declare "Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs)" and to develop, in partnership with local communities, "Action Plans", for each area, to improve air quality.

The Strategy

The Air Quality Strategy intends to provide a clear framework for improving air quality through:

  • a clear and simple policy framework;
  • realistic but challenging objectives;
  • regulation and financial incentives to help achieve the objectives;
  • analysis of costs and benefits;
  • monitoring and research to increase our understanding;
  • information to raise public awareness.

 

The Air Quality Strategy proposals aim to protect health and the environment without imposing unacceptable economic or social costs. They form an essential part of the Government's strategy for sustainable development, which has four main aims:

  • social progress which meets the needs of everyone;
  • effective protection of the environment;
  • prudent use of natural resources; and ;
  • maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment.

 

The fundamental aim of the Government is to render polluting emissions harmless. It is necessary, therefore, to firstly define a level of harmlessness, and then to establish a policy towards the achievement of the levels by means of objectives as costs and benefits dictate