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Draft UK Air Quality Plan for tackling nitrogen dioxide

There has been increasing public and professional concern about the health and environmental effects of air pollution over the last decade. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) has been causing a particular concern. 

Objectives of the consultation

The Government is committed to build a stronger economy and a fairer society. Clean air is essential for making sure that the UK is a healthy and prosperous country for people to live and work.

Even though air quality is better now than it has been for decades, there are still significant health impacts attributable to air pollution. Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, with high NO2 levels exacerbating the impact of pre-existing health conditions, especially for the elderly and children. Studies have suggested that the most deprived areas bear a disproportionate share of poor air quality. There is therefore a compelling need to tackle poor air quality to ensure cleaner, healthier air for all. 

This consultation set out cross-government plans to tackle nitrogen dioxide in our towns and cities. The draft UK Air Quality Plan and technical report provided details of the Government's approach. The consultation closed on 15 June 2017.

Supporting papers

To download documents that supported this consultation, please follow the links below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE welcome this consultation on air quality and understand that it largely relates to reducing the impact of diesel vehicles. The Institution also note that Annex I of the Draft UK Air Quality Plan for tackling nitrogen dioxide recognises that emissions from commercial (non-industrial) and domestic buildings represents a proportion of overall UK NOx emissions.

CIBSE expects that the serious concerns about pollution levels of outdoor air and its impact on indoor air quality will also be addressed in the near future. We spend a large majority of time indoors for work, learning, leisure and living, and there is potential to greatly improve indoor air quality if Part F of Building Regulations, which focuses on ventilation, is properly enforced.
 
CIBSE provides leadership on building services engineering and current expert advice and guidance on air quality aspects is available online.

To read the full CIBSE response, please follow the link below.

Results of the consultation and next steps

The Government published the final Air quality plan for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in UK on 26 July. This statutory air quality plan sets out how the UK will be reducing roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations to meet the statutory limits, and the policy background. The accompanying technical report details the modelling techniques and assumptions used when developing the plan.The Direction requires specified local authorities to carry out studies to identify how to meet legal limits for nitrogen dioxide in the shortest possible time, and sets deadlines.

To read the air quality plan and supporting documents, please follow the links below.