UK given three months to tackle air pollution

18th April 2011


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  • Prosecution ,
  • Local government ,
  • EU ,
  • Air

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IEMA

The European Commission has given the UK a three-month extension to tackle air pollution in London or face fines of up to £300 million.

In December 2009, EU officials ruled that air quality in Greater London did not meet targets set out in the Directives (1999/30/EC and 96/62/EC) providing daily and yearly limits of concentration of airborne particles known as PM10.

EU environment commissioner Janez Potonik has announced that the UK government has until 11 June to meet the targets, but that the extension was dependent on the authorities taking short-term measures to control or suspend activities that contribute to the emissions.

“Air pollution from PM10 has serious impacts on human health. That is why EU legislation sets strict standards. The commission expects member states to clearly demonstrate that they are doing their utmost, in the interests of their citizens, to comply with the standards in the shortest possible time,” he said.

To help improve air quality in the capital, the Department for Transport has committed an additional £5 million to help the mayor of London establish a “Clean Air Fund”.

The money will be used to put in place measures – including trialling dust suppressant technology – to reduce PM10 in a number of locations in central London.

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