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Local Air Quality Management

Local Authorities are required to produce annual air quality reports as part of their duties under the Environment Act 1995 and subsequent Regulations. This appraisal cycle, called the Review and Assessment of Air Quality which forms the cornerstone of the system of Local Air Quality Management (LAQM).

Over the past years, local authorities across the country have been engaged in a process of review and assessment of local air quality. This process was set in motion by Central Government through its National Air Quality Strategy (revised in 2007), which set targets for eight pollutants, seven of which fall to local authorities to control, these are set out in the National Objectives for Air Quality.

The review and assessment of air quality forms the first stage of the air quality management process and has two principal objectives:

  • To identify local areas where the air quality objectives will not be met
  • To ensure that air quality considerations are integrated into local authorities' decision making processes, such as land use planning and traffic management

To find out more on the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) program, visit the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs or to visit more detailed support information visit the LAQM helpdesk web page.

National Objectives for Air Quality

The UK Air Quality Strategy was revised in 2000 and updated in 2007 (The Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). National Air Quality Objectives set out limits (or concentrations) for specific air pollutants that local authorities measure against. These are set out in the National Objectives for Air Quality.

Local Authority Reports

Local Authorities produce annual reports under the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) program. These LAQM reports provide local information on whether areas within the local authority breach the National Objectives for Air Quality.

To see a summary of the review and assessment for a local authority in Sussex, go to Local Authority Reports.

Air Quality Management Areas

Sussex presently (2009) has five local authorities with Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA): Brighton and Hove City Council, Chichester District Council, Hastings Borough Council and Lewes District Council. These authorities have declared AQMA's and are at different stages of producing and implementing their Air Quality Action Plans. For more detail on these AQMA locations and the related Action Plans please go to Air Quality Management Areas.

Monitoring

Monitoring of air quality is integral to the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) program, as well as supporting other information services such as airAlert and research projects we undertake in our region. We monitor many air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulates (PM10), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3) across Sussex. To get up-to-date data from automatic air quality monitoring stations, go to Air Quality Near Me or for more information on other monitoring go to Monitoring.

Modelling

Modelling of air quality assists authorities in the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) program, by allowing authorities project forward to future years to assess if locations of concern are predicted to breach air quality objectives. Sussex-air assists local authorities with technical and guidance support on modelling and provides detailed modelling assessments. Sussex-air is building a Sussex-wide emission inventory and now operates ADMS Urban model. For more information on air quality modelling go to Modelling.

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