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Air Quality Strategy

The latest Air Quality Strategy (latest version published in July 2007) establishes the framework for air quality improvements across the UK. Measures agreed at the national and international level are the foundations on which the strategy is based.

The strategy sets out the Air Quality Standards and Objectives which have been set in order to measure the improvement of air quality.

Local Air Quality Management

A system of Local Air Quality Management has been in place in the UK since 1997, with the overall aim of ensuring that the national air quality objectives will be achieved in all areas. In early 2009, the Technical and Policy Guidance for LAQM were updated and re-issued to ensure that all local authorities continue to follow best practice.

District councils are required to review their current air quality and assess whether any locations are likely to exceed the Air Quality Strategy Objectives. If they identify areas of exceedence then one or more air quality management areas will need to be defined. District councils are encouraged to work together, and to consult with other local stakeholders to ensure that the process is carried out in a transparent fashion.

A series of LAQM Tools have been developed to assist district councils with this task. Progress on Review and Assessment across Northern Ireland is available from the LAQM section.

Further Information

For further information on air quality policy within Northern Ireland, the UK and European Community, please see the Defra policy webpage.