Air quality

Clean air is important for human health and the environment.

Air pollution occurs when harmful substances are released into the air. The main pollutants affecting the air in Norfolk are nitrogen dioxide and particulates, but sulphur dioxide, lead, carbon monoxide, ground level ozone, benzene and, 1,3-butadiene are also of concern if emitted at high enough concentrations.

The aim of the air quality legislation and policy in the United Kingdom is to ensure that the air quality does not cause harm to human health and the environment. 

Local Authorities have a statutory duty to review and assess local air quality under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995.

Where a Local Authority considers that one or more of the objectives are unlikely to be met and there is relevant exposure, it must declare an AQMA and develop an action plan setting out measures to work towards an improvement of the air quality in the area.

Local Authorities are required to submit all relevant air quality reports to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for acceptance.

The key statutory obligations are as summarised as follows:

Norfolk County Council

We have a statutory obligation under Environment Act 1995, Part IV, Section 80; Environmental Protection Act 1990 Section 7; Environment Act 1995, Part 4; Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 to prevent the pollution form emissions to air, land or water.

As the Highway Authority we are obliged to find solutions to air quality issues through the AQMA process where pollution comes from transport sources.

District Councils

All district councils have a statutory obligation under Environment Act 1995, Part IV, Section 80; Environmental Protection Act 1990 Section 7; Environment Act  1995, Part 4; Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 to prevent the pollution from emissions to air, land or water with obligations to continuously review and monitor air pollution.

For more information on their role, contact your local district, borough or city council.

Air Quality Management Meetings held quarterly between all the Districts and Norfolk County Council.