Government publishes new clean air strategy

Air pollution caused by tyre and brake wear will be tackled under new government plans to reduce air pollution levels. The Department for Environment,…

Air pollution caused by tyre and brake wear will be tackled under new government plans to reduce air pollution levels. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published its new Clean Air Strategy with the aim of halving those exposed to toxic particulates in the air by 2025. The new strategy, which is now subject to consultation, proposes the introduction of new primary legislation to create a new legal air quality framework to “prevent a national health crisis” and reduce the cost of air pollution to society by £1 billion a year by 2020. The plans will place a new focus on tackling toxic non-exhaust emissions such as micro plastics from tyres and brakes by working with international partners to research and develop new standards to address particulates which result from brake dust and worn tyres.

Other forms of emissions such as coal-burning and airborne ammonia from farming will also be tackled. Defra has also announced that local government will be handed more power to tackle pollution hotspots and implement Clean Air Zones. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “Government cannot act alone in tackling air pollution. Our strategy sets out how we will work with businesses, farmers, industry and households to develop innovative new solutions to reduce emissions. It also highlights how we can all take action and play an important role in cleaning up our air”.

The strategy will work alongside the upcoming “Road to Zero” report which will address nitrogen dioxide pollution caused by diesel vehicles. The consultation on the Clean Air Strategy closes on 14 August 2018.

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