Government seeks time to meet air quality limits

The Environment Department (DEFRA) is seeking more time to meet EU limits on fine particulates (PM10) in ambient air. But the consultation comes months after the EU deadline and its assumptions have been upset by the London mayor’s decisions.

The Environment Department (DEFRA) is consulting on its belated request to the European Commission to extend it deadline for meeting EU air quality limits on fine particulates (PM10).1 Large fines may follow if the application is unsuccessful.

Legal standards for PM10 entered into force in 2005 but, in common with other member states, many parts of the UK have failed to meet the limits. The EU therefore agreed to extend the deadline to June 2011 if states could persuade the Commission that the standards would be achieved.

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