DEFRA defends progress on new air quality targets

DEFRA has rejected claims that it has been too slow to set a new legal target for air quality based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, saying it would be ready for the publication of the Environment Bill.

The Times newspaper had accused the department of delaying its commitment to develop a target for fine particulate (PM2.5) concentrations in line with the WHO guideline of 10 micrograms per cubic metre.

DEFRA presented its clean air strategy in January, which included the aim of halving the number of people exposed to PM2.5 concentrations above that limit. This commitment “will be delivered”, the department said in a blog post defending its plans.

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