Environment Bill should mandate ‘national healthy air plan’, says ClientEarth

A series of recommendations to bolster the Environment Bill’s limited provisions on air quality were heard at Environmental Protection UK’s annual conference yesterday.

Andrea Lee, campaigns and policy manager for clean air at ClientEarth, told the gathering of mostly consultants and academics that she “had hoped that it would build a framework to deal with the whole mess” of air pollution. However, despite many meetings with DEFRA ministers and the team who drew up the bill, “we don’t feel that’s really been achieved”.

There is “not a lot” on air quality in the Environment Bill, she said, leaving the government “dithering towards an unknown destination” and again passing the buck to local authorities. The only major new element was a provision to force manufacturers and retailers to recall vehicles and machinery found not to meet emissions standards – though that derives from an EU directive, she added.

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