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3

2.

The LAQM Framework

2.1

Legislative Background

Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 requires that local authorities (LAs) periodically review air quality within their areas. This process of Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) is an integral part of delivering the Government’s Air Quality Objectives (AQOs) first detailed in 1997 and updated in the Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000 (hereafter referred to as the Regulations). New targets for benzene, carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM10) were published in 2002, the objectives for PM10 and benzene supplement the 2000 Regulations whilst the objective for CO will replace the existing target.

The pollutants specified in the Regulations and to be assessed in the Review and Assessment process, with their relevant AQO concentrations, are shown in Table 2.1.

2.1.1

Assessment Against EU Limit Values

In addition to the Regulations the EU set Limit Values for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and benzene and indicative values for PM10, to be achieved by 1 January 2010. Although there is no statutory obligation for WBC to assess air quality against the EU Limit Values, an assessment against these criteria has been undertaken. This will assist with longer term planning and the assessment of development proposals in their area. This is particularly relevant considering the requirement for England to achieve tighter objective concentrations by 2010 in relation to benzene and PM10.

2.2

Phase 1 of Review and Assessment

To carry out an stage approach.

Air Quality Review and Assessment This phased review process uses

the Government recommended a three initial simple screening methods and

progresses through to more detailed assessment methods of modelling and monitoring identified to be at potential risk of exceeding the objectives in the Regulations. This was to be completed by December 2000.

in areas process

The Review and Assessment of local air quality aimed to identify areas where national policies, to reduce vehicle and industrial emissions, were unlikely to result in air quality meeting the

Government’s AQOs at locations of assessment work indicated that some or

relevant public exposure. all of the objectives may be

Where the review and potentially exceeded, the

LA had AQMA

a duty to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). The declaration of an requires the LA to undertake what has been referred to as a Stage 4 assessment and

implement an Air AQOs are met.

Quality

Action

Plan

(AQAP)

to

reduce

air

pollution

levels

so

that

the

required

h:\projects\em-260\10000 projects\10151 aq w.berks r&a - phase 2\d design\reporting\10151 aq final u&sa.doc10151-01

May 2003

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