Air quality


This cross-cutting theme is now closed for comments.

You can read comments made since the start of the Red Tape Challenge in April 2011 below.

You can also still submit comments to the Red Tape Challenge inbox by clicking here.

These regulate pollutants released into the air.

They include provisions on smoke control areas, asbestos pollution and the Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme. They also include EU and domestic provisions setting annual limits for emissions of certain pollutants, and setting standards for concentrations of pollutants in outdoor air.

You can find all 14 regulations that relate to air quality below to the left.

Clean Air Enactments (Repeals and Modifications) Regulations 1974

Made in consequence of the establishment of the Health and Safety Executive and the coming into operation on the 1st January 1975 of provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

 UK regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Control of Asbestos in the Air Regulations 1990

Prevention of environmental pollution by asbestos

 UK regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

National Emission Ceilings Regulations 2002

Transposes EU directive 2001/81/EC aiming to limit transboundary air pollution effects in the EU by setting national emission ceilings to be met by 2010.

EU regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Air Quality (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002

These regulations amend the Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000 and set the air quality objectives for England.

 UK regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

The Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010

Transposes EU ambient air quality directives 2008/50/EC and 2004/107/EC relating to limits and targets for various pollutants in outdoor air for the protection of human health and the environment.

EU regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

The Smoke Control Areas (Authorised Fuels) (England) Regulations 2001

The Order allows certain fuels that do not emit significant smoke to be marketed for use in Smoke Control Areas.

 UK regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

The Smoke Control Areas (Authorised Fuels) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002

The Order allows certain fuels that do not emit significant smoke to be marketed for use in Smoke Control Areas.

 UK regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

The Smoke Control Areas (Authorised Fuels) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2005

The Order allows certain fuels that do not emit significant smoke to be marketed for use in Smoke Control Areas.

 UK regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

The Smoke Control Areas (Authorised Fuels) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2006

The Order allows certain fuels that do not emit significant smoke to be marketed for use in Smoke Control Areas.

 UK regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

The Smoke Control Areas (Authorised Fuels) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2007

The Order allows certain fuels that do not emit significant smoke to be marketed for use in Smoke Control Areas.

 UK regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

The Smoke Control Areas (Exempted Fireplaces) (England) Order 2011

The Order allows certain approved appliances that do not emit significant smoke to be marketed for use in Smoke Control Areas.

 UK regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2011

Amends the 2010 aviation regulations to enable the UK to regulate aviation operators not on the central Commission list.

 UK regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2009

Part-transposes an EU Directive to introduce aviation into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme from 2012, in particular the reporting requirements needed for the start of 2010 for operators to receive free allocation of allowances.

EU regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2010

Completes transpostion of the revision to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme Directive to introduce aviation into the scheme from 2012

EU regulation

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Tell us what you think should happen to these regulations and why, being specific where possible:

For example, you might consider whether the Air Quality (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 could be combined with the Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 to minimise the burden on compliant businesses and local authorities by streamlining and simplifying the current local air quality management system, and to improve alignment with EU requirements.

121 responses to Air quality

  • user_id){ ?>

    Gordon said on April 18, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Would it not be better or rather simpler to have all these laws combined into one act that is understandable and easy to read . By doing this you cut the red tape and also make it easier to police.

    It seems to me that all the environmental law that is applicable to business needs to made simple and easy to understand. That way there is no excuse for not sticking to the law.

  • user_id){ ?>

    tony said on March 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Enforcement of clean air act regulations as applying to domestic chimneys, ignoring breaches or turning a blind eye is condoning the breaches, may as well not have rules if they are not enforced, this is widespread and common as there are no so many woodburners being used in our towns and cities.

    Comment Tags: Clean Air

  • user_id){ ?>

    tony said on March 28, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Enforce the existing legislation relating to the clean air acts, regulations without enforcement is the same as not having regulations.

    Comment Tags: clean air act

  • user_id){ ?>

    Bill Colwell said on March 16, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Regulation offers direction and prompts us to develop in ways that are attentive to the future and the bottom line and compatible with great business. It is an accute embarrassment to be part of a backward, bleating, ‘business’ in this new century… on the whole big business (so little of it domestic and accountable) has become myopic by definition and lazy by habits. It must be tested on regulation and inspired by legislation. The question of “in whose interests” clearly arises on every corner of these proposals. When regs direct us as economic beings to act in certain ways in the social and environmental context, it should really mean that (as sapient beings) we work to evolve our behaviour and take advantage of our propensity for sapient innovation… not sink back into behaviours we should have left in the previous century. If it needs a chimney or an exhaust it has something unpleasant to redistribute on our planet and must carry high penalties. The fact that penalties prove to be higher here than in the BRIC nations presents opportunities and should evolve us quickly. Britain must lead as a mature nation with all lessons absorbed.

  • user_id){ ?>

    David Linsey said on February 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Much stronger enforcement of current speed regulations and lower the speed on motorways (not raise it to 80 mph). Force the NHS to stop paying such high rates to car users (58 p per mile) and raise the amount paid to cyclists in the NHS (now only 10 p per mile). Stop paying NHS staff to drive to their own place of work. The regulations seem to weak as they are now, but if it makes you feel better, bundle them all up in one act so you can claim to be removing red tape, as long as you also strengthen them.

    Comment Tags: cars, cycling, driving, mileage, NHS

  • user_id){ ?>

    chris gillham said on February 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    We need to keep everything we’ve got in the legislation and then much tougher rules on road transport emissions. The asthma burden in this country due to road transport is a disgrace. And we need enforcement. How is my local authority (Winchester) allowed to go on with Nox levels in its streets 8 years after declaring an AQMA, without taking the slightest measure to comply and indeed to plan to increase traffic in the city?

    Comment Tags: Road traffic emissions

  • user_id){ ?>

    patricia borlenghi said on February 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    If anything the regulations should be even more strident and polluters heavily fined or disqualified. Sometimes red tape has a serious purpose and cannot be discarded.

    Comment Tags: triciab

  • user_id){ ?>

    Sarah Clayton said on February 12, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Regulations to protect the environment have taken years to produce, and are very much needed. I am TOTALLY opposed to any regulations trying to simplify, or weaken, out environmental protection. In particular, I wonder how you include the working of the EU ETS for aviation emissions in your group of bits of legislation. The UK and all European countries have included aviation in the ETS. It is not for Britain to try and simplify the scheme or scrap it. It really is not appropriate, in my view, to even have aviation and the ETS in this section. The carbon emissions from aviation need to be controlled, and cut. But I do not think simplifying the ETS is an option. Stricter standards of air quality at and around airports would be welcome, with tigher controls, not fewer.

  • user_id){ ?>

    Rosemary Marshall said on February 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Environmental protection is ESSENTIAL in this crowded island. It does not interfere with growth but gives parameters for development. We are not all luddites!! Legislation will need to be strengthened as the population grows, not dismissed.

  • user_id){ ?>

    David Farbey said on February 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Regulations that improve the health and well-being of every citizen – including the health and well-being of cabinet ministers and their families – are not “red tape”. The quality of the air we breathe is not something an individual can control, and it is the duty of government to have and to enforce regulations preventing air pollution. By all means simplify the language of the regulations, and make sure they are written in everyday English and not legal jargon. In fact, we could just have one law that said that anyone guilty of releasing damaging emissions would face a huge fine or very long term of imprisonment. Doing away with regulations “because they’re difficult to follow” is absurd.

  • user_id){ ?>

    L S McKnight said on January 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I would toughen the regulations so that people like me with lung diseases aren’t trapped inside so that others can drive their turbo diesel 4×4 down to Waitrose. There are an estimated 3 million in the UK with respiratory problems such as COPD.

    Comment Tags: air quality, COPD, Lung disease

  • user_id){ ?>

    S Charlesworth said on January 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Do not scrap or water down these regulations! They are here to protect the health of the population.

  • user_id){ ?>

    Neil Parry said on January 25, 2012 at 10:58 am

    In Sheffield the health costs of poor air quality are around £160 million if the Government was to comply with EU Limit values this would enhance the economy, health and well being of many cities and towns in England. Air Quality is an indicator in the Dof H’s Public Health Outcomes Framework just published its there because air pollution is aserious problem

    Comment Tags: sheffield

  • user_id){ ?>

    JD Raggett said on December 8, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I cannot imagine how any government of a civilised country really thinks that watering down the legislation about air quality is a good thing. What could be accomplished by such a move? As a society we pride ourselves in taking seriously peoples’ health and the health of the environment. How can we possibly go backwards? Simplification must not in any way involve dilution of the regulations that aim to improve air quality, including EU regs and the Air quality Standard Regs.

    Comment Tags: EU air quaility

  • user_id){ ?>

    P. Carder said on October 2, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    It is unforgivable that the “greenest Government ever” should even suggest scrapping environmental protection regulations which it glibly describes as ”red tape” (and therefore a “burden on business”) but which in the conditions of modern society have long been found necessary for promoting a healthy environment, and by necessary implication for protecting human health as well.
    Given that air pollution currently kills an estimated 29,000 people a year in the UK it would seem obvious that in the interests of human health existing controls should be tightened not weakened, so that instead of seeking to avoid compliance with EU air quality directives by repeatedly seeking derogations (eg. from 2008/50/EC), the Government should if necessary require exhaust-scrubbers to be fitted to all existing vehicles which currently fail to meet the more stringent exhaust-emission standards.
    It should also be made much easier for members of the public to report any vehicle with a smoky exhaust to a single public authority able to take direct enforcement action, as used to be possible through the Regional Traffic Commissioners, whereas the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency deals only with HGVs and in other cases the local police – to whom I have been referred by my local council (which denies having any jurisdiction over moving vehicles) – seem inevitably to give a low priority to tackling this form of public nuisance.

Bookmark and Share