The Air Quality (Designation of Relevant Public Authorities) (England) Regulations 2022

Jurisdiction: Great Britain

Commencement: 7th December 2022

Amends: The Environment Act 1995 (1995 c.25) – Part IV National Air Quality Strategy

Mini Summary

The Environment Act 1995 introduced the idea of a National Air Quality Strategy to be prepared by the Secretary of State with requirements on Local Authorities to review local air quality for 7 pollutants and to adopt action plans to achieve air quality targets.

The Commencement Order as of 23 December 1997 implements various sections of the Environment Act 1995, Part IV relating to the role of Local Authorities in the management of air quality.

The Secretary of State has published a statement containing policies to assess and manage air quality. The statement includes standards relating to air quality objectives, including restrictions for the emission of particular substances, and measures to be taken by Local Authorities and others (the public, householders, vehicle owners, industry and commerce).

Local Authorities are required to survey and report air quality in their areas, this includes making a prediction of likely air quality level in the future. Local Authorities are empowered to establish Air Quality Management Areas where air quality standards are not, or are not likely to be met. Where this is the case an action plan must be produced setting out how standards will be met. Local Authorities are then able to use all exercisable powers in order to achieve objectives.

The Environment Agency must also have regard to the National Air Quality Strategy when carrying out its duties.


Although industry is not directly affected by this legislation regard must be had of indirect implications. Where air quality standards are not being met in an area, then the Local Authority will be under an obligation to reverse this trend using any exercisable powers. This may include increased restrictions or limits on industrial emissions to atmosphere.


National Highways is designated as the relevant public authority in relation to Part 4 (Air Quality) of the Environment Act 1995.

There are no changes to duties for organisations.

Link to full government text


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