Section 4 of the Environment Bill “Improving the air we breathe”, is targeted at reducing air pollution. The UK has previously targeted nitrogen dioxide directly, following this we have seen a great reduction in nitrogen dioxide levels. The Environment bill proposes that we next target fine particulate matter.
One particular way in which the government are looking to reduce PM levels in the air is though one of the main contributors, domestic solid fuel burning. They are looking to achieve this by better regulating the sale of fuels and appliances, through education and providing greater powers to Local Authorities.
The new powers provided to Local Authorities include the removal of the limit on a fine issued when delivering non-appropriate fuel to a location within a Smoke Control Area, the bill also removes the criminal offence of emitting smoke from a chimney in a smoke control area and replaces it with a civil penalty regime, this means that Local Authorities will be able to penalise those breaking Smoke Control Area rules faster and more easily.
Reductions in PM levels will have a positive effect on the environment and the health of residents, this will reduce overall spending in these areas. To find out more about the health impacts of PM click here.
The environment bill 2020 also looks at areas such as enhancing green spaces and the sustainable use of water to improve the overall environmental health of the UK. More details can be found here.