WIT Press

The Development And Operation Of The United Kingdom’s Air Quality Management Regime


Free (open access)





Page Range

149 - 157




275 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


J. W. S. Longhurst, J. G. Irwin, T. J. Chatterton, E. T. Hayes, N. S. Leksmono & J. K. Symons


This paper considers the development and operation of the UK’s air quality management regime since its introduction in the Environment Act, 1995. In the context of a changing and challenging air pollution climate, the development of an effects-based, risk management system for air quality regulation is evaluated. Key to the regime is the division of responsibility between central government and local government for both the diagnosis of areas of poor air quality and for the development of solutions to improve air quality. Keywords: environment act, 1995, air quality management, United Kingdom. 1 Management in historical perspective The United Kingdom (UK) has a long history of attempts to control air pollution. Initially attention was focused on the problem of smoke control in wintertime conditions as typified by the London Smog of 1952 [1,2] where air pollution was principally determined by patterns of coal consumption. The subsequent government appointed Beaver Committee [1] investigation into the causes, consequences and future control measures led to the introduction of the Clean Air Act, 1956. Regulatory attention was given to domestic sources primarily through this Act which required that domestic coal be burnt in approved appliances which were more efficient, and gave encouragement to the use of smokeless fuels and to other forms of fuel switching such as from coal to oil, gas or electricity. Following the introduction of the Act coal consumption declined in domestic and industrial markets throughout the 1960s and 1970s and the frequency and severity of coal smoke pollution within the UK’s towns and cities


environment act, 1995, air quality management, United Kingdom.