A Preliminary Investigation Of Local Air Quality Management And Environmental Justice In England And Wales
Free (open access)
I. Gegisian, M. Grey, J. Irwin & J. W. S. Longhurst
This paper is concerned with the relationship of air quality and population exposure within the context provided by environmental justice and social equity. It will explore the extent to which different social groups in England and Wales are exposed to adverse concentrations of air pollution as specified in the Air Quality Strategy (AQS) 2000 and subsequent regulations. In England and Wales Local Authorities (LAs) have a duty to review and assess air quality and to identify areas where objectives specified in the AQS are not met. In such areas where public exposure is present the LAs must declare Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). The characteristics of the population in these pollution hotspots are not well defined. Furthermore the AQMAs vary in size and pollutant sources and are often, but not exclusively, found in city areas. The paper describes the characteristics of the population resident in AQMAs in terms of their social status as computed by deprivation indicators. The methodological approach employed involves an initial investigation on the availability and suitability of deprivation indicators, and followed by the use of a GIS environment to visualise the deprivation scores in AQMAs areas throughout England and Wales. The paper considers social equity issues in respect of the exposed populations and raises the issue of considering equity in the definition of an AQMA. Keywords: Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs), local air quality management, environmental justice, social equity.
Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs), local air quality management, environmental justice, social equity.