£1m extra funding for local authorities to tackle air pollution

This is in addition to the £2 million Environment Minister Lord Taylor announced in October for a range of projects designed to reduce the levels of air pollution in towns and cities.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will be talking directly to local councils to identify which projects could benefit the extra funding to help reduce Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) emissions.

Eligibility for these new grants is limited to English local authorities with one or more Air Quality Management Areas for NO2 or those authorities where the government’s national air quality assessment in 2009 identified a high level of NO2 emissions in their area.

It is hoped that these projects will lead to significant reductions in NO2 emissions over the next twelve months in those areas where an urgent improvement is required.

Local authorities who are successful in gaining this funding will be required to provide Defra with a progress report by September 2012 to monitor the success of each project and prove the money is being spent effectively.

Lord Taylor said: “Although the quality of the air that we breathe has improved considerably, reducing air pollution is still one of our greatest challenges.

“That is why I am pleased to announce today that we are providing just over £1 million of further funding to support these projects and to improve the local framework for delivering air quality improvements.

“Local authorities continue to play their part in improving air quality and this extra Government support builds on the £2 million of Air Quality Grants for research and interventions to support air quality improvements that I announced in October.”

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