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Air Quality Legislation

European Community legislation is created as Directives. These Directives must then be incorporated into the laws of each Member State. Directives focus only on the desired result and leave each Member State to consider how they will meet the requirements.

European directives

In European Legislation the UK Government represents the Member State. However, in the UK, Environmental issues tend to be devolved. As such it is for the Devolved Administrations to address them separately. The Directives passed by the European Union (EU) about air quality provide the framework for the Air Quality Strategy and Local Air Quality Management in Wales.

Air Quality Standards (Wales) Regulations

These regulations bring into law in Wales the limits set out in European Union (EU) Daughter Directives on Air Quality. The regulations require that Welsh Ministers divide Wales into air quality zones.

Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (CAFÉ)

This directive came into force in June 2008. It has to be included in UK law by June 2010. It brings together all the existing air quality legislation except the 4th Daughter Directive.

Directive 2004/107/EC (the 4th Daughter Directive)

This Directive created targets for the concentration of arsenic, cadmium, nickel and benzo(a)pyrene in ambient air. The aim was to avoid, prevent or reduce harmful effects of these substances on human health and the environment.

Directive 2002/3/EC (the 3rd Daughter Directive)

This Directive establishes long-term objectives, targets, an alert threshold and an information threshold for concentrations of ozone in ambient air.

Directive 2001/81/EC on national emission ceilings

The National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD) sets maximum levels for each member state for emissions of ammonia, sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These four pollutants are primarily responsible for acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozo ...

The Clean Air Act 1993

This legislation aims to protect public health from smoke emissions.