The Air Quality Strategy establishes the framework for air quality improvements. Measures agreed at the national and international level are the foundations on which the strategy is based. It is recognised, however, that despite these measures, areas of poor air quality will remain, and that these will best be dealt with using local measures implemented through the LAQM regime. The role of the local authority review and assessment process is to identify all those areas where the air quality objectives are being or are likely to be exceeded. Experience has shown that such areas may range from single residential properties to whole town centres.
The air quality objectives applicable to LAQM are set out separately in Air Quality Regulations for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (see Footnote).
A summary of the current UK Air Quality Objectives is provided here.
|Pollutant||Air Quality Objective
|Measured as||To be achieved by|
|All authorities||16.25 µg m-3||Running annual mean||31 December 2003|
|England and Wales Only||5.00 µg m-3||Annual mean||31 December 2010|
|Scotland and N. Ireland||3.25 µg m-3||Running annual mean||31 December 2010|
|1,3-Butadiene||2.25 µg m-3||Running annual mean||31 December 2003|
|England, Wales and N. Ireland||10.0 mg m-3||Maximum daily running 8-hour mean||31 December 2003|
|Scotland Only||10.0 mg m-3||Running 8-hour mean||31 December 2003|
|Lead||0.5 µg m-3||Annual mean||31 December 2004|
|0.25 µg m-3||Annual mean||31 December 2008|
|Nitrogen Dioxide||200 µg m-3 not to be exceeded more than 18 times a year||1-hour mean||31 December 2005|
|40 µg m-3||Annual mean||31 December 2005|
|Sulphur dioxide||350 µg m-3, not to be exceeded more than 24 times a year||1-hour mean||31 December 2004|
|125 µg m-3, not to be exceeded more than 3 times a year||24-hour mean||31 December 2004|
|266 µg m-3, not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year||15-minute mean||31 December 2005|
|Particles (PM10) (gravimetric)|
|All authorities||50 µg m-3, not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year||Daily mean||31 December 2004|
|40 µg m-3||Annual mean||31 December 2004|
|Scotland Only||50 µg m-3, not to be exceeded more than 7 times a year||Daily mean||31 December 2010|
|18 µg m-3||Annual mean||31 December 2010|
|Particles (PM2.5) (gravimetric) *||25 µg m-3 (target)||Annual mean||2020|
|All authorities||20% cut in urban background exposure||Annual mean||2010 - 2020|
|Scotland Only||12 µg m-3 (limit)||Annual mean||2020|
|PAH *||0.25 ng m-3||Annual mean||31 December 2010|
|Ozone *||100 µg m-3 not to be exceeded more than 10 times a year||8 hourly running or hourly mean*||31 December 2005|
* not included in regulations at present
England: The Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000 (SI 928), The Air Quality (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (SI 3043),
Scotland: The Air Quality (Scotland) Regulations 2000 (Scottish SI 2000 No 97), The Air Quality (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (Scottish SI 2002 No 297),
Wales: Air Quality (Wales) Regulations 2000, No 1940 (Wales 138), Air Quality (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2002, No 3182 (Wales 298),
Northern Ireland: Air Quality Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003, Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland 2003, no. 342.