Revised local air quality management policy guidance has been published.
The guidance has been updated for local authorities to take account of Environmental Standards Scotland’s (ESS) recommendations to strengthen the local air quality management regime.
The policy guidance, the accompanying technical guidance and Cleaner Air for Scotland 2 – Towards a Better Place for Everyone’ (CAFS2) are the primary guidance documents to which local authorities should have regard when carrying out their air quality review and assessment work.
CAFS2 was published in July 2021, setting out the air quality policy framework to 2026. Amongst the wide range of actions included in the strategy is a commitment to review the LAQM policy guidance to take account of developments since the last update in 2016.
In November 2021 ESS announced its first investigation would consider air quality, specifically focusing on compliance with the nitrogen dioxide limit value set in Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe, which forms part of retained law following the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Three of the six recommendations made by ESS following their investigation are to strengthen the effectiveness of the LAQM regime in place to improve air quality in Scotland. The revisions made to this LAQMpolicy guidance incorporate the ESS recommendations to strengthen the LAQM regime.
A short life working group with members including local authorities and SEPA was established to support Scottish Government in reviewing the LAQM policy guidance.
The revised guidance can be found at Local air quality management: policy guidance – gov.scot (www.gov.scot).
The Scottish Government’s response to Environmental Standards Scotland’s recommendations following its investigation into air quality was also published and can be viewed at Environmental Standards Scotland air quality investigation – Scottish Government improvement plan – gov.scot (www.gov.scot).