Declaring an AQMA

Declaring an AQMA - defra

Section 83 of the Environment Act 1995 and in Northern Ireland Article 12 of the Environment (Northern Ireland ) Order 2002 requires an authority to "by order designate as an AQMA…any part of its area in which it appears that those…objectives are not…likely to be achieved within the relevant period". It does not, however, explicitly state what should be contained in an AQMA Order.

LAQM Policy Guidance recommends that the AQMA Order should include a map and a description of the AQMA. The description can vary depending upon the size of the AQMA declared. For example, Environment Protection UK Guidance note ("Air Quality Management Areas: Turning Reviews into Action" (PDF 500 KB)) sets out an example for a larger AQMA might be "an area bordered on the north and east by the Council's own boundary, on the south by a line 50 metres to the south of the A45, and on the east by a line 50 metres to the east of the B1108 ". For a smaller AQMA, a more detailed description listing individual streets or other physical features might be appropriate. In some cases, it may be appropriate to list the individual properties affected, although there is no legal requirement to do this. Alternatively, it might be useful to include in the AQMA Order an approximate summary of the number and type of properties affected. This information should be readily available from the Review and Assessment reports.

It is also recommended that the AQMA Order should include:

  • the date on which it is intended that the AQMA should come into force;

  • a list of the pollutants and specific objectives for which the AQMA has been designated

Authorities should notify the Defra and/or the Devolved Administrations as appropriate that an AQMA has been designated (providing them with a copy of the AQMA Order), and should publicise the fact widely in the local media and, where possible, on the internet.

An example of an AQMA Order is available in Annex B of the LAQM Policy Guidance LAQM.PG(16).