Wednesday, January 7, 2015

[Biofuelwatch] Urgent alert: Remind Defra: Decimating air quality monitoring and reporting is NOT the way to clean up our air!



Back in 2013, Defra tried to slash air quality monitoring and reporting across England as part of Government's 'Red Tape' challenge. They put those proposals on ice after 18,000 people responded to their consultation, protesting that air quality monitoring and reporting aren't 'red tape' – they're vital for protecting public health.
Just before Christmas, Defra revived their plans in a new consultation.  They are less explicit about wanting to slash air quality monitoring and reporting – but the figures in their impact assessment show that this is exactly what they're proposing.  Curiously, this consultation was published exactly one month after the European Court of Justice ruled the the UK must clean up its illegal breach of EU air quality legislation as soon as possible  - something Defra say in their consultation won't happen in London, Leeds and Birmingham until after 2030!
Defra claims that less 'emphasis' on monitoring and reporting will make local authorities focus more on actions to clean up England's air.  This is nonsensical.  Without comprehensive air quality monitoring and reporting, communities have little hope of stopping new polluting developments, be it roads or power stations, on air pollution grounds.  Without data to show that air pollution limits are being breached, local authorities will have no incentives to do anything about this.  
Defra also wants to scrap air quality objectives for four air pollutants – two of which happen to be of particular concern in relation to fracking.
Please take part in this alert (http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2015/defra-alert/) and tell Defra to scrap their plans, to go back to the drawing board, and to come up with a plan to reduce, not hide air pollution.  Please help us spread the word about this urgent alert.  If you have the time, then it would be great if you could share your concerns with your MP, too.
Many thanks!
The Biofuelwatch Team
 
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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

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