The Environment Act 1995 introduced a local air quality management (LAQM) system that set health-based air quality 'objectives' relating to common pollutants found in cities. The LAQM process places an obligation on all local authorities to regularly review and assess air quality in their areas, and to determine whether or not the air quality objectives are likely to be achieved. The statutory air quality objectives applicable to LAQM in England, can be found here: National air quality objectives.
Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA)
Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) are declared when there is an exceedance or likely exceedance of an air quality objective. After declaration, the authority must prepare an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) within 12-18 months setting out measures it intends to put in place in pursuit of improved air quality and compliance with the objectives.
Annual Status Report (ASR)
As part of the LAQM system, Local Authorities are required to produce an Annual Status Report (ASR). This report provides detail of the strategies employed by an authority to improve air quality and any progress that has been made in relation to any AQAP or strategy. The report is submitted to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for scrutiny prior to publication. The 2019 ASR for Hambleton District Council can be seen here
National Air Pollution Levels
For current national air pollutant levels visit the Defra UK-AIR website. A guide to UK Air pollution Information Resources can be found at the following site Guide to UK Air Pollution Information Resources.