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Environmental Protection - Air Quality

Air Quality in Cornwall

Although air quality in Cornwall is generally very good there are certain 'hotspots' where standards fail to meet national air quality objectives.  As part of our statutory duties, we undertake a regular programme to monitor and review air quality in Cornwall.  Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) have to be declared in areas where these Government standards are not being met.  AQMAs have been declared for:

  • Camborne, Pool, and Redruth (CPR) (2005);
  • Bodmin (2008);
  • Tideford (2011);
  • Gunnislake (2014); and
  • St Austell (2014).

Cornwall Council is currently consulting the public about declaring another AQMA in Truro.  Please see the Truro Air Quality page for further information.

All AQMAs have been declared due to exceedences of the nitrogen dioxide UK annual mean objective.

In May 1997 the Government produced the National Air Quality Strategy (NAQS). The strategy represents a comprehensive approach to maintaining and improving the quality of ambient air in the United Kingdom.

Outlined in the strategy are the air quality objectives for the 7 pollutants of most concern at present and the dates it feels these objectives should be met. These objectives are based on EU Limit Values for these pollutants and the UK is legally required to meet these Limit Values by the dates set. 

Pollutants of concern:

  • PM10 Particulates
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
  • Benezene
  • Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
  • 1,3 Butadiene
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Lead

Under the Environment Act 1995 Local Authorities are required to assess and, if necessary, take action in matters relating to air quality.  If, after monitoring Cornwall Council are of the opinion that levels have or are likely to exceed the Government standards there is a duty to initiate remedial action.  This is in the form of declaring an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and preparation of an Action Plan to improve air quality.

Further information on air quality in Cornwall is available via the links below:

For more information on air quality and the levels of pollutants that should be in our air visit the GOV.UK website.

For more information on air quality please contact the Environmental Protection Team by e-mail communityandenvironmentalprotection@cornwall.gov.uk or by calling 0300 1234 212

Environmental protection

0300 1234 212