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Government forced to revise air quality improvement plan by July

Date: 25 November 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The Government has been told it must produce a revised air-quality plan in order to bring pollution levels within legal limits by next July.

The order, from High Court judge Mr Justice Garnham, comes after he earlier this month ruled that that the Government had failed to tackle illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution as quickly as possible.

ClientEarth, a green legal group took the Government to court over its lack of action to curb pollution and won, forcing the Government to tweak its action plan.  

Ministers now have until 24 April to produce a draft plan, with a deadline of 31 July set for the final version.

The judge also told the Government to publish the data onthat it willwhich it will base its new plans on, after the High Court ruled the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs had used "over-optimistic" estimates of future diesel car emissions in its last air-quality improvement guide.

"The Government has said throughout this process that it takes air pollution seriously. Until now, its actions have not lived up to this claim," said James Thornton, CEO of ClientEarth. "Now is the time for the Government to prove that it truly cares about people's health and the environment and take decisive action to tackle illegal air pollution in this country."