Air pollution funding cuts would leave people 'unprotected' (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Green Party campaigners say DEFRA is cutting local air pollution monitoring funding with no alternatives in place
Air pollution monitoring sites could soon permanently close and leave people unable to protect themselves, according to the Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party.
Concerns have emerged that a government consultation currently underway could end with local authorities being stripped of their current responsibility to deliver information on local pollution, and that no alternative arrangement is in place.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is now consulting over an overhaul of the local air quality management regime that has been in place for 16 years.
DEFRA says it needs to change to help the UK meet EU air quality standards and that there is too much red-tape involved.
The Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party says the changes are simply to cut funding and that a logical consequence of this would be pollution stations closing.
Local Green Party spokeswoman Diana Korchien said: “The responsibility of delivering information on local pollution would no longer exist.
“It’s a logical consequence then that there wouldn’t be any money spent on it and the monitoring stations would close.
“If we don’t have any in our borough we won’t be able to monitor and inform citizens who can take steps to protect themselves.”
In June a Freedom of Information request submitted to Transport for London revealed that a section of the A406, which runs through Walthamstow, is the most polluted road in London.
The consultation, which was due to end on Friday, has now been extended by two weeks.
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