Critically evaluate the role and effectiveness of the Environment Agency (UK) in improving air quality in the United Kingdom - Essay Example

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Environment Agency Introduction Air quality control is an incessant issue in the United Kingdom like in the case of any other industrially developed economy. Although the UK government has taken a series of measures to address this issue, air quality still remains to be a threat to both humans and environmental sustainability…
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Critically evaluate the role and effectiveness of the Environment Agency (UK) in improving air quality in the United Kingdom
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Extract of sample "Critically evaluate the role and effectiveness of the Environment Agency (UK) in improving air quality in the United Kingdom"

Download file to see previous pages The organisation plays a regulative role in reducing the emission of air pollutants into the atmosphere from huge industrial processes and thereby improving the air quality in the country. Recently, the agency has planned to extent its operational area to large scale agricultural activities too while giving exception to some agricultural activities that cause release of air pollutants. This paper will critically evaluate the role and effectiveness of UK’s Environmental Agency in promoting air quality in the country. Air pollution in UK Air pollution is a drastically growing issue in the United Kingdom at both local and national levels. Although the air pollution in UK has been better improved over the last decade, it still struggles with air quality issues. Official data indicate that CO2 emissions significantly contribute to the UK’s pollution issue. The UK Air Quality Strategy gives specific focus on emission of air pollutants including benzene, 1,3-butadiene, lead, ozone, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides (DEFRA, 2012). Road transport, fuel combustion, and industrial emissions are some of the major sources of air pollution in UK. Historically, the UK has been greatly suffering from sulphur dioxide and smoke emissions. Nowadays, traffic emissions are growing to be a potential impediment to the UK’s air pollution control efforts. Combustion of fossil fuels has an increasing impact on the UK’s urban air quality. As we mentioned above, air pollution has a range of negative effects on both health and environment. Even though moderate levels of air pollution are not likely to have any serious effect on a normal individual, continuous and long term exposure to air pollution may result in threatening health conditions including inflammatory and respiratory system failures. Air pollution more severely affects the long term sustainability of the environment. Emission of air pollutants like CO2 causes depletion of ozone layer and allows infrared and other harmful rays to enter the earth’s atmosphere. Such rays are dangerous to a number of ecosystems and therefore cause to destroy the balance of ecology. Researchers argue that air pollution can have devastating impacts on biodiversity and crop yields. In UK, several studies are being conducted to accurately explore the effects of air pollution on vegetation. Primarily, the UK has started its response to air pollution by the middle of the 20th century when issues like urban smog, black smoke, and sulphur dioxide had begun to threaten the country’s environmental safety. The United Kingdom started to monitor its air pollution issues on a national scale in 1961 (UK Air Pollution, 2003). In the strength of such initiatives, the country could notably reduce coal burning emissions to a great extent. When the country focused more on the reduction of combustion related emissions, transport sector grew to be the most potential source of air pollution in most regions of the UK. In order to effectively address this historic change, the UK government’s focus has progressively turned to traffic pollutants including ozone, fine particular matter, and nitrogen dioxide. Some data indicate that UK’s air monitoring networks have noticeably developed over the last two decades; but, this growth did not much contribute to air quality level improvement. Increasing awareness of environmental sustainability, UK’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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