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The Role of the Environment Agency in the Improvement of UK Air-Quality - Essay Example

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The Role of the Environment Agency in the Improvement of UK Air Quality The current environmental policy of the United Kingdom puts emphasis on adaptation. This is typified by aggressive measures to address emergent environmental issues such as climate change, flooding and other environmental problems brought about by natural occurrences as well as man made phenomena…
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The Role of the Environment Agency in the Improvement of UK Air-Quality
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Download file to see previous pages Its mission, as outlined in its Corporate Plan 2011-2015, is to protect and improve the environment and make it a better place for people and wildlife. Specific goals include: 1. to reduce the risks to people and properties from flooding; 2. ensure adequate supply of water; 3. protect air, land and water quality and apply environmental standards within which industry can operate; 4. reduce climate change; and, 5. help people and wildlife to adapt to its consequences (EA, 2011, p.2). As cited in the above mission and goals, one of the tasks of the Environment Agency is to ensure air quality in the country. This is the main focus of this research. This paper will examine whether the Environment Agency is effective in achieving its objectives in terms of the air quality standards in the United Kingdom. The Role of the Environment Agency According to Hopwood, Unerman and Fries (2010, p.22), the Environment Agency is one body that can exert pressure on central government on issues of sustainability. This is also evident in the breadth of jurisdiction as well as the strength of authority given to the agency in addressing environmental issues. ...
According to Wolf (2010, p.28), these tasks include: a) the bureaucratic task of processing paperwork relating to the issue of licences/permits to pollute and notices to take action regarding pollution problem identified by the regulator; and, b) policing compliance with the relevant licences/permits, notices and other regulatory control, which involves the regulator in monitoring and enforcement roles. These requirements were satisfied with the creation of the Environment Agency, tasked to oversee the protection of the environment as a whole and unified the regulatory powers that cover the air, land, and water. Based on the above factors, one can assume that the agency has the power to make meaningful changes in areas within its scope. Air Quality Objectives In order to evaluate the performance of the Environment Agency specific to air pollution, it is important to outline the objectives it has been working to achieve in this area. These objectives are contained in the larger Air Quality Strategy, mandated by The Environment Act of the 1995, which created the Environment agency. The strategy was finally drafted and adopted in 1997 and it contained standards, objectives and measures for improving ambient air quality (DEFRA, 2007, p.9). The strategy has undergone several modifications such as those introduced in 2003, which tightened several of its objectives and added newer ones. The most updated was the strategy released in 2007, which outlined the following objectives: the government will ensure that all citizens have access to outdoor air without significant risk to their health; the standards for setting objectives are set purely with regard to scientific and medical evidence ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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