Defra unveils £2m grants programme for air quality

 

Giving details of the Programme, Defra said today (8 May 2012) that eligibility to apply for a grant is restricted to English authorities which have exceedences of EU limit values for nitrogen dioxide as determined by the Department’s national assessment for 2010 and/or air quality management areas for nitrogen dioxide. To be eligible, Air Quality Management Areas must have been declared on or before the 31 March 2012.

And, this year “special arrangements” have been made for London. Local authorities in the capital could benefit from match funding from Transport for London under arrangements made between Defra – the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – and the Greater London Authority and TfL.

Applications for air quality grants for 2012-2013 are due in by June 22

The Air Quality Grant Programme supports eligible expenditure by local authorities on their air quality management duties under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995. It is a capital grant scheme operated under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003. Applications can be made by single authorities or by “clusters” of authorities.

For 2012-13 the grant scheme will continue its focus on supporting projects which tackle exceedences of the UK nitrogen dioxide objectives and EU limit values. Eligibility for grant will be limited to English local Authorities with one or more Air Quality Management Areas for NO2 and those authorities where Defra’s national air quality assessment in 2010 as reported to the EU Commission, identified an exceedence in their area.

Duration

The Department explains that projects to be funded by the Grant are required to have a duration of less than two years unless agreed in advance. There is no minimum time frame but it is “anticipated that the majority of projects will be between six and 12 months in duration”. The grant funding will be time limited as stipulated by the timetables shown in the Project Plan. A guide price for allocations is for projects between £10,000 and £60,000 in total but applications for amounts outside this range will be accepted for consideration.

The full list is available here: Full list of eligible local authorities

Applications for the air quality grant are due in by 22 June 2012 with decisions to be made by the end of July and grants awarded before October: see Timetable (opens as PDF).

  • Projects that contribute to reductions in emissions and/or concentrations of NOX, NO2 and PM10, provided that there are exceedences of NO2 objectives and/or NO2 EU limit values within the local authority boundary, in accordance with the eligibility criteria set out in paragraph 4.
  • Projects that facilitate the implementation of specific measures to reduce NOx or NO2 exceedences or emissions as part of action planning.
  • Projects that support work to investigate the feasibility of low emission zones or to implement low emission zones.
  • Projects that support work to review and collate research and monitoring evidence that can improve our understanding of the effectiveness of air quality measures and share best practice.
  • Projects aimed at achieving improved air quality through, for example, influencing behaviour and/or raising awareness to support public health objectives. This includes projects in partnership with local Directors of Public Health.

Environment Act 1995

The Grant Programme supports eligible expenditure by local authorities on their air quality management duties under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 and the capital grant scheme is operated under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003.

For those authorities which were awarded grant funding in 2011-2012, a single progress report will be required by Defra in September 2012.