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1m air quality fund opens for applications

English councils with air quality exceedances in their areas are being invited to apply Defra’s air quality grant programme 2013/14

Local authorities in England with one or more Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) are being invited to apply to a £1 million fund for projects to tackle air pollution by the UK government.

Defra is overseeing the £1 million fund

Defra’s air quality grant programme for 2013/14, which opened for applications on Thursday (May 23), is aimed at helping council’s reduce exceedances of UK objectives for nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and other pollutants.

The key focus for the 2013/14 grant will be on supporting local Air Quality Action Plan measures – particularly for nitrogen dioxide – and assessing the feasibility of implementing low emission zones (LEZs).

The programme is eligible for English authorities which have declared AQMAs under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 on or before March 31 2013; or for those which were shown to have areas which exceeded limits in Defra’s 2011 national air quality assessment.

Grants will be awarded to projects that contribute to reductions in emissions; support work to review and collate air quality monitoring evidence; or aim to raise awareness and influence behaviour to support public health objectives.

The deadline for applications for air quality funding from Defra is June 28 2013. Successful applicants will be notified in August 2013 and will then need to supply a progress report to Defra by November 2014.

London

As with last year, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Transport for London (TfL) will co-ordinate grant applications from London boroughs in order to support the efficient allocation of funding and reduce the duplication of projects.

Funding from the London Mayor’s Air Quality Fund and Local Implementation Plans is also eligible for match-funding from Defra’s air quality grant programme 2013/14.

2012/13 programme

Projects awarded funding through the £2 million 2012/13 programme were announced in January 2013, with 42 projects from 36 local authorities benefitting from the grants (see airqualitynews.com story).

Many local authorities, such as Birmingham city council, were granted funding to investigate the implementation of low emission zones (LEZs) and to raise awareness about air pollution in the community.

Local authorities that were awarded grant funding through the programme in 2012/13 must submit a progress report by November 2013, according to Defra.

More information on the air quality grant programme 2013/14 is available on the Defra website.

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