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Minister announces Northern Irish air quality funding

Ten councils to share in combined funding of £192,000 targeted at work to improve air quality.

Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has today (21 March) announced that ten councils will receive a combined total of £192,000 to support work to improve air quality.

The funding will be used by councils to continue monitoring and assessment of air quality. This monitoring is vital in enabling councils to address problems with air quality within their districts, Northern Ireland’s Department of Environment (DoE) claims.

Northern Ireland's Environment Minister Mark H Durkan

Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister Mark H Durkan

The funding is part of the Environment Fund managed by DoE which has been made available to eligible organisations to protect and improve the natural environment.

Announcing the award, Mark H Durkan said: “The right to breathe clean air is something we cannot take for granted. Although air quality here in the North is generally good, emerging evidence is pointing to the harmful effects of even low levels of air pollution on our health.

“In a tough financial climate I pledged that I would try and find funding to continue to support environmental groups and projects across the North in the future. I am pleased to be able to award a total of £192,000 to councils across Northern Ireland to improve air quality as a part of this wider Environment Fund.â€?

The funding will enable councils to continue to monitor air pollution, and includes grants to maintain or replace monitoring equipment, as well as money to fund staff costs associated with air quality monitoring and assessment.

Funding for air quality has been allocated to the following councils:

Antrim and Newtownabbey borough council – £4,854

Ards and North Down borough council – £19,010

Armagh Banbridge Craigavon district council – £12,240

Belfast city council – £53,961

Causeway Coast and Glens borough council – £7,166

Derry City and Strabane district council – £24,206

Lisburn and Castlereagh city council – £3,470

Mid & East Antrim borough council – £20,615

Mid Ulster district council – £4,783

Newry Mourne and Down district council – £41,459

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