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Date set for government air quality plan hearing

The High Court will consider a legal challenge by campaign group ClientEarth over the government’s plans to tackle air pollution in towns and cities at a hearing next week (5 July).

ClientEarth, which successfully challenged the government’s proposals to bring emissions in line with EU legal limits through the High Court twice in 2016 and 2015, is calling for ‘drastic improvements’ to the draft plan launched for consultation by the government last month.

The High Court ordered Defra to produce a final Air Quality Plan by July 2017

Plans to reduce nitrogen dioxide were outlined by the government on 5 May, after it had been unsuccessful in postponing the deadline for publication of the proposals until after the General Election.

A final version of the plan is due to be published by 31 July, however, ClientEarth has claimed that it has found ‘major flaws’ in the proposals put forward by the government, in particular on incentives to discourage the use of diesel vehicles.

Diesel

In response to these comments, Defra minister Therese Coffey has emphasised that the option of targeted diesel scrappage schemes were being consulted on.

A hearing is due to take place next Wednesday when Lord Justice Garnham, who has presided over the case against the government’s air quality proposals to date, will hear representations in favour of a further legal challenge.

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