UK government fails to reassure on Heathrow air quality

Plans detailing how Heathrow’s expansion will live up to air quality standards admit it could make already illegal levels of air pollution worse.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling unveiled the policy today in Parliament, the first concrete outline of how government will proceed following its approval of the third runway in October.

ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: “The National Policy Statement admits that the construction and operation of a third runway at Heathrow could worsen air quality through increased emissions. The accompanying Sustainability Appraisal suggests that many of the worst impacts will be knock-on effects in central London.

“The statement does nothing to explain how, in an area which is currently blighted by illegal levels of air pollution, such a project can realistically meet compliance with legal air quality levels.

“The Government has simply kicked the can yet further down the road. It’s assuming the developer can come up with a scheme which miraculously fixes an air quality problem that has been ongoing for many years, both around Heathrow and in central London, while allowing for the airport to expand.”

ClientEarth will be responding to the consultation and expects the government to take concerns over air quality seriously.

Share this...
Share on Facebook! Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn! Email!

Deniz Altindas

Related articles

More from

  • ClientEarth demands urgent clarification on UK government’s air quality plans

    ClientEarth has written to the UK Government asking for answers over disturbing holes in court-ordered plans to clean up illegal levels of air pollution.

  • woman applying make up for story saying Commission facing EU legal watchdog over nano-chemicals in cosmetics

    Commission facing EU legal watchdog over nano-chemicals in cosmetics

    ClientEarth has today complained to the EU Ombudsman about the European Commission’s unlawful handling of a long-delayed list of nano-chemicals in cosmetics.

  • stuttgart

    Stuttgart judge demands diesel bans from 2018, ruling retrofits will not tackle pollution

    A Stuttgart judge has ruled that retrofitting illegally polluting diesel vehicles will not solve the German region’s air quality crisis.

  • petrol pumps

    Gove falls at first hurdle on air pollution, say environmental lawyers

    Having promised to make air quality a top priority, Michael Gove appears to have fallen at the first hurdle.

  • Follow us

    Newsletters

    Get our regular email newsletters, they contain the latest updates on our work as well as features and articles about environmental issues, science and politics.