Air pollution

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Amber Valley Borough Council has a number of roles and responsibilities for air quality including:

Local air quality management

Since 1997 local authorities in the UK have been carrying out a review and assessment of air quality in their area. The aim of the review is to assist authorities in carrying out their statutory duty to work towards meeting the national air quality objectives. If a local authority finds any places where the objectives are not likely to be achieved, it must declare an air quality management area there. 

Air quality forecasts for the East Midlands can be found at: uk-air.defra.gov.uk/forecasting/

Smoke control areas

Section 18 of The Clean Air Act 1993 allows a local authority to declare the whole or part of its area a Smoke Control Area by making a Smoke Control Order. Once a Smoke Control Area has been established it is an offence for the occupier of a premises, including domestic dwellings, to allow smoke emission from a chimney. This means that use of only an "authorised fuel" which is smokeless (subject to exemptions) or fuel such as coal oil or wood can only used on an exempted fireplace that can burn such fuels without producing smoke.

It is also an offence for a person to sell, within a Smoke Control Area, a fuel that is not authorised, unless the premises or fireplace where it is intended for use is exempted.

View the Smoke Control Areas for Amber Valley.

Dark smoke

It is an offence under Section 2 of the Clean Air Act to cause or permit the emission of dark smoke from industrial or trade premises.

In this case it is not always necessary for the officers to have witnessed black smoke being produced. For example, if a report is received of black smoke coming from a premises or site the officer only has to see the remains of the substance that produced the smoke whilst it was burning, such as charred tyre remains or a burned out car. If it is clear that the burned remnants were produced by the occupier of the site then the officer may take formal action with a view to prosecution.

Smoke nuisance

Sections 79-82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 make it an offence to allow smoke from bonfires to cause nuisance. Where council officers have received a complaint and witnessed the nuisance occurring, Section 80 of the Act gives them powers to serve an abatement notice on the person responsible for the fire prohibiting them from lighting further fires in such a manner as to cause a nuisance. Once it has been served it is an offence to breach the terms of the notice. This may lead to legal proceedings and subsequent penalties including fines and a possible custodial sentence for the offender.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841335 or email envadmin@ambervalley.gov.uk