Regulation of industrial air pollution by English and Welsh local authorities is to be strengthened under an action programme announced today by the UK environment ministry. Local authorities control air pollution from about 13,000 smaller industrial sites, while more complex or environmentally significant processes are regulated at national level. A consultancy report produced for the environment ministry in May concluded that many local authorities were regulating air pollution either poorly or inconsistently. The results are borne out by an analysis of local authority air pollution inspections published in the latest issue of ENDS' monthly environmental policy journal, The ENDS Report. This found that local authorities may have made as few as half the number of site inspections during 1996/97 as specified in official guidance. Some made no programmed inspection visits at all over this period, The ENDS Report revealed. According to the environment ministry, the action plan announced today will improve both the inspection and enforcement of industrial air pollution legislation.
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