Published On: Wed, Apr 15th, 2015 on 1:27 pm

Air pollution levels in West Yorkshire are illegal, say activist lawyers

A non-profit organisation will be taking the Government to court over levels of nitrogen dioxide in the county, in breach of EU limits.

Air Pollution

ClientEarth is campaigning to tackle illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide in West Yorkshire and 15 other British cities and regions, and will be taking the Government to Supreme Court tomorrow.

Levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in areas of the “West Yorkshire Urban Area”, which includes areas of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield and Wakefield, are not expected to be within legal limits until after 2030.

These levels of air pollution are causing more than 1,000 deaths per year in the defined zone, according to ClientEarth.

“A public health emergency”

Tomorrow’s hearing is the culmination of a four-year battle in UK and EU courts and follows last year’s ruling from the European Court of Justice which held that the UK must achieve air quality standards in the ‘shortest time possible’.

ClientEarth is calling on the Court to order the Government to produce a new plan showing how it will make cuts in the harmful and illegal levels of air pollution in UK cities.

Alan Andrews, ClientEarth lawyer, said: “Air pollution in the UK is an invisible killer, causing 29,000 early deaths every year, heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks and cancer.

“The Government needs to take action. Levels of pollution in West Yorkshire are not only harmful to health, they’re also illegal. We need to get the most polluting diesel vehicles out of city centres to protect our health and that of our children.

“That’s why ClientEarth is taking this case to the Supreme Court. We need the judges to make the Government face up to this public health emergency.”

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