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Air quality

Find Dorset air quality reviews

Local councils carry out regular air quality reviews to assess whether the Government's air quality standards are likely to be breached. The reviews follow a three-year cycle, with an Updating and Screening Assessment (USA) in the first year and progress reports or detailed reviews and assessments in the following two years depending on the results of the USA.

Air pollution

We control certain industrial, polluting installations by issuing "Pollution Prevention and Control" permits. These permits are renewed annually. We monitor these installations so as to ensure that they comply with any emission controls.

We have a duty to investigate nuisance complaints and these include dust and smoke. It must be recognised that not all visible dust and / or smoke constitutes a nuisance and there will be many occasions when we cannot help.

The most common of these is the garden bonfire. Burning garden waste produces smoke, especially if it is damp and smouldering. Emissions from bonfires can have damaging health effects. They also prevent neighbours from enjoying their gardens, opening windows or hanging washing out. If used sensitively, the occasional bonfire should not cause a problem.

There are no specific bye-laws prohibiting bonfires. If you have a problem with a neighbour who regularly has bonfires, approach them and explain the problem. They may not be aware of the distress they are causing and it will hopefully make them more considerate in the future.

Pollution Control - Clean Air Act Approval

The Clean Air Act 1993, introduced a wide range of new regulations such as those which control smoke emissions and the height of chimneys serving industrial premises, and those relating to the content and composition of motor fuels. You will need approval from the council for chimneys serving furnaces which burn pulverised fuel, burn any other solid matter at a rate of 45.4 kg or more an hour or burn liquid or gas at a rate equivalent to 366.4kW.

Please note there are no smoke control areas in force across Dorset.

For further information please contact us. Send your request or comments to the Environmental Health department.

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