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£1 million to improve air quality across the West Midlands

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey visited the West Midlands region as the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) was given almost £1million to tackle air pollution.

Improving air quality is a key part of the WMCA’s long-term commitment to the environment, as outlined in its five-year Natural Environment Plan, launched in 2021, which sets out the actions the WMCA will take with its partners to enhance biodiversity, protect endangered species, and improve access to green spaces and waterways.

DEFRA has recognised that commitment by providing funding that will see the WMCA lead the most detailed monitoring yet of tiny particles in the air, known as PM2.5 and PM10, from things like wood-burners, factories and tyre dust.

The microscopic particulates can cause illnesses like asthma, coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer, and in the West Midlands it is estimated that they are responsible for 1,400 premature deaths every year.

Unlike emissions from vehicles, which are reducing, awareness of particulates is low and it is projected that levels will remain flat without positive action to reduce them.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, accompanied the Secretary of State on a tour of the University of Birmingham’s Air Quality Research Supersite to see the work already taking place to clean up the region’s air.

For the full article visit the West Midlands Combined Authority website.

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