UK AIR (run by DEFRA) issued a Code Red for air pollution last night covering the East Midlands and Eastern region of England. This is for ozone, which is triggered by a chemical reaction in the air due to the heat,. Atmospheric conditions then trap the polluted air in a heat dome, stopping it from escaping upwards. DEFRA stopped issuing press releases for air pollution alerts in 2011, when the issue hit several front pages.
Baroness Jenny Jones recently raised the issue of no DEFRA alerts in Parliament when introducing her new Clean Air Act at 2nd Reading. She said:
“Year after year for the last two decades, I have seen the same press statements from DEFRA playing down the problem and stating that it is just about solved. Year after year, I have witnessed the government hiding information about bad air days and air pollution episodes because it might scare the public into demanding action.
The result has been an invisible killer being allowed to take victims while government press officers sit on their hands and Ministers lose three consecutive court cases over their failure to have a decent plan.”