The Government's National Air Quality Strategy (NAQS) represents
a comprehensive approach to maintaining and improving the quality
of ambient air in the United Kingdom.
Outlined in the strategy are the air quality objectives for
pollutants the Government feels are of most concern at present and
the dates it feels these targets should be met.
All local authorities are required to examine air quality in its
boundary to identify any problems that they may have in relation to
Knowsley Council carried out the first review and assessment of
air quality in 1999 and 2000. This showed that all air quality
objectives would be met by the due dates and that we would not need
to declare any air quality management areas.
Further reviews were undertaken in 2003 and 2005 and the same
conclusions were reached.
Clean Air Act 1993
Section 1 and 2 prohibit the emission of dark or black smoke from
chimneys and dark smoke from land (i.e. demolition site or
industrial premisies), subject to certain exemptions. The maximum
fine for offences under these sections is £20,000.
The control of chimney heights enables local authorities to take
into account a number of relevant factors in determining the height
of a chimney. In section 14, unless the chimney height has been
approved by the local authority, it is an offence to cause or
knowingly permit a furnace to be used to:
- Burn pulverised fuel
- Burn at a rate of 45.4kg or more an hour any other solid
- Burn at a rate equivalent to 366.4 kW or more any liquid or
The majority of houses in the Knowsley borough are within smoke
control areas and under section 18 it is an offence for smoke to be
emitted from chimneys unless this is produced by burning an
Cooling towers notification
All premises where cooling towers and evaporative condensers are
situated must register with the local authority under The
Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers
The prime purpose of this is to identify potential areas that
could give rise to spread of infectious disease (e.g. legionella)
and to ensure preventative measures are taken to eliminate the risk
of such infection arising to employees and the public.
For further information please contact us.
You can download and complete our notification
form and return it to us so we can add you to our register. You
can also view the current Register of Cooling Towers
and Evaporative Condensers.
Part B authorisation
Some industrial techniques have potential to cause pollution.
Since 1990 many of these processes have required an 'authorisation'
from the Environment Agency (under Part 1 of the Environmental
Protection Act 1990) to operate and they are also inspected
annually. These are known as 'part A processes'.
Some processes have the potential to cause only air pollution
and for these operations the local authority is responsible for
their inspection and regulation. These are known as 'part B
Details of all part A and B processes within the borough can be
viewed by members of the public by prior arrangement. Please
contact us using the details at the bottom of this page.
You can also download a list of part B authorisations/permits in
the attachments box below in addition to application forms.
*Local Authority Pollution and Prevention Control (LAPPC).
The Environmental Protection Act 1990 defines contaminated land
as 'any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it
is situated to be in such a condition, by means of substances in,
on or under the land that:
(a)significant harm is being caused or there is a significant
possibility of such harm being caused; or
(b)pollution of controlled waters is being, or is likely to be,
The council's duties
The council has four main duties under the legislation. These
- To produce a Contaminated Land Strategy
- To inspect the borough to identify contaminated land
- To ensure that contaminated land is remediated
- To record certain prescribed information regarding regulatory
actions on a public register
The law follows the 'polluter pays' principle - the person or
organisation that caused or permitted the contamination must pay to
have it put right. If that person or organisation is not known,
then the current owner of the land may become responsible. Owners
and occupiers of domestic properties are not usually liable for
The approval of an application for redevelopment of brownfield
(land in the past which has been contaminated by industries such as
gasworks or chemical works etc) sites will only be granted on
condition that the contamination is cleaned up to a standard that
makes it suitable for the new use of the land.
In some cases the Environment Agency may take over the
regulation of a site from the council, once it has been declared as
You can download Knowsley’s contaminated land strategy below, or
contact us for further information using the details below.
The primary agency with powers to protect water resources such
as surface water (streams, lakes etc) and below ground water
resources such as aquifers is the Environment Agency (EA).
The Council works with the Environment Agency in a number of
ways to prevent or control pollution. This is done by prompt
reporting of incidents, ensuring that emissions from industries
controlled by the Council are properly controlled and by preventing
pollution of water by dealing with any contamination of land.
For further information contact us using the details below or
visit the Environment Agency website.
United Utilities supplies all mains water in the north west and
they are required to ensure that it meets strict quality standards
set by the government.
United Utilities is required to test supplies regularly against
national standards and give us the results. There is also a
national body called the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).
The DWI is responsible for assessing the quality of drinking
water in England and Wales, taking enforcement action if standards
are not being met, and appropriate action when water is unfit for
If your drain is blocked you will usually know because your
waste will stop going away when you flush the toilet, or gullies
outside will overflow. There will also probably be a smell.
United Utilities looks after the network of public sewers in
How do I report a blocked drain?
- If the property is built before 1st October 1937, and so long
as there are two or more properties connected to the length of
drain/sewer affected, it is the responsibility of the United
Utilities to clear. Contact them on 0845 602 0406.
- For properties built after 1st October 1937, all drains/sewers
are the responsibility of the owner/occupiers and any other
properties connected to it, unless it is the main sewer.
For help and advice on highway drainage, land drainage or
private drainage, continue to contact the council 0151 443 4712
during office hours, or to report a blocked road gully please
contact the Department of Environmental and Operational Services
0151 443 2400.
Who is responsible?
It is the responsibility of the owner- occupier to maintain and
clear a private drain/sewer. If the property is rented (e.g. from
Knowsley Housing Trust) then it is their responsibility. If you
live in a row of houses then the problem could be a shared one.
Knowsley MBC has a statutory duty in the interests of public
health to ensure that blocked / foul smelling private drains are
cleared and, where appropriate, to recharge the householders for
this service. Any recharge is apportioned equally to all households
feeding into the sewer up to the point that it is blocked and
follows the serving of a notice. See earlier section if the problem
is with a public sewer.
In the UK, the
Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010
set out which businesses are required by law to be regulated. These
businesses may need to be regulated due to what they do, or because
they operate above a certain threshold. If a business is included
in this list they must apply for a permit. This is known as an
Environmental Permit. If they operate without a permit they are
breaking the law and can be prosecuted.
The Regulations split the businesses into three groups, usually
by their potential to cause pollution:
- The largest businesses with the greatest pollution potential
(such as chemical manufacturers) are known as Part A1 and are
regulated by the Environment
Agency. These are regulated for all of their pollution to land,
air, water etc.
- Medium-sized businesses are known as Part A2 and are regulated
by the local authority. These are also regulated for all of their
pollution to land, air, water etc. The council currently
regulates - through Part A2 sites permits - Sonae, Jaguar, Essex UK Ltd and
- The smaller less-polluting businesses are known as Part B and
are regulated by the local authority for air pollution