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Improving air quality: Revised guidance for local authorities The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued revised guidance to all local authorities on managing air quality. Local authorities can use this guidance when  assessing and implementing measures to improve air quality in their area.  The practice guidance includes information on: principles for the assessment of local measures to improve air quality; low emission zones (including examples of where these have been successfully introduced); measures to encourage the uptake of low emission vehicles (a measure in the UK Air Quality Strategy 2007); and measures to encourage the uptake of retro fitted abatement equipment to vehicles. Environment Minister Lord Hunt has written to all local authorities in England expressing the important role they play in helping to improve local air quality and in working towards the achievement of the UK’s air quality objectives and its obligations in meeting EU air quality limit values. The revised policy guidance and new practice guidance documents apply to local authorities in England and can be found at: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/local/guidance/ The devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are preparing their own policy and practice guidance for their local authorities. The revised technical guidance is available to all UK local authorities. All local authorities have a duty to manage air quality under the Environment Act 1995.