On 22nd May 2019 Baroness McIntosh of Pickering asked the Government “when they expect the Office for Environmental Protection to be operational; what its remit will be; and in the interim, which body will ensure compliance with environmental protection legislation and regulations.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, a new global review has concluded that the damage to human health from air pollution extends to all organs of the body. Southampton in my diocese is now among the top 20 UK cities already at the pollution-level limit of 10 micrograms per cubic metre. I therefore press the Minister to confirm what responsibility the office for environmental protection will have in holding the Government to account for implementing their commitment to the clean air strategy, which is internationally recognised by the WHO.
Lord Gardiner of Kimble: My Lords, the right reverend Prelate is absolutely right. Air quality and this whole arena will be part of the environment Bill, and it is clear that the improvement of air quality is part of ensuring we have an enhanced environment. Indeed, the Bill will give legal force to our clean air strategy, and we will work to ensure that we continuously improve air quality as part of environmental governance and its principles.