I propose to take Questions Nos. 2184, 2276 and 2297 together.
A report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recently released, indicates that areas around certain heavily trafficked roads in the Dublin area, including the M50, may have higher levels of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2) than previously indicated.
The report underlines the need to implement the Climate Action Plan. The Plan includes a number of actions which will have a significant impact on reducing harmful emissions and improving air quality. My Department and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport have begun discussions on establishing a working group, bringing relevant organisation together to ensure early action is taken on this matter and to improve the air quality in Dublin. This process will include the two Departments, the four Dublin Local Authorities and the EPA. The questions of low emission zones and further monitoring will be examined in this context.
This work will complement the work already under way in developing an all-of-government Clean Air Strategy which will provide an overarching policy framework within which clean air policies can be formulated and given effect in a manner consistent with national priorities, EU and other international policy considerations. The Clean Air Strategy will address a range of harmful air pollutants in Ireland, including those arising from the agricultural, transport and residential heating sectors, in an integrated manner. I intend to publish the Strategy in the coming months.