Restrictions on air pollution from combustion plants and generators have been passed by Parliament this week.
Unregulated medium sized combustion plants (MCPs) and generators, commonly used to heat hospitals, hotels, offices, prisons and other large buildings as well as power some industries, are currently a significant source of pollution.
The new rules are expected to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by 43%, particulate matter by 9% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 22%.
The regulations will require new MCPs to cut emissions from 20th December 2018 and existing MCPs from 2025 or 2030, depending on their size – larger plants must however comply sooner than smaller plants.
In addition, new generators will have to comply with a nitrogen oxides emissions limit from 1st January 2019.
Older generators, operating prior to December 2016 and those providing certain services to National Grid will need to comply from a later date, depending on their size, emissions, operating hours, duration of their agreements and whether they sign up to new ones.
Environment Minister Therese Coffey said: “These regulations will help deliver further substantial reductions in emissions, while minimising the impact on energy security and costs to businesses.
“Poor air quality affects pubic health, the economy and the environment, which is why we are determined to do more and later this year we will publish a comprehensive clean air strategy which will set out further steps to tackle air pollution.”