Air pollution

Road transport, industry and people at home are the main causes of air pollution in the UK.

Road transport

Emissions from cars and other vehicles contribute around 70% of the air pollution in our towns and cities.

We have the power to carry out roadside vehicle emission checks and fine drivers of polluting vehicles. There are also pollution reducing measures contained in the Greater Manchester Local Transport Plan on the Transport for Greater Manchester website.

As one of the biggest employers in the area we have a Travel Plan to encourage our staff to travel using forms of transport that have a less polluting impact on the environment.


Larger industries, such as power stations and oil refineries, are regulated by the Environment Agency.

We regulate the emissions of smoke and other air pollutants from smaller factories and industrial processes. Operators of installations must apply to us for an authorisation which sets controls to prevent the release of harmful pollutants.


We enforce the controls in operational smoke control areas. These have been in place in many areas to ban the burning of smoky fuels, such as coal or wood.

We might also be able to do something about your neighbour’s bonfire if the smoke from it is causing you a problem and you are not able to persuade them to stop. Use the contact details below to tell us about the problem.

Air Quality Management Areas

Since 1996 we have worked with the other councils in Greater Manchester to declare and act upon Air Quality Management Areas. These are areas for which we develop action plans to reduce the levels of air pollutants by working with, for instance, planners, highway engineers, health planners and environmental health officers.

Report a problem

If you report dust or air pollution online you will be contacted within 3 working days of your report being received.

You can either log in, create an account, or report without logging in.

Environmental Health Team
Chadderton Town Hall
Middleton Road
Oldham, OL9 6PP
Tel 0161 770 2244
Fax 0161 770 3444