SEPA works to understand and improve air quality in Scotland. Good air quality is essential for a good quality of life, helping to maintain human health, the climate, habitats and achieve sustainable development.

Transport, energy generation, industry, waste and agriculture can all affect air quality. Emissions to air can give rise to health problems, depletion of the ozone layer and changes to habitats.

Overall, air quality in Scotland has improved in recent decades. However, concentrations of ground-level ozone – a potentially harmful secondary pollutant generated in sunlight – have increased.

SEPA regulates and monitors certain industrial activities in Scotland that can generate local airborne pollution. Our work involves working with and directing local authorities and other partners to manage and improve air quality. We also provide policy and operational advice to government, industry and the public on pollution control and other environmental issues.

In addition, we work towards Scottish and UK objectives and targets set to address global climate change and the cross-border transfer of pollutants.

Find out more about how we protect and improve air quality in Scotland in this section.