Clean Air Acts
In response to the Great London Smog of December 1952, the Government introduced its first Clean Air Act in 1956. This Act aimed to control domestic sources of smoke pollution by introducing smokeless zones. In these areas, smokeless fuels had to be burnt. The Clean Air Act focused on reducing smoke pollution, but the introduction of cleaner coals and the increased usage of electricity and gas actually helped to reduce sulphur dioxide levels at the same time. In addition, power stations were relocated to more rural areas. As a consequence, air pollution in cities was dramatically reduced.
The Clean Air Act of 1968 introduced the basic principle for the use of tall chimneys for industries burning coal, liquid or gaseous fuels. At the time of this legislation it was recognised that smoke pollution could be controlled, but that sulphur dioxide removal was generally impracticable. Hence, the higher the chimney, the better the dispersal of the air pollution.