European Directives

The framework Directive 96/62 on ambient air quality assessment and management.

The framework Council Directive 96/62/EC of 27 September 1996 , on ambient air quality assessment and management has been published on  21/11/96. This Directive defines a global frame with which the European Union expects in the future, not only to assess (measurements and interpretations) air quality but also to manage it (preserve air quality where it is good and improve it where it is bad). The new framework Directive will replace existing Directives for sulphur dioxide and suspended particulates (80/779/EEC), for lead (82/884/EEC), for nitrogen dioxide (85/203/EEC) and for ozone (92/72/EEC). The framework Directive will, together with daughter Directives, propose new quality objectives in the European Union. Daughter Directives propose norms for 13 pollutants (limit values and a set of alarm thresholds). The aim of this Directives is to define the basic principles of a common strategy to  :

The European Union intends to reach those goals by using the following strategy :

The Council framework Directive gives a list of 13 pollutants that have to be surveyed. For the 6 first pollutants of the list : sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, fine particulate matter such as soot (incuding PM10), suspended particulate matter and lead, European Directives are momentarily still applied. As for the other pollutants : ozone, benzene, carbon monoxide, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, cadmium, arsenic, nickel en mercury, there is no European legislation at the present time.

The 1999/30/EC Directive for SO2, NO2, PM10 and Lead.

The Council daughter Directive 1999/30/EC of 22 april 1999 relating to limit values for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen  dioxide, particulate matter and lead has been published on june,29 1999.

Limit values for sulphur dioxide

Protection

Time basis

Limit Value (g/m)

Number of accepted exceedances

Health*

1 hour

350

24

Health*

24 hours

125

3

Ecosystems**

1 year
1 winter (1/10 to 31/3)

20

 

* into force since 01/01/2005 
** in rural area : 2 years after the entry into force of the Directive, stations should have a representativeness of  1000 km.

Alarm threshold : 500 g/m during 3 consecutive hours.

Limit values for nitrogen oxides

Protection

Time basis

Limit values (g/m)

Number of accepted exceedances

Health*(NO2)

1 hour

200

18

Health*(NO2)

1 year

40

 
Ecosystems**(NO2 + NO)

1 year

30

 

* into force since 01/01/2010
**for background rural stations : 2 years after the entry into force of the Directive, stations should have a representativeness of  1000 km

Alarm threshold : 400 g/m during 3 consecutive hours.

Limit values for fine particulate matter (PM10)

Protection

Time basis

Limit values (g/m)

Number of accepted exceedances

Health* - Stage 1

24 hours

50

35

Health*- Stage 1

1 year

40

Health**- Stage 2

24 hours

50

7

Health**- Stage 2

1 year

20

* into force since 01/01/2005
** into force since 01/01/2010; indicative limit value to be reviewed in the light of further information on health and environment effects, technical feasibility and experience in the application of Stage 1 limit values in Member States.

Limit values for lead

Protection

Measurement period

Limit value

Health*

1 year

0,5 g/m

*into force since 01/01/2005. In area with an historical past of pollution (within a max. distance max. of 1000 m outside the industrial plant) a derogation can be obtained until  01/01/2010.