Air quality Directive agreed

The revised EU air quality Directive was agreed by the European Parliament in December. The text still needs formal approval by the Council of Ministers before it can enter into force.

The Directive establishes the first ever limits on ambient concentrations of ultra-fine particles (PM2.5), which have the most damaging health impacts. But debate over the limit and its deadline has been considerable ever since it was proposed (ENDS Report 369, pp 44-45 ). Some MEPs have tried to weaken the new rules (ENDS Report 381, p 47 ).

The agreement limits PM2.5 to 25 micrograms per cubic metre by 2015. Member states will get a margin of tolerance for meeting the limit, starting at 20% above the target. This will be phased out gradually by 2015. A provisional binding limit of 20µg/m3 by 2020 has also been agreed.

For larger fractions of particulates, PM10, the existing 40µg/m3 limit remains.

Please sign in or register to continue.

Sign in to continue reading

Having trouble signing in?

Contact Customer Support at
or call 020 8267 8120

Subscribe for full access

or Register for limited access

Already subscribe but don't have a password?
Activate your web account here