Brussels drafts framework law on air quality

Proposals for a new EC framework Directive on air quality standards are being drafted in Brussels. Although still at a formative stage, they are likely to replace the present single binding limits for air pollutants with a tougher mandatory two-tier system. The present draft would also prohibit deterioration in air quality in all but exceptional cases, and require more extensive air quality monitoring.

The new proposal will replace the four existing EC Directives on air quality and provide a framework for future legislation in this field for more than 20 substances.

Three of the existing Directives were adopted between 1980 and 1985. They cover smoke and sulphur dioxide, lead and nitrogen dioxide. A fourth Directive, on ozone, contains no air quality standards but simply introduces monitoring requirements.

Work on the new proposal

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