Framework rules on air quality promised by end of year

Proposals for a new EC framework Directive on air quality will be ready by the end of this year, a European Commission official told the National Society for Clean Air's annual conference on 7 October. A key dispute over the legislation is likely to be whether it should prohibit any deterioration in existing levels of air quality.

Four Directives on air quality have been adopted at EC level to date. Three of these - dealing with smoke and sulphur dioxide, lead and nitrogen dioxide - contain mandatory air quality standards. The fourth, on ozone, only lays down monitoring requirements and requires Member States to inform the public when ozone concentrations are high.

At the time the ozone Directive was proposed it was generally believed that it would be the last of i

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