Navigation path

High level navigation

Page navigation

Additional tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Print version
  • Decrease text
  • Increase text

New Air Quality Directive

The Directive 2008/50/EC was adopted on 21 May 2008.
Commission press release upon adoption by Council on 14 April 2008

Other language versions will be available at this website shortly.

This new Directive includes the following key elements:

  • that most of existing legislation be merged into a single directive (except for the fourth daughter directive) with no change to existing air quality objectives*
  • New air quality objectives for PM2.5 (fine particles) including the limit value and exposure related objetives – exposure concentration obligation and exposure reduction target
  • the possibility to discount natural sources of pollution when assessing compliance against limit values
  • possibility for time extensions of three years (PM10) or up to five years (NO2, benzene) for complying with limit values, based on conditions and the assessment by the European Commission.

* Framework Directive 96/62/EC, 1-3 daughter Directives 1999/30/EC, 2000/69/EC, 2002/3/EC, and Decision on Exchange of Information 97/101/EC.

Adoption procedure :

The Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on ambient air quality at the same time as it adopted the thematic strategy on air pollution.

The progress of this legislative file through the co-decision can be followed at the following link.

The Member States have 2 years to transpose the new Directive, until then the existing legislation applies. Some provisions of the new Directive such as PM2.5 monitoring requirements have to be implemented sooner. It is expected that the provision enabling notifications of postponements or exemptions in respect of the limit values for PM10, NO2 or benzene will be applied before the end of the 2 year transposition deadline.