Implementation of ambient air quality legislation
webpage deals with different aspects of the implementation
of the Air Quality Directives and provides an overview of
the relevant documents. Main aspects of implementation can
be described through the following elements:
- Zones and agglomerations
are declared by the Member States, covering the complete
territory. The zones represent basic areas for which assessment
and management provisions are prescribed.
- Assessment of ambient air
quality through monitoring, modelling, and objective estimation
provides information on the compliance with the environmental
standards and informs further air pollution abatement effort.
The assessment covers the minimum assessment requirements
set in the directive as well as the additional assessment
performed by the Member State such as source apportionment,
in particular in agglomerations and areas with high pollution.
- Management of air pollution:
in order to reduce adverse effects of air pollution on health
and environment, measures need to be taken. A number of
measures are taken at the Community level, such as fuel
quality and product standards (for example EURO standards
for new vehicles). In certain areas it is necessary for
Member States to take further measures to comply with the
legislation. These air pollution reduction measures are
compiled in air quality plans or programmes which describe
how the measures are bringing concentrations below respective
limit or target values by the attainment date.
- Public information: Requirements
contain minimum amount of information that needs to be provided
to the public as regards to assessment of concentrations.
It also requires the public availability of abatement plans
and programmes. Specific actions are needed when information
and alert thresholds are exceeded, which inform the public
on the health hazards and the recommended personal behaviour
to minimize exposure.
- Reporting of assessment
results and the information on the plans and programmes
is required to enable the Commission to assess compliance
with the provisions of the directives, as well as to provide
the Commission, the Member States, other stakeholders such
as the European Environment Agency as well as the public
with harmonized information on assessment and management
of air quality.
- Time extensions: 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.
Exceedances of limit values for public health: a list of Air Quality zones in which exceedances of PM10 and NO2 have been reported for the year 2011 including the results of the request of time extension notification, where applicable, is presented here: PM10, NO2. The list has been created for information purposes and does not represent an official assessment of the Commission services. Please refer to the Commission Decisions published here and questionnaire 461 that contains the Member States' report of air quality data for accurate information.
The existing legislation
is periodically being reviewed, providing opportunities to
further develop legislation. Reviews are subject to the Comitology
procedure as required in the legislation.
The first Daughter
Directive has been reviewed in accordance to Article 10 of
the Directive. The Commission prepared a Review Report of Council Directive 1999/30/EC (pdf ~125K) which was adopted
in January 2005. The report is accompanied by a Staff Working
Document (pdf ~195K) in support of the review of Council Directive 1999/30/EC,
providing some more details. The Working Group on Implementation
provided a report with Recommendations
on the review of Council Directive 1999/30/EC (pdf~353K).