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Implementation of ambient air quality legislation


Exchange of Information

A Community-wide procedure for the exchange of information and data on ambient air quality in the European Community is established by the Council Decision 97/101/EC. The decision introduces a reciprocal exchange of information and data relating to the networks and stations set up in the Member States to measure air pollution and the air quality measurements taken by those stations. The information exchange relates to the pollutants listed in Annex I of Directive 96/62/EC. The Annexes of the Decision were amended by Commission Decision 2001/752/EC. A guidance on Exchange of Information is available:

The Commission in 2003 also prepared a report on the implementation of Decision 97/101/EC as foreseen in Article 8 of the Decision, which can be found here: report (pdf ~170K).

The information on monitoring data from stations is made available in unaggregated form through the European database Airbase.

The latest EOI Technical Report can be found here.

Annual questionnaire

Update of annual questionnaire to include reporting requirements under Directive 2008/50/EC

Questionnaire under Decision 2004/461/EC has been updated to enable reporting on PM2.5 under the requirements of Directive 2008/50/EC, Articles 15 and 16. Reporting on PM2.5 has become mandatory as of reporting year 2010 with 30 September 2011 as deadline for submission.

Member States are strongly encouraged to use this updated version of the Questionnaire, that consists of three new datasheets 8g, 11m and 28.

The updated questionaire can be downloaded here.

Annual reporting under the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Daughter Directives must follow Commission Decision 2004/461/EC. This decision requires Member States to annually report on several issues relating to limit and target values in ambient air for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter, lead, benzene, carbon monoxide and ozone. This Decision is an extension of Commission Decision 2001/839/EC which dealt solely with reporting under the 1st Daughter Directive.

The official commission decision in English that lays down this questionnaire for annual reporting can be downloaded here OJ L 156, 30 April 2004 p 78, and is translated in several languages.

The questionnaire itself can be downloaded in several languages here:

esdadeelenfritnlptfisv (xls ~158Kb except el ~170Kb)

esdadeelenfritnlptfisv (pdf  ~65Kb except el ~235Kb)

Use of Excel spreadsheet is strongly encouraged. The Commission prepared guidance for filling in the questionnaire

When filling in the questionnaire please note that both the Commission Decision and the guidance prepared by the Commission contain clarifying notes.

Most questionnaires, filled in by Member States, are available at the CDR. In the previous years, an assessment of the concentrations in zones in the EU Member States based on the questionnaires in comparison to air quality thresholds and objectives, has been conducted for the Commission by TNO until 2004 and by the European Topic Centre on Air and Climate change since 2005. The reports can be downloaded here:

Update of annual questionnaire to include pollutants of 4th Daughter Directive 2004/107/EC and specifc provisions under new Directive 2008/50/EC

Modification of the Questionnaire under Decision 2004/461/EC and related guidance has been prepared to enable reporting of 4th Daughter Directive on a voluntary basis already for the reporting year 2007, with the deadline of submission at 30 September 2008. This reporting has now become mandatory in 2009.

The changes introduced are the inclusion of relevant forms covering monitoring of As,Ni,Cd, Hg, BaP and related PAH in ambient air and deposition, the recommendation on reporting of zones as endorsed already in the past by CAFE Steering Group, and the ability to communicate information on the application of Articles 15 and 22 of Directive 2008/50/EC. Forms are included to inform on the attainment of PM2.5 target value (on a voluntary basis in 2009, target value in force in 2010).

Member States are free to continue to use the original questionnaire under decision 2004/461/EC, but are strongly encouraged to use the new Questionnaire even if no information of the assessment under 4th Daughter Directive or the new directive 2008/50/EC is provided, as it has minor modifications on Form 0 and Form 2 to facilitate submission and processing.

Plans and Programmes

When preparing plans and programmes, Member States need to fill in information in specific forms and communicate these to the Commission, according to Commission Decision 2004/224/EC. These forms can be downloaded in several languages here.

esdadeelenfritnlptfisv (xls ~65K)

Other information on plans and programmes can be found under management.

Reporting under the new Directive 2008/50/EC

Commission implementing Decision of 12 December 2011 laying down rules for Directives 2004/107/EC and 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the reciprocal exchange of information and reporting on ambient air quality

Directive 2008/50/EC introduces new reporting provisions which take into account the previous implementation experience, IT development and legislative frameworks such as INSPIRE. As the directive also embeds the current Council Decision 97/101/EC on Exchange of Information (EoI), it includes both mandatory and voluntary information streams on ambient air quality assessment and management.

The new Commission implementing Decision has been developed by the Commission with the support of the Ambient Air Quality Committee and the working group on data exchange consisting of national experts, the EEA and Commission representatives. The Committee approved the draft which has been adopted by the Commission on 12 December 2011.  The new requirements with regard to reporting and exchange of air quality information apply as from 1 January 2014.

The Commission with the extensive support of the Member States and European Environment Agency has prepared a guidance to facilitate the implementation of the Decision 2011/850/EC.

More details about the new mechanism of reporting can be found at the Ambient Air Quality Portal managed by the European Environment Agency with the support of the ETC/ACM and the IPR pilot group.