What is the problem?
Petrol is a complex mixture of volatile organic compounds (VOC) which readily evaporate into the air where they contribute to several pollution problems. These include excessive levels of toxic benzene in ambient air and photochemical formation of ozone which is an air pollutant causing respiratory illnesses such as asthma. In addition ozone is a greenhouse gas.
What has been done?
There are two directives addressing the issue:
Both Directives have significantly reduced the amount of VOC emissions from petrol storage, distribution and refuelling.
Evaluation of the two directives
In 2015 the Commission, assisted by an external consultant, will carry out an extensive evaluation of the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and the EU added value of the two Directives. This is part of the European Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance program (aka REFIT) to make EU law lighter, simpler and less costly. In addition an assessment of the implementation status will be carried out. This work will also include the evaluation required under Article 7 of Directive 2009/126/EC. The tentative timetable is as follows:
We will make related documents available in our public CIRCABC interest group. This includes for example the evaluation mandate, the terms of references for the contract with the consultancy or reports.
Where can I find more information about the Directives and VOC?
The text of the Directives and all related legal documents are available through the links above.
Complementary documents such as related studies are available in our public CIRCABC interest group
The European Environment Agency provides statistical data about VOC emissions in Europe in their VOC air pollution indicator APE004.
What can I do?