Comparative severity of possible air quality limit values

01 Apr 1997

The EU Air Quality Assessment and Management Directive (96/62/EC) was adopted in 1996. This Directive, commonly known as the Air Quality Framework Directive (AQFD), provides a framework and timetable for the development of daughter directives on a range of air pollutants. Four Position Papers have been produced by expert Working Groups which contain recommendations on Air Quality Limit Values (AQLVs) for sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM10) and lead (Pb). The Commission proposes to publish these Position Papers later in 1997. Drawing upon the Position Papers, the first outline for a proposed daughter directive covering SO2, NO2, PM10 and Pb has been presented by DG-XI to the AQFD Steering Group Meeting (which is the senior management group for the AQFD involving Member States, Industry and Non-Governmental Organizations). CONCAWE, Europia and other industry groups have been involved in DG-XI’s AQFD Steering Group meetings, Expert Working Groups (through UNICE), and UNICE Shadow Groups. Recommended AQLVs are currently being translated into draft legislation. Once incorporated in the legislation, these AQLVs will set firm targets to be complied with by a certain compliance year. Compliance years of 2005 and 2010 are currently under consideration. Until the compliance date, a margin of tolerance may be allowed. This margin is likely to decrease linearly from entry into force of the daughter directive until the compliance year (see Figure 1).