Air Quality

Air quality has been, for many years, an important focus of attention in Europe, resulting in legislative initiatives that affect the downstream oil industry through its operations and products.

Concawe aims to participate in the work leading to new initiatives and to carry out rigorous air quality analysis to complement the science, play an active stakeholder role and to inform its members. Concawe has devoted substantial effort to developing its own air quality modelling tools where these are not available from other sources.

In 2001, the Commission launched the CAFE (Clean Air For Europe) programme. This scientific programme, in which Concawe was very active, culminated in the publication of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution (TSAP) (2005) that has set the Air Quality scene up to now. The TSAP addresses a wide range of air quality related environmental impacts, including human health effects, associated with both primary and secondary pollutants and their deposition.  It has a strong focus on particulate matter. The revision  process of the 2005 TSAP started in 2011, Concawe actively participated in this process submitting several contributions to the Stakeholders Expert Group. A summary of all contributions can be found in the Concawe Review Special Issue “Year of Air”.  In December 2013 the European Commission adopted the Clean Air Policy Package which included a new Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution, a proposal for an updated National Emission Ceilings Directive, a proposal for a new Medium Combustion Plants Directive and a proposal for acceptance of the amendments of the Gothenburg Protocol. Since 2008, one of Concawe’s main activities in the area of air quality over has been representing the industry in the revision of the Best Available Techniques reference document for the Refining of Moneral Oil and Gas (REF BREF).  The review process is expected to finish this year with the publication in all EU official languages of the Commission implementing decision on Best Available Techniques (BAT) conclusions for the refining of Mineral Oil and Gas. Since the Directive on Industrial Emissions came into force in 2010 these documents provide a legally binding basis for operating permit revisions.

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