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Highlight Putting clean air laws in to practice – report shows potential for improvement
Air-related legislation in the EU aims to protect human health and the environment from pollution. But this legislation is not always fully implemented. Bridging this gap is the subject of a new publication from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
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Figure Percentage of urban population resident in areas for days per year with PM10 concentration exceeding daily limit value, 2001-2011 (EU-27)
The limit value is 50 µg PM10/m3 (24 hour average, i.e. daily), not to be exceeded more than 35 times a calendar year. Over the years 2001-2011 the total population for which exposure estimates are made, increased from 66 to 149 million people due to an increasing number of monitoring stations reporting air quality data under the Exchange of Information Decision. Year-to-year variations in exposure classes are partly caused by the changes in spatial coverage. Only urban and sub-urban background monitoring stations have been included in the calculations. Data for Greece and Malta are not included due to missing availability of operational urban and sub-urban background monitoring stations in the Urban Audit cities.
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Highlight D source code Carbon capture and storage could also impact air pollution
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) involves capturing carbon dioxide released by power stations and other industrial sources, and burying it deep underground. But in addition to keeping an important greenhouse gas (GHG) out of the atmosphere, this technology will lead to benefits and trade-offs for air pollution. A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) describes the effects that CCS may have on emissions of some key air pollutants.
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Figure Exposure of agricultural area to ozone (exposure expressed as AOT40 in (μg/m³).h) in EEA member countries
In the Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC) the target value for protection of vegetation is set to 18 000 (μg/m³).h while the long-term objective is set to 6 000 (μg/m³).h. Due to lack of detailed land cover data and/or rural ozone data Iceland and Norway are not included until 2006 and onwards. Switzerland and Turkey have not been included in the analysis for the entire period 1996-2007 due to the same reasons.
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Figure Annual variation in the ozone AOT40 value (May-July) in (μg/m³).h, 1996-2007
Average values over all rural stations which reported data over at least nine years in the period 1996-2007. The light blue line corresponds to the 5-year averaged value.
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Figure Rural concentration map of the ozone indicator AOT40 for crops, year 2008
AOT40 for crops are vegatation exposure related indicators and are based on rural background station observation only.
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Publication The application of models under the European Union's Air Quality Directive: A technical reference guide
This technical reference guide provides a general overview of the use of models with regard to the consolidated Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (the AQ Directive). This report is an output of the Forum for Air Quality Modelling in Europe (Fairmode) established in 2008 as a joint action of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).
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Highlight Using models for air quality assessment and planning: a guide
Computer models are increasingly used for estimating air quality or forecasting changes in pollution levels. Various different models are currently used across Europe. The new FAIRMODE reference guide aims to make these models comparable, well documented and validated in order to achieve reliable results.
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Figure Annual mean NO2 concentration observed at traffic stations, 2009 - Annual mean PM10 concentration observed at traffic stations, 2009
The two highest NO2 concentration classes (red and orange) correspond to the 2010 annual LV (40 μg/m3) and to the LV plus margin of tolerance (42 μg/m3). The two highest PM10 concentration classes (red and orange) correspond to the 2005 annual LV (40 μg/m3), and to a statistically derived level (31 μg/m3) corresponding to the 2005 daily LV. The lowest class corresponds to the WHO air quality guideline for PM10 of 20 μg/m3.
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Figure Attainment situation for the maximum daily 8-hour mean value of CO in 2011
The graph is based on the maximum daily 8-hour mean value of CO concentrations (in mg/m3) for each Member State; the boxes present the range of concentrations at all stations types officially reported by the EU Member States and how the concentrations relate to the limit value set by EU legislation (marked by the red line). The diagram indicates the lowest and highest observations, the means and the lower and upper quartiles. The lower quartile splits the lowest 25 % of the data and the upper quartile splits the highest 25 % of the data.
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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100