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You are here: Home / Environmental policy document catalogue / Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe

Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe

Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe

The link address is: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:152:0001:0044:EN:PDF

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Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone The indicator shows the ecosystem or crops areas at risk of exposure to harmful effects of ozone as a consequence of air pollution, and shows the state of change in acidification, eutrophication and ozone levels of the European environment. The risk is estimated by reference to the 'critical level' for ozone for each location, this being a quantitative estimate of the exposure to these pollutants below which significant and harmful effects do not occur in the long term at present knowledge. The fraction of agricultural crops that is potentially exposed to ambient air concentrations of ozone in excess of the EU target value and long-term objective set for the protection of vegetation is also shown. Eutrophication and acidification Critical loads of acidity and of nutrient nitrogen are employed to describe exposure to acidification and to eutrophication for forests and semi-natural areas in Europe, including Natura 2000 sites. The area where the deposition of acidifying and eutrophying pollutants is in exceedance of critical loads provides also an indication of the extent of European ecosystem area which is at risk of damage to biodiversity. By analysing the change of exceedances over time (comparative static analysis) an indication of the effects of changing air pollutant emissions over time is obtained. The magnitude of the exceedance (deposition minus critical load) is an important input to the dynamic modelling of time delays in damage. Inversely, once critical loads are no longer exceeded, recovery may take some time as well. By including the risk to be met within a legislative target and year the distance from this target can be evaluated. Ozone AOT40 is 'Accumulated ozone exposure over a threshold of 40 ppb'. The indicator shows the ecosystem or crop areas at risk of exposure to harmful levels of ozone as a consequence of air pollution. The risk is estimated by referring to the 'critical level' of ozone for sensitive areas. Thus, the indicator is a quantitative estimate of the exposure to ozone below which significant and harmful effects do not occur in the long term according to present knowledge. The fraction of agricultural crops that is potentially exposed to ambient air concentrations of ozone in excess of the EU target value set for the protection of vegetation is also shown.
Exceedance of air quality limit values in urban areas Exceedance of air quality limit values in urban areas The indicator shows the fraction of the urban population that is potentially exposed to ambient air [1] concentrations of pollutants [2] in excess of the EU limit value set for the protection of human health. The urban population considered is the total number of people living in cities with at least one monitoring station at a background location. The population data applied for the indicator derives from the Urban Audit , which is conducted at the initiative of the Directorate-General for Regional Policy at the European Commission, in cooperation with Eurostat and the national statistical offices of the 27 current Member States. Currently, the Urban Audit involve more than 620 European cities in 30 EEA member countries. The Urban Audit contains data for over 250 indicators across nine domains (e.g. demography, social aspects, environment, travel and transport). The Urban Audit aims at a balanced and representative sample of cities in Europe. To obtain such a selection, a few simple rules are applied: 1. Approximately 20% of the national population should be covered by the Urban Audit. 2. All capital cities were included. 3. Where possible, regional capitals were included. 4. Both large (more than 250 000 inhabitants) and medium-sized cities (minimum 50 000 and maximum 250 000 inhabitants) were included. 5. The selected cities should be geographically dispersed within each Member State. The selection of cities was prepared in close collaboration between the Directorate-General for Regional Policy, Eurostat and the national statistical institutes. To ensure that large and medium-sized cities are equally represented in the Urban Audit, in some of the larger Member States not all large cities could be included. The Urban Audit works with three different spatial levels: the core city, the larger urban zone (LUZ) and the sub-city district (SCD). For CSI 004 only the the core city level is considered, which is the most important level. To ensure that this level is directly relevant to policy makers and politicians, political boundaries were used to define the city level. In many countries these boundaries are clearly established and well-known. As a result, for most cities the boundary used in the Urban Audit corresponds to the general perception of that city. Due to the highly diverse nature of political boundaries in the European Union, for some cities the political boundary does not correspond to the general perception of that city. In a few cities, Dublin for example, the political boundary of the city is narrower than the general perception of that city. Exceedance of air quality limit values occurs when the concentration of air pollutants exceeds the limit values specified in the first Daughter Directive of the Air Quality Framework Directive for SO 2 , PM 10 [3], NO 2 and the target values for O 3 as specified in the third Daughter Directive. Where there are multiple limit values (see section on Policy Targets), the indicator uses the most stringent case: Sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ): the daily limit value; Nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ): the annual limit value; Particulate matter (PM 10 ): the daily limit value; Ozone (O 3 ): the target value. [1] 'Ambient air' shall mean outdoor air in the troposphere, excluding work places. [2] 'pollutant' shall mean any substance introduced directly or indirectly by man into the ambient air and likely to have harmful effects on human health and/or the environment as a whole. [3] 'PM 10 ' shall mean particulate matter which passes through a size-selective inlet with a 50 % efficiency cut-off at 10 microgram aerodynamic diameter.

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