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COUNCIL DIRECTIVE
1999/30/ECof 22 April 1999

relating to limit values
for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate
matter and lead in ambient air

 

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN
UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty
establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 130s(1) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal
from the Commission(1),

Having regard to the opinion
of the Economic and Social Committee(2),

Acting in accordance with the
procedure laid down in Article 189c of the Treaty(3),

(1) Whereas, on the basis of
principles enshrined in Article 130r of the Treaty, the European Community
programme of policy and action in relation to the environment and sustainable
development (the fifth Environment Action Programme)(4) envisages in particular
amendments to legislation on air pollutants; whereas that programme recommends
the establishment of long-term air-quality objectives;

(2) Whereas Article 129 of
the Treaty provides that health-protection requirements shall form a
constituent part of the Community's other policies; whereas Article 3(o) of the
Treaty provides that the activities of the Community shall include a
contribution to the attainment of a high level of health protection;

(3) Whereas, pursuant to
Article 4(5) of Council Directive 96/62/EC of 27 September 1996 on ambient air
quality assessment and management(5), the Council is to adopt the legislation
provided for in paragraph 1 and the provisions laid down in paragraphs 3 and 4
of the same Article;

(4) Whereas the limit values
laid down in this Directive are minimum requirements; whereas, in accordance
with Article 130t of the Treaty, Member States may maintain or introduce more
stringent protective measures; whereas, in particular, stricter limit values
may be introduced to protect the health of particularly vulnerable categories
of the population, such as children and hospital patients; whereas a Member
State may require that limit values be attained before the dates laid down in
this Directive;

(5) Whereas ecosystems should
be protected against the adverse effects of sulphur dioxide; whereas vegetation
should be protected against the adverse effects of oxides of nitrogen;

(6) Whereas different types
of particles can have different harmful effects on human health; whereas there
is evidence that risks to human health associated with exposure to man-made
particulate matter are higher than risks associated with exposure to naturally
occurring particles in ambient air;

(7) Whereas Directive
96/62/EC requires that action plans be developed for zones within which
concentrations of pollutants in ambient air exceed limit values plus any
temporary margins of tolerance applicable in order to ensure compliance with
limit values by the date or dates laid down; whereas insofar as they relate to
particulate matter such action plans and other reduction strategies should aim
to reduce concentrations of fine particles as part of the total reduction in
concentrations of particulate matter;

(8) Whereas Directive
96/62/EC provides that the numerical values for limit values and alert
thresholds are to be based on the findings of work carried out by international
scientific groups active in the field; whereas the Commission is to take
account of the most recent scientific-research data in the epidemiological and
environmental fields concerned and of the most recent advances in metrology for
re-examining the elements on which limit values and alert thresholds are based;

(9) Whereas in order to
facilitate the review of this Directive in 2003 the Commission and the Member
States should consider encouraging research into the effects of the pollutants
referred to herein, namely sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of
nitrogen, particulate matter and lead;

(10) Whereas standardised
accurate measurement techniques and common criteria for the location of
measuring stations are an important element in the assessment of ambient-air
quality with a view to obtaining comparable information across the Community;

(11) Whereas, in accordance
with Article 12(1) of Directive 96/62/EC, the amendments necessary for
adaptation to scientific and technical progress may relate solely to criteria
and techniques for the assessment of concentrations of sulphur dioxide,
nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and lead or
detailed arrangements for forwarding information to the Commission, and may not
have the effect of modifying limit values or alert thresholds either directly
or indirectly;

(12) Whereas up-to-date
information on concentrations of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides
of nitrogen, particulate matter and lead in ambient air should be readily
available to the public,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

 

Article 1

Objectives

The objectives of this
Directive shall be to:

- establish limit values and,
as appropriate, alert thresholds for concentrations of sulphur dioxide,
nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and lead in ambient
air intended to avoid, prevent or reduce harmful effects on human health and
the environment as a whole,

- assess concentrations of
sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter
and lead in ambient air on the basis of common methods and criteria,

- obtain adequate information
on concentrations of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen,
particulate matter and lead in ambient air and ensure that it is made available
to the public,

- maintain ambient-air
quality where it is good and improve it in other cases with respect to sulphur
dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and lead.

 

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this
Directive:

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. "level" shall
mean the concentration of a pollutant in ambient air or the deposition thereof
on surfaces in a given time;

4. "assessment"
shall mean any method used to measure, calculate, predict or estimate the level
of a pollutant in the ambient air;

5. "limit value"
shall mean a level fixed on the basis of scientific knowledge, with the aim of
avoiding, preventing or reducing harmful effects on human health and/or the
environment as a whole, to be attained within a given period and not to be
exceeded once attained;

6. "alert
threshold" shall mean a level beyond which there is a risk to human health
from brief exposure and at which immediate steps shall be taken by the Member
States as laid down in Directive 96/62/EC;

7. "margin of tolerance"
shall mean the percentage of the limit value by which this value may be
exceeded subject to the conditions laid down in Directive 96/62/EC;

8. "zone" shall
mean part of their territory delimited by the Member States;

9. "agglomeration"
shall mean a zone with a population concentration in excess of 250000
inhabitants or, where the population concentration is 250000 inhabitants or
less, a population density per km2 which for the Member States justifies the
need for ambient air quality to be assessed and managed.

10. "oxides of
nitrogen" shall mean the sum of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide added as
parts per billion and expressed as nitrogen dioxide in micrograms per cubic
meter;

11. "PM10" shall
mean particulate matter which passes through a size-selective inlet with a 50 %
efficiency cut-off at 10 >ISO_7>ì>ISO_1>m aerodynamic
diameter;

12. "PM2,5" shall
mean particulate matter which passes through a size-selective inlet with a 50 %
efficiency cut-off at 2,5>ISO_7>ì>ISO_1>m aerodynamic
diameter;

13. "upper assessment
threshold" shall mean a level specified in Annex V, below which a
combination of measurements and modelling techniques may be used to assess
ambient-air quality, in accordance with Article 6(3) of Directive 96/62/EC;

14. "lower assessment threshold"
shall mean a level specified in Annex V, below which modelling or
objective-estimation techniques alone may be used to assess ambient-air quality
in accordance with Article 6(4) of Directive 96/62/EC;

15. "natural
events" shall mean volcanic eruptions, seismic activities, geothermal
activities, wild-land fires, high-wind events or the atmospheric resuspension
or transport of natural particles from dry regions;

16. "fixed
measurements" shall mean measurements taken in accordance with Article
6(5) of Directive 96/62/EC.

 

Article 3

Sulphur dioxide

1. Member States shall take
the measures necessary to ensure that concentrations of sulphur dioxide in
ambient air, as assessed in accordance with Article 7, do not exceed the limit
values laid down in Section I of Annex I from the dates specified therein.

The margins of tolerance laid
down in Section I of Annex I shall apply in accordance with Article 8 of
Directive 96/62/EC.

2. The alert threshold for
concentrations of sulphur dioxide in ambient air shall be that laid down in
Section II of Annex I.

3. In order to assist the
Commission in preparing the report provided for in Article 10, until 31
December 2003 Member States shall, where practicable, record data on
concentrations of sulphur dioxide averaged over ten minutes from certain
measuring stations which they have selected as representative of air quality in
inhabited areas close to sources and at which hourly concentrations are
measured. At the same time as data are supplied on hourly concentrations in accordance
with Article 11(1) of Directive 96/62/EC, Member States shall report to the
Commission, for those selected measuring stations, the number of ten-minute
concentrations which have exceeded 500 >ISO_7>ì>ISO_1>g/m3,
the number of days within the calendar year on which that occurred, the number
of those days on which hourly concentrations of sulphur dioxide simultaneously
exceeded 350 >ISO_7>ì>ISO_1>g/m3 and the maximum ten-minute
concentration recorded.

4. Member States may
designate zones or agglomerations within which limit values for sulphur dioxide
as laid down in Section I of Annex I are exceeded owing to concentrations of
sulphur dioxide in ambient air due to natural sources. Member States shall send
the Commission lists of any such zones or agglomerations together with
information on concentrations and sources of sulphur dioxide therein. When
informing the Commission in accordance with Article 11(1) of Directive
96/62/EC, Member States shall provide the necessary justification to
demonstrate that any exceedances are due to natural sources.

Within such zones or
agglomerations Member States shall be obliged to implement action plans in
accordance with Article 8(3) of Directive 96/62/EC only where the limit values
laid down in Section I of Annex I are exceeded owing to man-made emissions.

 

Article 4

Nitrogen dioxide and oxides
of nitrogen

1. Member States shall take
the measures necessary to ensure that concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and,
where applicable, of oxides of nitrogen, in ambient air, as assessed in
accordance with Article 7, do not exceed the limit values laid down in Section
I of Annex II as from the dates specified therein.

The margins of tolerance laid
down in Section I of Annex II shall apply in accordance with Article 8 of
Directive 96/62/EC.

2. The alert threshold for
concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in ambient air shall be that laid down in
Section II of Annex II.

 

Article 5

Particulate matter

1. Member States shall take
the measures necessary to ensure that concentrations of PM10 in ambient air, as
assessed in accordance with Article 7, do not exceed the limit values laid down
in Section I of Annex III as from the dates specified therein.

The margins of tolerance laid
down in Section I of Annex III shall apply in accordance with Article 8 of
Directive 96/62/EC.

2. Member States shall ensure
that measuring stations to supply data on concentrations of PM2,5 are installed
and operated. Each Member State shall choose the number and the siting of the
stations at which PM2,5 is to be measured as representative of concentrations
of PM2,5 within that Member State. Where possible sampling points for PM2,5
shall be co-located with sampling points for PM10.

Within nine months of the end
of each year Member States shall send the Commission the arithmetic mean, the
median, the ninety-eighth percentile and the maximum concentration calculated
from measurements of PM2,5 over any twenty-four hours within that year. The
ninety-eighth percentile shall be calculated in accordance with the procedure
laid down in Section 4 of Annex I to Council Decision 97/101/EC of 27 January
1997 establishing a reciprocal exchange of information and data from networks
and individual stations measuring ambient air pollution within the Member
States(6).

3. Action plans for PM10
prepared in accordance with Article 8 of Directive 96/62/EC and general
strategies for decreasing concentrations of PM10 shall also aim to reduce
concentrations of PM2,5.

4. Where the limit values for
PM10 laid down in Section I of Annex III are exceeded owing to concentrations
of PM10 in ambient air due to natural events which result in concentrations
significantly in excess of normal background levels from natural sources,
Member States shall inform the Commission in accordance with Article 11(1) of
Directive 96/62/EC, providing the necessary justification to demonstrate that
such exceedances are due to natural events. In such cases, Member States shall
be obliged to implement action plans in accordance with Article 8(3) of
Directive 96/62/EC only where the limit values laid down in Section I of Annex
III

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