European measures for Air Quality requested

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1 European measures for Air Quality requested VNG-IPO position paper September 2005

2 Summary IPO, VNG and Regio Randstad represent the Dutch regional and local authorities. IPO represents the 12 provinces, VNG the 467 municipalities and the regional and local authorities of Randstad Holland work together and are coordinated by Regio Randstad. The European Commission is preparing a thematic strategy for air quality and the revision of the first daughter directive for air quality. Both proposals will be presented this autumn to the Council and the European Parliament. In anticipation thereof, this position paper presents the current view of the Dutch regional and local authorities concerning the thematic strategy and the directive on air quality. The Dutch regional and local authorities are facing the limits in their efforts to make the air clean, to get economic growth, sufficient housing and space for nature and recreational areas. Although local measures are being taken, it is impossible to realise air quality levels in the Netherlands within the given limit values of the European Directive. The Dutch Council of State enforces the air quality limit values on every decision the Dutch authorities make; a bad situation may not deteriorate. That means that new urban developments that generate more traffic (and therefore more pollution) are not allowed because all authorities need to take air quality into account on every decision.. Air quality is both a European problem as well as a national and local problem. The exposure of people and ecological systems to air pollution should be reduced. But air pollution is a transboundary problem. That is why the Dutch regional and local authorities call for a European approach to this common problem. The Dutch regional and local authorities conclude from their own experience that measures on all levels in the whole of Europe are needed to get clean air for all European citizens. Only if all levels of authority take full responsibility will air pollution be dealt with adequately. The Dutch regional and local authorities request changes in the European approach to solve the air quality problem We ask for : 1. enforce emission legislation in all European member states 2. reducing health risks should be the main concern 3. prioritise measures in living areas 4. extend the deadline for specific locations 5. national and European subsidies for the realisation of adequate measures against air pollution 1

3 European measures for air quality requested VNG - IPO Position paper Introduction Citizens want clean air, but they also want their own car. Authorities cannot realise both. This complex issue becomes a dilemma in the face of the first daughter directive for air quality. To realise the economic growth ambition as stated in the agendas of Lisboa and Göteborg, the Netherlands have invested in industries, infrastructure and urban development. This will generate a growth in mobility of 30% until The quality of the living area has to be increased as well. New housing will be realised within existing cities. It is a conscious choice to realise compact cities, as this leaves sufficient space for nature and recreation in a small country such as the Netherlands. At the same time, the authorities in the Netherlands strive for a better environment and the wellbeing of the citizens. Clean air to live in is one of the aspects in that puzzle to solve. The first daughter directive for air quality of the EU demands from the Dutch governments to ensure that the concentrations of nitrogen(di)oxide (NOx), and particulate matter (PM10) will decrease below the limit value until 2010, 2005 respectively. For a densely populated country like the Netherlands, with high traffic intensity and a large contribution of particulate matter from other countries, the compliance with European limit values is not easy to achieve. The development of housing, industrial areas and infrastructure is severely hindered. A European approach for this complex problem is necessary. The Dutch approach The Dutch authorities invest in clean air. In the past ten years fine particle concentrations have been diminished by 25%. In the next ten years the government will spend a minimum of 900 million for soot filters in diesel vehicles and for other car-emission control measures. Provinces have reduced the industrial emission by permits and now demand reduced emission in public transport contracts. Municipalities reroute heavy traffic out of city centers, and take other local measures to reduce air pollution. That is why air quality has been increased significantly in recent years. Regio Randstad searches for cooperation with other European urban regions to speed up the implementation rate of the European directive. Common problem Fine particles are a problem, which cannot be solved locally, because the air pollution crosses the national borders. A lot of pollution in the Netherlands derives from neighbouring countries, just as Dutch air pollution is carried to other countries. Only a small part (max 25%) of fine particles comes from local sources. Even if local emissions form cars, households and industries are eliminated (cities cease to function completely) the 24hr limit value of PM10 will be exceeded. Current situation Best possible scenario in 2015 Yellow and orange colors show where daily mean values of fine particles are too high. 2

4 The Dutch regional and local authorities request changes in the European approach to solve the air quality problem 1. Enforce emission legislation in all European member states Measures aimed at the polluter are the best way to protect the European citizens against air pollution and to comply with the European limit values. This way the source of the pollution is addressed. As shown by the figure below fine particles are not only a local issue. The car industry, which is a mayor contributor to air pollution, is an international industry. Actions to reduce car related emission can only be taken by the EU. This is one example of the fact that, to reduce the emissions in the European Union, measures on a European scale are needed, as a large part of emissions crosses country borders. This diagram shows that even if emissions from cars, households and industries in a city are eliminated the air quality levels will remain above the 24hr limit value of PM10. - Fast introduction of Euro-5 limit values for passenger car emissions, which are 80-90% lower for particulate matter compared to Euro-4 for new diesel cars. - Permission from the EC to subsidise soot filters in existing cars in the Netherlands and stimulation actions of the EU. - Introduction of strict emission values for NOx in ships (sea and inland ships) - Sharpening of emission values of LCP (Large Combustion Plants Directive) in such a way that they agree with the Best Available Techniques (BAT) in BREF (reference documents) - A BREF document for particulate matter in the framework of the IPPC directive (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) - The introduction of National Emission Ceilings (NECD) for particulate matter 2. Reducing health risks should be the main concern The PM10 fraction consists partly of components that are not hazardous for health, such as sea salt and dust. We think it is important that future limit values for particulate matter refer to the substances that are hazar- 3

5 dous for health. At this moment it is not yet clear which substances or fractions are hazardous. It is generally agreed that diesel soot is a very hazardous compound. Therefore we support a PM2,5 limit value for particles smaller than 2,5 micrometers, because it has a better correlation with health effects. Of course, the height of the limit value should be set such that achieving the limit value is realistic. - More research on the effect of different particulate fractions on health - A uniform way to determine (measure) particulate matter. - Explicitly state in the air quality directive that natural compounds which are proven to be harmless to human health, such as sea salt, can be subtracted from the concentration when compliance with limit values is tested. 3. Prioritise measures in living areas Air quality limit values apply everywhere, but the regional and local authorities ask the EU to agree with a prioritisation, in such a way that places where people are exposed to air pollution will be dealt first. No tunnel With tunnel A tunnel can locally improve the situation significantly, but at the end of the tunnel the air quality is reduced. Prioritisation helps to realise these kinds of solutions. - Admission for a prioritisation in measures for places where people are exposed to air pollution 4. Extend the deadline for specific locations The European limit values for particulate matter have to be reached by , those for nitrogen dioxide will become effective on In the Netherlands, the national government, the provinces and the municipalities work hard on compliance with the limit values, but for some specific locations, it is clear that 4

6 the limit values cannot be reached in time. The lower governments urge for a transitional provision for NO2 and PM10 for the most polluted bottlenecks, in case the time to comply with the limit values proves to be too short. - A transitional provision for the most polluted locations 5. National and European subsidies for the realisation of adequate measures against air pollution To solve the air pollution problems it is necessary to take complementary infrastructure and traffic measures on a local and regional scale. As these measures demand a lot of money and knowledge from the Dutch provinces and municipalities, financial funds are indispensable. In the first instance it is necessary that the EU does not forbid but should support national funding For example, for clean motors and retrofit installations (soot filters which have initially not been installed in the cars). Furthermore, financial funding from the European Union is necessary for measures to improve the air quality. As the air quality currently causes considerable health effects, we think that the demand for funding for effective measures is justified. - Permission for national funding - European funds for measures against air pollution 5

7 IPO The Association of Provincial Authorities (IPO) is the council of the 12 Dutch provinces. IPO has an official outpost in Brussels: the House of Netherlands Provinces (HNP). The HNP represents the interests of single as well as of the complete provinces in the European institutions. VNG The Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) is the council of the Dutch municipalities. The VNG is a union for all people who work on an official or managerial level in Dutch municipalities. Together with all municipalities, the VNG stands tall for empowerment and quality of the local government. The VNG has an official outpost in Brussels. Furthermore, the VNG is working together with many other organisations, and is a participant of the European council of unions, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and the international council United Cities and Local Government (UCLG). Regio Randstad Improvement in the international competitiveness and standard of living in the western part of the Netherlands (and in particular in Randstad Holland) is the purpose of the cooperation within Regio Randstad between the provinces of Noord and Zuid Holland, Utrecht and Flevoland, the cities of Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam and Utrecht and the city regions Regionaal Orgaan Amsterdam, Stadsgewest Haaglanden, Stadsregio Rotterdam and Bestuur Regio Utrecht. Contacts: Rob van Eijkeren Huis der Nederlandse Provincies Aduatukersstraat B-1040 Brussel Telefoon Simone Goedings De Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten Postbus GK Den Haag Telefoon: Hans Pluckel Regio Randstad Aduatukerstraat B-1040 Brussels tel fax Joyce Klink Interprovinciaal Overleg Postbus BC Den Haag telefoon

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