The following EU Law practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The European Commission's (EC) Clean Air Policy Package (the Clean Air Package) aims to substantially and further reduce air pollution across the EU. Poor air quality is a major health risk, which also causes environmental (affecting the quality of fresh water, soil, and ecosystems) and economic impacts.
In 2010, despite the existing EC air quality policy framework, more than 400,000 people are estimated to have died prematurely from air pollution in the EU, and almost two-thirds of the EU land area was exposed to excess nutrient above safe levels.
Air pollution also damages materials and buildings, and some air pollutants behave like greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
For more on air pollution and its causes, see: Air pollution—overview.
At EU level, the main components of the air quality policy framework are:
the 2005 EU Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution, setting out strategic policy objectives
the 2016 National Emission Ceilings Directive 2016/2284/EC (NEC Directive), establishing national emission ceilings for 2030 for all Member States covering five main pollutants (which replaces the previous 2001 National Emission Ceilings Directive 2001/81/EC)—see Practice Notes: National Emission Ceilings Directive 2001/81/EC—snapshot [Archived] and National Emission Ceilings Directive (EU) 2016/2284—snapshot
the Ambient Air Quality Directives (2008/50/EC and 2004/107/EC), setting local air quality limits which may not be exceeded anywhere in the EU—see Practice Note: Ambient Air Quality Directive 2008/50/EC—snapshot
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