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Parliamentary questions
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26 April 2016
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-001272/2016

For particulate matter smaller than 2.5 µm (PM2.5), limit values became binding only on 1 January 2015. The compliance situation will be assessed based on the annual air quality reports for the year 2015 (to be submitted by 30 September 2016 at the latest).

Reducing harmful particulates in the atmosphere will depend on reducing related emissions. Key sources of PM2.5 include emissions of particulate matter from traffic, emission of precursors from industry and agriculture, as well as transboundary pollution(1).

As far as the road transport is concerned, emission limits for particulates are in place both for light‐ and heavy-duty vehicles. From 2017 a new on-road test which will assess the emissions of particulates of light-duty vehicles will be introduced.

To further limit air pollution levels in the EU, the Commission proposed in 2013 a revision of the National Emissions Ceilings Directive(2), including national reduction commitments for atmospheric pollutants, including PM2,5 and its main precursors. The proposal is currently under negotiations by the co-legislators.

The responsibility for resolving local compliance problems — including raising awareness among the public — lies with Member States, where there is substantial scope for enhanced national and local action. In addition, the Commission works with Member States to address air quality problems through the exchange of best practices,(3) periodic workshops(4), guidance documents,(5) and information material.(6)

(1) http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/research/researchPrograms/air/policy/TSAP-reports.html
(2) Directive 2001/81/EC, OJ L 309, 27.11.2001, p. 22‐30
(3) https://luft.umweltbundesamt.at/measures/; https://luft.umweltbundesamt.at/measures/query/list
(4) https://circabc.europa.eu/faces/jsp/extension/wai/navigation/container.jsp
(5) http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/quality/legislation/index.htm
(6) http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/cleaner_air/index.html

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