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REPORT     
PDF 134k
20 March 1997
PE 220.508/fin. A4-0096/97
on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive on the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Council Directive 93/12/EEC (COM(96)0248 - C40462/96 - 96/0163(COD))
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection
Rapporteur: Mr Mamère
By letter of 29 August 1996 the Commission submitted to Parliament, pursuant to Article 189b(2) and Article 100a of the EC Treaty, the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive on the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Council Directive 93/12/EEC.
 A LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL DRAFT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 B EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION
 OPINION
 OPINION

 By letter of 29 August 1996 the Commission submitted to Parliament, pursuant to Article 189b(2) and Article 100a of the EC Treaty, the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive on the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Council Directive 93/12/EEC.

At the sitting of 20 September 1996 the President of Parliament announced that he had referred this proposal to the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection as the committee responsible and to the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy, the Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy and the Committee on Transport and Tourism for their opinions.

At its meeting of 7 May 1996 The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection had appointed Mr Mamère rapporteur.

It considered the Commission proposal and the draft report at its meetings of 4 February and 19 March 1997.

At the latter meeting it adopted the draft legislative resolution by 32 votes to 4, with 1 abstention.

The following took part in the vote: Ken Collins, chairman; Poggiolini and Lannoye, vice-chairmen; Mamère, rapporteur; d'Aboville, Aparicio Sanchez (for Apolinario), Blokland, Bowe, Correia (for van Putten), Eisma, Estevan Bolea (for Campoy Zueco), Flemming, Garosci (for Viceconte), Gonzalez Alvarez, Graenitz, Hautala (for Breyer), Holm (for Tamino pursuant to Rule 138(2)), Hulthén, Koch (for Florenz), Kokkola, Kronberger, Kuhn, Lange (for Whitehead), Liese (for Jackson), Marinucci, Mendonca (for Trakatellis), Myller (for Kirsten Jensen), Needle, Olsson, Oomen-Ruijten, Pollack, Roth-Behrendt, Schleicher, Schnellhardt, Valverde Lopez, Virgin and White.

The opinions of the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy and the Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy are attached. The Committee on Transport and Tourism decided not to deliver an opinion.

The report was tabled on 20 March 1997.

The deadline for tabling amendments will be indicated in the draft agenda for the relevant part-session.


 A LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL DRAFT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

Proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive on the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Council Directive 93/12/EEC (COM(96)0248 - C4-0462/96 - 96/0163(COD))

This proposal is approved with the following amendments:

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendments by Parliament

(Amendment 1)
Recital 1

Whereas disparity between the laws or administrative measures adopted by the Member States on specifications of conventional and alternative fuels used by spark-ignited and diesel vehicles creates barriers to trade in the Community and may thereby have a direct impact on the establishment and functioning of the internal market; whereas in accordance with the provisions of Article 3b of the Treaty, it therefore appears necessary to approximate the laws in this field;

Whereas disparity between the laws or administrative measures adopted by the Member States on mandatory minimum specifications of conventional and alternative fuels used by spark-ignited and diesel vehicles may have a direct impact on the establishment and functioning of the internal market and on the international competitiveness of the European vehicle and refining industries; whereas in accordance with the provisions of Article 3b of the Treaty, it therefore appears necessary to approximate the laws in this field;

(Amendment 2)
Recital 2

Whereas Article 100a(3) of the Treaty envisages that Commission proposals aimed at the establishment and functioning of the internal market and concerning environmental protection will take as a base a high level of protection;

Whereas Article 100a(3) of the Treaty envisages that Commission proposals aimed at the establishment and functioning of the internal market and concerning health and environmental protection will take as a base a high level of protection;

(Amendment 3)
Recital 3

Whereas primary air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, unburnt hydrocarbons and particulate matter are emitted in significant amounts through the exhaust and evaporative fumes of motor vehicles thereby posing directly and indirectly through the development of the secondary pollutant ozone, a considerable risk to human health and the environment;

Whereas primary air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, unburnt hydrocarbons, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, benzenes and other toxic exhaust emissions and their secondary pollutants such as ozone are emitted in significant amounts through the exhaust and evaporative fumes of motor vehicles thereby posing directly and indirectly a considerable risk to human health and the environment;

(Amendment 4)
Recital 5 a (new)

Whereas, in addition to an initial stage of fuel specifications beginning in the year 2000, provision must be made for a second stage, to come into effect in 2005, to enable the industry to make the necessary investments to adapt its production plans;

(Amendment 5)
Recital 5 b (new)

Whereas petrol and diesel fuel complying with the specifications set out in annexes 1 and 2 are already available on the market in the European Union;

(Amendment 6)
Recital 6

Whereas the European Auto/Oil Programme, the details of which are outlined in the Commission's Communication on a future strategy for the control of atmospheric emissions from road transport, provides the scientific, technical and economic basis for the introduction at Community level of new environmental fuel specifications for petrol and diesel fuels;

Whereas the European Auto/Oil Programme, the details of which are outlined in the Commission's Communication on a future strategy for the control of atmospheric emissions from road transport, contributes towards a scientific, technical and economic basis for recommending the introduction at Community level of new environmental fuel specifications for petrol and diesel fuels;

(Amendment 7)
Recital 6a (new)

Whereas, in so far as the cost of measures adopted will in any case be borne by the consumer, the Auto/Oil study has not taken into account a macroeconomic cost-benefit analysis including not only the costeffectiveness aspects but also the social costs, in particular the savings on health services which higher air quality standards will make possible;

(Amendment 8)
Recital 7

Whereas the introduction of environmental fuel specifications for petrol and diesel fuels is an important element of the cost-effective package of European-wide and national/regional/local measures identified by the European Auto/Oil Programme;

Whereas the introduction of minimum environmental fuel specifications for petrol and diesel fuels is an important element of the cost benefit package of European-wide and national/regional/local measures that should be put into effect;

(Amendment 9)
Recital 8

Whereas the implementation of a combination of European-wide and national/regional/local measures to reduce vehicle emissions is part of the Commission's overall strategy to reduce air emissions from mobile and stationary sources in a cost-effective and balanced way;

Whereas the implementation of a combination of European-wide and national/regional/local measures to reduce vehicle emissions is part of the Commission's overall strategy to reduce air emissions from mobile and stationary sources in a cost benefit and balanced way;

(Amendment 10)
Recital 8a (new)

Whereas it is necessary to obtain in the short term a reduction, in urban areas, of polluting vehicle emissions, including primary pollutants such as unburnt hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide; secondary pollutants such as ozone; toxic emissions such as benzene and particle emissions;whereas the reduction of polluting vehicle emissions in urban areas can be immediately achieved on motor vehicles equipped with positive ignition engines through changes in fuel composition;

(Amendment 11)
Recital 8b (new)

Whereas the incorporation of oxygen and the significant reduction in aromatics, olefines, benzene and sulphur permit better fuel quality to be obtained from an environmental standpoint; whereas to this end it is appropriate to encourage the use of oxygenates;

(Amendment 12)
Recital 9

Whereas this Directive should apply without prejudice to the provisions of Council Directive 92/81/EEC9, as last amended by Directive 94/74/EC10, and in particular Article 8(4) thereof;

9. OJ No L 316, 31.10.1992, p.12

10. OJ No L 365,31.12.1994,p.46

Whereas the provisions of Council Directive 92/81/EEC, as last amended by Directive 94/74/EC, and in particular Article 8(4) thereof, prohibit Member States from excise tax differentiation designed to accelerate fuel quality above Community wide fuel specifications;

(Amendment 13)
Recital 9a (new)

Whereas Member States should have the right through differentiated excise taxation to use fiscal incentives to introduce more advanced fuels in line with national priorities, capacity and requirements;

(Amendment 14)
Recital 10

Whereas fuel specifications aiming at the reduction of both exhaust and evaporative emissions are generally lacking;

Whereas minimum fuel specifications aiming at the reduction of both exhaust and evaporative emissions are generally lacking;

(Amendment 15)
Recital 12

Whereas the need for vehicle emission reduction and the availability of the necessary refinery technology justify the setting of environmental fuel specifications for the marketing of unleaded petrol and diesel fuels;

Whereas the need for vehicle emission reduction and the availability of the necessary refinery technology justify the setting of minimum environmental fuel specifications for the marketing of unleaded petrol and diesel fuels;

(Amendment 16)
Recital 12a (new)

Whereas, since the application of this Directive enables distributors to make use, from the year 2000, of the infrastructure which had hitherto been used for leaded fuel, it seems appropriate to provide for the availability of two types of diesel fuel, one of which would be a higher-quality diesel.

(Amendment 17)
Recital 14

Whereas, in order to ensure compliance with the fuel quality standards required under this Directive, Member States should introduce monitoring systems. Such monitoring systems should be based on common procedures for sampling and testing;

Whereas, in order to ensure compliance with the minimum fuel quality standards required under this Directive, Member States should introduce monitoring systems. Such monitoring systems should be based on common procedures for sampling and testing;

(Amendment 18)
Recital 14a (new)

Whereas current exhaust emissions substantially exceed those estimated for 2010; whereas the quantities of exhaust permitted by the Directives currently in force and those which would enter into force as a result of the Auto/Oil initiative are still inadequate to meet the Community's current air quality objectives in 2010;

(Amendment 19)
Recital 14b (new)

Whereas in order to avoid unreasonable costs to consumers, the Community's broad mandatory minimum specifications can be developed gradually; whereas the Member States need the right of differential taxation in order to promote the adoption of more advanced fuels;

(Amendment 20)
Recital 15

Whereas, on the basis of a comprehensive assessment, the Commission should, within 12 months of the adoption of this Ddirective, but in any case no later than 31 December 1998, come forward with a proposal to amend the provisions of this Directive;

Whereas, on the basis of a comprehensive assessment, the Commission should, within 12 months of the adoption of this Directive, but in any case no later than 31 December 1999, come forward with a proposal to amend the provisions of this Directive, enabling at least the levels of the specifications proposed in Annex 1 for the year 2005 to be attained;

(Amendment 21)
Recital 15 a (new)

Whereas the Commission should ensure that with effect from 1 January 2005 the diesel fuel for which the specifications are proposed in Annex 2A will no longer be available on the market, and should submit no later than 31 December 1999 a proposal for an amendment enabling at least the levels of the specifications proposed in Annex 2 B to be attained;

(Amendment 22)
Recital 15b (new)

Whereas captive vehicle fleets exist (buses, taxis, commercial vehicles, etc.) which are responsible for a large proportion of urban pollution and would benefit from separate specifications;

(Amendment 23)
Recital 15c (new)

Whereas the Commission should propose specifications applicable to LPG, natural gas vehicle fuel and biofuels in the context of the Auto/Oil 2 process;

(Amendment 24)
Article 1 - Scope

This Directive sets technical specifications on health and environmental grounds for all fuels - conventional and alternative - to be used in spark-ignition and diesel vehicles.

This Directive sets minimum technical specifications on health and environmental grounds for all fuels - conventional and alternative - to be used in spark-ignition and diesel vehicles.

(Amendment 25)
Article 3(3)

By way of derogation from the provisions of paragraph 1, Member States may continue to permit the marketing of leaded petrol in their territory until three years after the adoption of this Directive, but in any case not later than 1 January 2002, if it can be demonstrated that the introduction of a total ban on the marketing of leaded petrol as from 1 January 2000 would result in severe socioeconomic difficulties.Member States wishing to make use of the derogation must inform the Commission before 1 January 1999. The Member State shall also provide the Commission with a justification of the need for such a derogation.The Commission may authorize the derogation for the marketing of leaded petrol.The Commission shall notify the Member States and inform the Council of its decision.

Deleted.

(Amendment 26)
Article 4

Member States shall ensure that within their territory diesel fuel can be marketed only if, with regard to certain parameters of environmental relevance, they comply with the specifications set out in Annex II.

Member States shall ensure that within their territory diesel fuel can be marketed only if, with regard to certain parameters of environmental relevance, they comply with the specifications set out in Annexes 2A and 2B.

The Member States shall ensure that the diesel fuel for which the specifications are set out in Annex 2B is available on the market in sufficient quantities.

The Member States shall ensure that the diesel fuel for which the specifications are set out in Annex 2A may no longer be marketed on their territory with effect from 1 January 2005.

(Amendment 27)
Article 5a (new)

The Commission shall, in reviewing Council Directive 92/81/EEC as amended by directive 94/74/EC, propose to Council and the European Parliament, Community law that has as its object the active use of fiscal incentives through differentiated excise taxation, to facilitate the introduction of more advanced fuels and outlining the procedures to be followed by a Member State wishing to avail of such a right;

(Amendment 28)
Article 6(2), second subparagraph

The Commission, after informing the other Member States of the information received, may authorize the specific measures for the marketing of cleaner fuels as proposed by the Member State in question.

The Commission, after consulting the committee referred to in Article 11 of this Directive, may authorize the specific measures for the marketing of cleaner fuels as proposed by the Member State in question.

(Amendment 29)
Article 6(2) third subparagraph

The Commission shall notify the Member States and the Council of its decision.

The Commission shall notify the Member States, the European Parliament and the Council of its decision.

(Amendment 30)
Article 6(2), fourth and fifth sub-paragraphs

Any Member State may refer the Commission's decision to the Council within one month of its notification.

The Council, acting by a qualified majority, may take a different decision within one month of the matter being referred to it.

delete

(Amendment 31)
Article 7, first paragraph

If a sudden change in the supply of crude oils or petroleum products renders it difficult for the refineries in a Member State to respect the fuel specification requirements of Articles 3 and 4, that Member State shall inform the Commission thereof. The Commission, after informing the Member States, may authorize higher limit values in that Member State for one or more fuel components for a period not exceeding six months.

If, as a result of exceptional events, a sudden change in the supply of crude oils or petroleum products renders it difficult for the refineries in a Member State to respect the fuel specification requirements of Articles 3 and 4, that Member State shall inform the Commission thereof. The Commission, after consulting the committee referred to in Article 11 of this Directive, may authorize higher limit values in that Member State for one or more fuel components for a period not exceeding six months.

(Amendment 32)
Article 7, second paragraph

The Commission shall notify the Member States and the Council of its decision.

The Commission shall notify the Member States, the European Parliament and the Council of its decision.

(Amendment 33)
Article 7, third and fourth paragraphs

Any Member State may refer the Commission's decision to the Council within one month of its notification.

The Council, acting by a qualified majority, may take a different decision within one month of the matter being referred to it.

delete

(Amendment 34)
Article 9(1), first sentence

1. The Commission will, periodically and for the first time not later than 12 months from the date of adoption of this Directive but in any event not later than 31 December 1998, and in the light of the assessment carried out in conformity with the requirements of Article 5 of Directive 96/.../EC, submit to the European Parliament and the Council a proposal for a revision of this Directive.

1. The Commission will, periodically and for the first time not later than 12 months from the date of adoption of this Directive but in any event not later than 31 December 1999, and in the light of the assessment carried out in conformity with the requirements of Article 5 of Directive 96/.../EC, submit to the European Parliament and the Council a proposal for a revision of this Directive.

(Amendment 35)
Article 9(1), second and third sentences

This proposal will include further, cost effective, improvements to the specifications for petrol and diesel fuels with regard to the parameters laid down in Annexes I and II to this Directive and should comprise, in particular, a significant reduction in the sulphur content of both petrol and diesel fuels, to come into effect on 1 January 2005. This action will form an integral part of a strategy designed to produce effects to meet the requirements of the Community air quality standards and other related objectives at least cost.

This proposal will include further improvements, meeting costbenefit criteria, to the specifications for petrol and diesel fuels with regard to the parameters laid down in Annexes 1 and 2B to this Directive and should comprise, in particular, a further reduction in the sulphur content of both petrol and diesel fuels, to come into effect on 1 January 2005. This action will form an integral part of a strategy designed to produce effects to meet the requirements of the Community air quality standards and other related objectives.

(Amendment 36)
Article 9(2), opening clause

2. In addition to the provisions of paragraph 1, the Commission may bring forward proposals to ensure the necessary availability and sufficient distribution throughout the Community before 2005 of fuels of a quality compatible with the effective functioning of the new pollution abatement technologies. In preparing such proposals the Commission shall have regard in particular to considerations of air quality, cost-effectiveness and proportionality, and shall also take account:

2. In addition to the provisions of paragraph 1, the Commission may bring forward proposals to ensure the necessary availability and sufficient distribution throughout the Community before 2005 of fuels of a quality compatible with the effective functioning of the new pollution abatement technologies. In preparing such proposals the Commission shall have regard in particular to considerations of air quality, compatibility with cost-benefit criteria and proportionality, and shall also take account:

(Amendment 37)
Article 9(2) (new indent)

- the particular situation of captive fleets and the need to propose levels of specifications for the special fuels they use;

(Amendment 38)
Article 9(2) (new indent)

- the need to propose levels of specifications applicable to LPG, natural gas vehicle fuel and biofuels.

(Amendment 39)
Article 11

The Commission shall be assisted by a committee of an advisory nature composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

The Commission shall be assisted by a committee of an advisory nature composed of one representative per Member State and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

The representative of the Commission shall submit to the committee a draft of the measures to be taken. The committee shall deliver its opinion on the draft, within a time limit which the chairman may lay down according to the urgency of the matter, if necessary by taking a vote.

The representative of the Commission shall submit to the committee a draft of the measures to be taken. The committee shall deliver its opinion on the draft, within a time limit which the chairman may lay down according to the urgency of the matter, if necessary by taking a vote.

The opinion shall be recorded in the minutes; in addition, each Member State shall have the right to ask to have its position recorded in the minutes.

The opinion shall be recorded in the minutes; in addition, each Member State shall have the right to ask to have its position recorded in the minutes.

The Commission shall take the utmost account of the opinion delivered by the committee. It shall inform the committee of the manner in which its opinion has been taken into account.

The Commission shall take the utmost account of the opinion delivered by the committee. It shall inform the committee of the manner in which its opinion has been taken into account.

Meetings of the committee shall as a rule be held in public except where there has been a specific decision to the contrary, duly reasoned and published in good time. The committee shall publish its agendas two weeks in advance of its meetings. It shall publish the minutes of its meetings. It shall draw up a public register of declarations of the interests of its members.

(Amendment 40)
(ANNEX I, Distillation)

Distillation:

evaporated at 100ΊC 46.0

Distillation:

evaporated at 100ΊC 51.0

(Amendment 41)
(ANNEX I, Distillation)

Distillation:

evaporated at 150ΊC 75.0

Distillation:

evaporated at 150ΊC 80.0

(Amendment 42)
(ANNEX I, Hydrocarbon analysis)

- olefins 18.0

- olefins 10.0

(Amendment 43)
(ANNEX I, Hydrocarbon analysis)

- aromatics 45.0

- aromatics 35.0

(Amendment 44)
(ANNEX I, Hydrocarbon analysis (new column))

Compulsory minimum values by 2005:

- aromatics 30.0

(Amendment 45)
(ANNEX I, Hydrocarbon analysis)

- benzene 2.0

- benzene 1.0

(Amendment 46)
(ANNEX I, Oxygen content)

Oxygen content Maximum 2.3

Oxygen content Maximum 2.7

(Amendment 47)
(ANNEX I, Sulphur content)

Sulphur content 200

Sulphur content 30

(Amendment 48)
(ANNEX I, Sulphur content (new column))

Compulsory minimum values by 2005:

- Sulphur content 30

(Amendment 49)
(ANNEX II, Title)

ANNEX II

ANNEX 2A

Limits

Test Method

52,0(5 1)----

837(845 )350(36 0)6(11)100(35 0)

ISO 5165ISO 3675ISO 3405prlP391ISO 8754

(Amendment 50)
(ANNEX 2A)
(Replaces Annex II)
ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR MARKET
FUELS TO BE USED FOR VEHICLES AND NON-ROAD MOBILE MACHINERY EQUIPPED WITH COMPRESSION IGNITION ENGINES
(The Commission's proposals in brackets.)
Type: Diesel fuel

Parameter

Unit

Minimu m

Maximum

Cetane numberDensity at 15ΊCDistillation95% pointPolycyclic aromatichydrocarbonsSulphur content

kg/m3ΊC% m/mppm

Test method (2)

-

ISO 5165

-

825

ISO 3675

-

340

ISO 3405

-

1

prIP391

-

50

ISO 8754

(1), (2) and (3) As in Annex II

(Amendment 51)
(ANNEX 2B (new))

Diesel specification s with effect from 2000: limits(1)

Parameter

Unit

Minimu m

Maximum

Cetane index

58

Density at 15ΊC

kg/m3

Distillation (3):95% point

ΊC

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

% m/m

Sulphur content

ppm

Legislative resolution embodying Parliament's opinion on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive on the quality of petrol and diesel fuels (COM(96)0248 - C4-0462/96 - 96/0163(COD))

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

- having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council, COM(96)0248 - 96/0163(COD)(1),

- having regard to Article 189b(2) and Article 100a of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C4-0462/96),

- having regard to Rule 58 of its Rules of Procedure,

- having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy and the Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy

(A4-0096/97),

1. Approves the Commission proposal, subject to Parliament's amendments;

2. Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 189a(2) of the EC Treaty;

3. Calls on the Council to incorporate Parliament's amendments in the common position that it adopts in accordance with Article 189b(2) of the EC Treaty;

4. Should the Council intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament, calls on the Council to notify Parliament and requests that the conciliation procedure be initiated;

5. Points out that the Commission is required to submit to Parliament any modification it may intend to make to its proposal as amended by Parliament;

6. Instructs its President to forward this opinion to the Council and Commission.

(1) OJ C


 B EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Background

Directive 94/12/EEC(1) committed the Commission to launching a process called 'Auto/Oil', with the aim of gathering the necessary technical information to enable a policy to be formulated to reduce air pollution from motor vehicle emissions. After several years' work, during which the Commission extensively consulted car manufacturers and the oil industry, a three-pronged approach has been formulated. Air pollution caused by road transport could be reduced by adopting non-technical measures, which largely fall within the sphere of responsibility of the Member States and local authorities (traffic management, etc.), by measures relating to vehicles (e.g. engine specifications, supplementary equipment and maintenance measures) and by adopting fuel quality specifications. It is with the last of these points that this report, and the proposal for a Directive with which it is concerned, deal.

1. AIR POLLUTION CAUSED BY ROAD TRANSPORT

Air pollution: a cause of illness and a source of immense costs to society

The consequences of air pollution in terms of public health are increasingly well-known: respiratory diseases, cancers and allergies, to name but a few. Its impact on the environment and our heritage is equally devastating: acidification, loss of agricultural yields, the cost of cleaning the facades of buildings in towns, and so on. As far as putting a figure on the cost is concerned, the Commission suggests that it ranges between 0.4% and 3% of the EU's GDP, depending on whether calculations take into account the impact on health or are confined to assessing damage to buildings(2).

A constant deterioration despite the efforts made

Whereas the kind of pollution seen at the beginning of the 20th century, which was caused by the use of coal, has to some extent been brought under control in Western Europe, much still remains to be done in the field of industrial pollution and, above all, pollution from transport. The Commission believes that road transport is now the biggest source of air pollution. While emission reduction and pollution control technologies are developing, and European legislation has made some progress, constant increases in road traffic tend to cancel out all the efforts made. Not a week goes by without air pollution warnings being issued in one Member State or another. Of course, this partly reflects improvements in monitoring equipment, but it is also due to the fact that, nearly everywhere, air quality has deteriorated. The big cities are naturally the worst affected, but also hard hit are all places where vehicle densities are high.

The main pollutants

The Commission proposal identifies a number of primary or secondary pollutants, concentrations of which must be reduced in order to limit their adverse impact on human health and the environment. The explanatory section of the draft opinion of the European Parliament's Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy ANNEXed to this report) contains a good presentation of the main pollutants taken into account by the proposal for a Directive and their impact on health. However, it is clear that different levels will in due course have to be set, firstly to extend the efforts already being made and secondly to tackle pollutants not yet dealt with, especially PM10 particulates and above all PM2.5 particulates, whose impact on health, according to the first studies available, is devastating.

2. COMBATING AIR POLLUTION: A PROTRACTED TASK

The pollution levels we face today are already unacceptable. Moreover, it is likely that there is worse yet to come: the increase in traffic combined with the slowness with which remedial measures are implemented and the process of renewing the motor vehicle park, which will take around 15 years, suggest that the future will be bleaker still.

An immediate impact and a precondition for improving engine technology

The Commission's proposal for a Directive is a step in the right direction. Reformulating fuel, unlike modifying vehicles, will have an immediate impact. The situation should improve as soon as reformulated fuels are placed on the market. Moreover, cleaner fuels - particularly those containing less sulphur - are essential in order to improve engine technology and increase the efficiency of catalytic converters and such pollution control devices as particle filters, DeNox catalysers or lean-burn engines. However, the Commission document is unduly timid. The refinery technology required for the production of low-sulphur fuels in particular has been in existence for a long time. It is already in use in Europe, but for the purpose of producing fuels for export to the North American market!

The need for fiscal measures

As the Commission stresses in many of its documents (the Communication on Auto/Oil, the Green Paper on fair pricing in transport, etc.), the use of fiscal instruments could produce some very promising results. Experiments in differential taxation which have been carried out in some Member States were quite conclusive in this respect. Tax incentives (i.e. lower taxes) for the use of certain fuels whose environmental quality is better, or alternatively, heavier taxes on the dirtiest fuels, or a combination of the two, can be used to influence consumer behaviour. It is now necessary to find the most appropriate regulatory framework for the adoption of fiscal measures to protect the environment, the numerous advantages of which were amply demonstrated in the Delors White Paper on 'Growth, Competitiveness and Employment'. As all fuels are subject to excise in the Union, it may seem appropriate to use this system to put the Commission's recommendations into practice at long last. However, it is important to avoid jeopardizing this Directive, in view of the extreme sensitivity of the Member States with regard to tax issues. In order to avoid this trap, your rapporteur has proposed a dual diesel supply system which, being based on market forces, should encourage the Member States to adopt fiscal measures.

3. DOUBTS ABOUT AUTO/OIL

In order to make it clear how feeble the Commission's position is, bearing in mind that it has failed to propose standards capable of improving air quality over the next few years, it is necessary to recall the origins of the Auto/Oil Programme. The draft report by D. Eisma on the Auto/Oil Communication (PE 220.507) contains a detailed analysis of the limits of this programme, which your rapporteur entirely endorses. The main criticisms are as follows.

The originality of the Auto/Oil initiative: bringing industrialists together and promoting cooperation among them

The approach adopted by the Commission in accordance with Directive 94/12/EEC is in principle an excellent one, provided that there is a strong referee. It is certainly a good idea to assign priority to addressing the two industries most involved, but it would be irresponsible of the public authorities to abdicate their responsibility to defend and promote the common good, i.e. health and environmental protection. These two sectors of industry have an incentive to reduce costs in order to compete. Thus, while they could be a fertile source of ideas, particularly thanks to their technical expertise, it is clear that their contributions need to be analysed with the greatest care without ever forgetting that the industries have strong interests at stake in the debate. The virulent confrontation between lobbyists representing the oil and motor vehicle industries after the publication of the Commission proposal is evidence of this.

Air quality objectives

Doeke Eisma's draft report accurately identifies both the strong points and the limitations of the Auto/Oil study. A more detailed analysis may be found there. The WHO health protection standards were used in the study under conditions such that it was impossible to take into account actual pollution levels: averages per 4 km2 area are inappropriate because these areas are far too large to be representative of the pollution to which individuals are exposed. However, Directive 85/203/EEC recommends that readings be taken in the most exposed places(3).

Elimination of leaded fuel

The Commission proposal very wisely proposes that leaded fuel, whose dangers to health have long been known, be banned as from the year 2000. In the greater part of the EU, this would merely entail acknowledging an established fact, since the market share of leaded fuel has been declining steadily ever since the introduction of catalytic converters. However, the Commission's proposals would allow Member States an additional two years if they faced particular difficulties.

Lastly, it should be noted that owners of certain very old vehicles, particularly vintage cars, whose engines require lead, will be able to continue to use them without difficulty. All they need do is add certain additives when refuelling.

The banning of leaded fuel should not present any particular problems, therefore, except perhaps for the establishment of temporary derogations for certain Member States.

The over-estimation of costs

At the public hearing held by the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment on 20 November 1996 to enable the Commission, the two industries with which Auto/Oil was concerned and parties who had not been involved in the process (particularly consumer protection and environmental organizations) to comment to Members of the European Parliament, it emerged that there were numerous doubts concerning the cost estimates for the measures proposed by Auto/Oil 1. As each industry had provided an estimate of its own costs, a certain over-estimation was only to be expected, as occurred when fuels were reformulated in the United States and the actual costs proved to be four times less than stated beforehand.

There are also methodological reasons for this: the Auto/Oil Programme data are based on relatively old studies, which did not take into account either the state of technology in 1997 or the enlargement of the EU to 15 Member States. A fresh calculation of the costs by the consultant A.D. Little, who had carried out the Auto/Oil cost calculation for the Commission, resulted in a substantial reduction in the estimates. As regards reducing sulphur content, which was the most costly measure, A.D. Little concludes that the cost of attaining the limit values proposed by your rapporteur would be 17% less than previously estimated in the case of petrol and 55% less in the case of diesel! It should be borne in mind that this new calculation is still based on the information provided by representatives of industry themselves and does not take account of the social cost borne by consumers. Thus there is strong reason to believe that the cost is still substantially overestimated!

The forgotten interests in Auto/Oil: those of citizens and consumers

Given that the Commission had decided to enlist the aid of industry in laying the foundations for what was to become the Auto/Oil legislative package, it was obvious that the Commission would 'naturally' tend to assign priority to the concerns of industrialists, sometimes to the detriment of consumer interests. The constant and systematic references to the criterion of 'cost-effectiveness' are one striking example of this. Certainly it would not be acceptable to impose unjustified costs on industry, and it is essential to preserve competitiveness. However, as the Commission quite rightly points out in the Explanatory Memorandum accompanying the proposal for a Directive, 'the incurred European-wide costs for a change in the quality of fuel ... will ultimately be borne by the consumer'. Thus the 'cost-benefit' ratio ought to be favourable to those who will have to pay: consumers.

Moreover, the impact of pollution on social budgets is also borne by citizens. In its Green Paper, 'Towards fair and efficient pricing in transport', the Commission estimated the cost of air pollution from road transport at ECU 86 billion in 1991! Clearly, while the optimum solution in terms of cost-effectiveness from the point of view of safeguarding the interests of industry should be taken into account, the public authorities have a duty - ultimately - to bear in mind the interests of society as a whole. The criterion of 'costeffectiveness' in no way allows the interests of the citizen, who pays for his fuel and pays his taxes, to be defended. It would even tend to exempt industry from bearing the costs associated with pollution and pass them on to citizens via taxation.

The situation in the oil industry: investing in Europe in order to modernize refineries

Shortly before the publication of the Auto/Oil package, the Commission's Directorate-General XVII (Energy) disseminated a document describing the difficulties faced by European refineries. Apparently, despite the the wide variety of situations which exist, there is surplus refinery capacity in the industry and some of its production equipment is somewhat outdated. This is not in any way due to environmental standards: far from it! If one studies exports of fuel from European countries to the American market, one finds that the enterprises which have secured encouraging results are those which have invested in equipment which has enabled them to produce fuels of better environmental quality. Thus when European oil companies invest in modernization, they have two good reasons for doing so: one is to meet internal demand for reformulated fuels within the Union, but the other is to cater for the American and Japanese markets.

It should be added that if such investment is carried out in Europe rather than America and Japan this could promote employment in Europe.

The specifications proposed, particularly as regards cutting aromatic hydrocarbons in 2000 and then 2005, will make it possible to develop production of oxygenated compounds, whether or not of agricultural origin, which are required to increase the octane number of fuels. Lastly, if reduced levels for the sulphur content of petrol and diesel in 2005 are already decided now, this will encourage investment by vehicle manufacturers, who account for large numbers of jobs. The situation in the European refinery industry must also be seen in conjunction with the excellent results of the exploration and production sectors(4).

4. AMENDMENTS TABLED

'Cost-effectiveness' is merely one component of 'cost-benefit'

The amendments tabled by your rapporteur are intended to draw attention to the fact that, although the criterion of 'costeffectiveness' provides valuable information, it cannot be taken as the guiding principle when allocating the costs of measures to protect human health. Preference should be assigned to the concept of 'cost-benefit' to society as a whole or the formula 'internalization of external costs'.

Auto/Oil 2: consultation processes should be improved, and analysis should continue, while avoiding any delaying tactics

In the interests of investment, it seems essential to create medium-term prospects for the oil industry and those carrying out research into catalysers by setting mandatory levels for certain well-known pollutants such as aromatics and sulphur for 2005 without further ado.

However, it would be wrong to conclude from this, as some Member States have done within the Council, that the Auto/Oil 2 process is pointless. The mass of technical data gathered must be put to use and supplemented. Decision-making and consultation of other parties (NGOs, Member States, etc.) must be improved, and the role of the public authorities (i.e. the Commission) in arbitrating among them must become stronger. The Commission must take the greatest care to ensure that Auto/Oil 2 is not exploited by certain parties to delay the implementation of measures proposed in connection with the co-decision procedures on the Auto/Oil 1 package. Even if the proposals for Directives presented by the Commission need to be partially amended, they are undeniably a step in the right direction.

Auto/Oil 2 should continue the work already begun, draw lessons from it and propose further improvements in a whole range of parameters which have not yet been taken into account, particularly the various types of particulates and new fuels. Among other things, certain omissions from the Auto/Oil 1 package should be remedied: in particular, specifications should be proposed for LPG, natural gas for vehicles and biofuels, and account should be taken of the specific situation of captive fleets (buses, taxis, urban commercial vehicles. etc.) which are often a major pollution source in urban areas and could benefit from special specifications (even cleaner diesel, new fuels, electric propulsion, etc.). Lastly, it seems that the volume of data to be considered, the transparency called for, and the setting without further ado, at the proposal of the EP, of specifications for sulphur and aromatics for 2005 would make it possible to give the Commission an extra year to carry out Auto/Oil 2, which should therefore be completed at the end of 1999.

As regards commitology, your rapporteur proposes harmonizing, on the basis of the advisory committee provided for by Article 11, the commitology procedures referred to in the Commission proposal, notably Article 3 (transitional period before leaded petrol is banned), Article 6 (special fuels for particularly polluted areas) and Article 7 (temporary alteration of limit values in the event of a crisis in the oil supply).

Specifications proposed in the amendments to the annexes

According to all the specialists, there is no technical obstacle to an ambitious reformulation of petrol and diesel fuels. Indeed, it is a precondition for better engine technologies. The main question therefore is how to enable the oil industry to undertake the necessary investment to modernize certain refineries. We have seen above that the costs predicted in the Auto/Oil programme were substantial over-estimates. Lastly, one should bear in mind that these costs will in any event be passed on to consumers. Thus the millions of ecus required to alter each refinery will be reflected in a rise of a few tenths of an ecu in pump prices to the consumer, which must be set against the gains in terms of air quality and their favourable financial impact on human health and the state of the environment.

Costs of measures to citizens in the year 2000

PetrolSulphur 50 ppm, reduction in benzene and aromatics ANNEX 1)

between 0.005 and 0.008 ECU/litre

DieselSulphur 100 ppm and 50 ppm, reduction in polyaromatics ANNEXes 2A and 2B)

between 0.0072 and 0.011 ECU/litre

The above figures for the year 2000 are estimates based on the Auto/Oil cost calculations, which the recent report by A.D. Little shows to be considerable over-estimates. Taking the Commission's estimate that the average consumer drives around 12 600 km/annum, the cost of the measures proposed by your rapporteur would therefore be between ECU 5 and 8 per annum!

Dual diesel supply system

The reformulation of diesel, primarily by reducing the levels of sulphur and polyaromatics it contains, is technically the toughest nut to crack but at the same time the most desirable and urgent measure. Your rapporteur has tried to find a solution which would make it possible to assist and accelerate this process in the most pragmatic way. The elimination of leaded fuel will leave a whole storage and distribution infrastructure available. Why not use it to place on the market a diesel with substantially improved environmental characteristics as specified in Annex 2B? This 'clean' diesel, containing 50 ppm of sulphur and 1% polyaromatics, should be available on the market from the year 2000 and improved in 2005.

The second diesel ANNEX 2A), for which your rapporteur proposes a sulphur content of 100 ppm in 2000, would be less beneficial to the environment, but the reduction of the sulphur content to 50 ppm in 2005 would enable oil companies to use the five intervening years to adjust and tap into the emerging clean diesel market which would become general in 2005.

This extremely simple system would require the cooperation of the Member States, which would bear a large measure of responsibility for using tax incentives in such a way as to encourage consumers to use clean diesel. All parties concerned would have an interest in making such a system work: it would afford the oil companies the transition period they need to alter their production equipment and, bit by bit, open up the clean diesel market; the availability of low-sulphur diesel from the year 2000 would enable car manufacturers to develop DeNox catalysers; the Member States would enjoy substantial tax revenues as a result of gearing their tax systems to the environmental qualities of fuels; consumers would see a rapid improvement in air quality and pay less for the cleanest fuels. The aim, therefore, is to allow consumers to use the cleanest fuels and let the market operate while guiding it by means of tax incentives.

Conclusion

The reformulation of fuels will be a major source of improvements in air quality. Its impact will be virtually instant, and it will facilitate technological developments which will generate synergy between the oil and vehicle manufacturing industries so as to enhance their competitiveness on international markets, which will boost employment. The specifications proposed by the Commission are without question unduly timid, and levels need to be set for 2005 for some pollutants. Given that the technology is already wellknown and available and the impact of these changes on pump prices would be virtually zero, it would be irresponsible not to take advantage of such a source of improvements in air quality.

(1)() Directive 94/12/EC of the European Parliament and the Council relating to measures to be taken against air pollution by emissions from motor vehicles and amending Directive 70/220/EEC. OJ L 100/42, 19.4.1994
(2)() 'Towards fair and efficient pricing in transport', COM(95)0691, 20.12.1995
(3)() Council Directive 85/203/EEC of 7 March, particularly Article 6 and Annex 3.
(4)() Cf. the study published on 10 February 1997 by Salomon Brothers (London). Cf. also the Wall Street Journal of 12 February 1997, which announced that BP had made record profits: $ 4.3 billion.


 OPINION

(Rule 147)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection

on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Council Directive 93/12/EEC (COM(96)0248 - C4-0462/96 - 96/0163(COD))(Mamère report)

Committee on Budgets

Letter from the chairman of the committee to Mr Collins, chairman of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection

Brussels, 29 October 1996

Dear Mr Collins,

At its meeting of 28 and 29 October 1996 the Committee on Budgets(1) considered the above matter and adopted the following conclusions:

It noted that the general objective of the proposal for a directive was the adoption of a new programme for reducing air pollution by motor vehicle emissions as part of the harmonization of the internal market (Article 100a of the Treaty), 'second step 2005'. These measures basically consist of a further tightening of emission standards. It points out that Parliament's position on the principles underlying the programme of new measures is a qualified one; it does in fact consider that some interested parties such as the NGOs have not been properly consulted and it reserved its position on the basis of the specific proposals to be forwarded to it by the Commission.

The Committee on Budgets notes that as what is involved here is essentially a technical assessment of the technology that might be considered for the vehicles of the future, and the holding of a review conference in 1999, the expenditure to be charged to the Community budget amounts to ECU 0.6 m which will be charged to Item B5-3000 to the amount of ECU 0.2m in 1997, 0.1 in 1998 and 0.3 in 1999, broken down as follows: ECU 0.4m for technical work and ECU 0.2m for the 1999 review conference.

The Committee on Budgets decided to table an amendment related to the comitology aspects of this action in respect of the advisory committee mentioned in Article 11 of proposal 96/0163(COD).

(Closing formula)

Detlev Samland

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendments by Parliament

(Sole amendment)Article 11proposal for a European Parliament and Council directiveon the quality of petrol and diesel fuels andamending Council Directive 93/12/EEC (96/0163(COD))

The Commission shall be assisted by a committee of an advisory nature composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

The Commission shall be assisted by a committee of an advisory nature composed of one representative per Member State and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

The representative of the Commission shall submit to the committee a draft of the measures to be taken. The committee shall deliver its opinion on the draft, within a time limit which the chairman may lay down according to the urgency of the matter, if necessary by taking a vote.

The representative of the Commission shall submit to the committee a draft of the measures to be taken. The committee shall deliver its opinion on the draft, within a time limit which the chairman may lay down according to the urgency of the matter, if necessary by taking a vote.

The opinion shall be recorded in the minutes; in addition, each Member State shall have the right to ask to have its position recorded in the minutes.

The opinion shall be recorded in the minutes; in addition, each Member State shall have the right to ask to have its position recorded in the minutes.

The Commission shall take the utmost account of the opinion delivered by the committee. It shall inform the committee of the manner in which its opinion has been taken into account.

The Commission shall take the utmost account of the opinion delivered by the committee. It shall inform the committee of the manner in which its opinion has been taken into account.

Meetings of the committee shall as a rule be held in public except where there has been a specific decision to the contrary, duly reasoned and published in good time. The committee shall publish its agendas two weeks in advance of its meetings. It shall publish the minutes of its meetings. It shall draw up a public register of declarations of the interests of its members.

28 February 1997

(1)() The following were present for the vote: Tillich, acting chairman; Brinkhorst, Christodoulou (for Bardong), Dankert, Elles, Fabra Vallés, Fabre-Aubrespy, Ghilardotti, Giansily, Haug, Jöns (for Bösch), Kellett-Bowman (for Bébéar), McCartin, Miranda, Mulder (for Gredler), Müller, Rehn, Tappin, Theato, Waidelich and Wynn.


 OPINION

(Rule 147)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection

on the Commission proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Council Directive 93/12/EEC(COM)(96)0248 - C40462/96)(Report by Mr Noël Mamère)

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy

Draftsman: Mr Patrick Cox

Procedure

At its meeting of 24 September 1996, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy appointed Mr Cox draftsman of an opinion.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 26 November 1996, 5 February 1997, 17 February 1997 and 26 February 1997.

At the latter meeting it adopted the following conclusions unanimously.

The following took part in the vote: von Wogau,chairman; Garosci, Katiforis, Secchi, vice-chairmen; Cox, draftsman; Areitio Toledo, Arroni, Barton (for Beres), Billingham, de Bremond d'Ars, Cassidy (for Carlsson), Caudron, Donnelly, Ewing, Fayot, Filippi (for Fourçans), Funk (for Friedrich), Gallagher, García Arias, García-Margallo, Gasoliba I Böhm, Glante, Glase (for Hoppenstedt), Harrison, Hautala, Herman, Ilaskivi, Imbeni, Kestelijn-Sierens, Kuckelkorn, Langen, Lindquist (for Riis-Jørgensen), Lulling, Mann (for Konrad), Mather, McCarthy (for Hendrick), Metten, Miller, Murphy, Paasilinna, Pérez Royo, Pomes Ruiz (for Peijs), Porto (for Christodoulou), Rapkay, RandzioPlath, Read, Ribeiro, Thyssen, Torres Marques, van Velzen (for Rübig), Wibe and Wolf (for Soltwedel-Schäfer).

Background

The Commission proposals concerning fuel quality following the Auto/Oil Programme

The commission proposes, under article 100a, to harmonise specifications for petrol and diesel fuel to apply from the year 2000. Indicative standards are considered for the year 2005. These are due to be definitively proposed, following a review of progress, not later than 31/12/98. The aim is to considerably reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality.

Leaded petrol is set to be phased out by 2000, with the possibility of a temporary two year derogation from 1/1/2000. States may derogate in the event of difficulties with the age composition of the vehicle fleet, the supply infrastructure or socioeconomic problems.

In specific areas where atmospheric pollution represents a serious threat to human health and/or the environment Member States may derogate by requiring the marketing of fuels of a higher quality than those foreseen in the Directive.

Member States will be obliged to develop new compliance monitoring and reporting systems to ensure that the fuel specifications are respected.

The unleaded petrol and diesel fuel specifications recommended for the year 2000 are the product of a collaborative Auto/oil programme between the European Commission, the Automobile Industry and the oil refineries and are based on a shared cost effectiveness analysis.

Critical appraisal

The multi-dimensional approach of the Auto/Oil programme is a step in the right direction. The ban on leaded petrol is welcome as is the innovative prospect of marketing fuels of a higher quality, by way of derogation, where it is justified for environmental or human health reasons. A central element of the proposals is to be found in the collaborative exercise involved in their formulation which critically included the two key economic sectors, the automobile and oil industries.

The European Parliament must decide if in the setting of objectives, the definition of specifications and the balancing of social and economic costs, whether it is sufficient to rely exclusively on an analysis produced by so limited a set of stakeholders as the automobile and oil industries, central and relevant as they may be.

Innovation in advanced higher specification higher cost fuels may fall short of what is desirable if not accompanied by accommodating fiscal incentives.

Many regard the limit values set for unleaded petrol and diesel fuel specifications as too lax. There is particular criticism of the proposed limit values for sulphur content and benzene. Lowering the sulphur content would serve not just to reduce emissions but also to dramatically improve the operating efficiency of catalytic converters and to further stimulate research into the development of a de-NOx catalyst for diesel vehicles. In respect of benzene it is noted that this is classified as a Class I human carcinogen.

A clear ambition to achieve very high fuel and air quality standards in the future needs to be signalled now so that the focus of oil refinery planning and investment can be directed to the changes necessary to meet these standards with due account for the lengthy transitional period required.

For its part the oil industry emphasises the cost of adjustment which at a minimum, whatever specifications are set, requires appropriate phasing-in to allow for cost effective solutions. The distribution of extra refining costs across the Union is likely to be biased, with the greatest cost implications more concentrated in Southern Member States, given their refinery types.

On the other hand the automobile industry, not least to do with its own competitive requirements, stresses the necessity and underlines the capacity to achieve more by way of higher fuel standards.

Conclusions

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection, as the Committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments into its report:

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendments by Parliament

?----------------------------------?

?----------------------------------?

(Amendment 1)
Recital 1

Whereas the disparity between the laws or administrative measures adopted by the Member States on specifications of conventional and alternative fuels used in spark-ignited and diesel vehicles creates barriers to trade in the Community and may thereby have a direct impact on the establishment and functioning of the internal market; whereas in accordance with the provisions of Article 3b of the Treaty, it therefore appears necessary to approximate the laws in this field;

Whereas the disparity between the laws or administrative measures adopted by the Member States on specifications of conventional and alternative fuels used in spark-ignited and diesel vehicles creates barriers to trade in the Community and may thereby have a direct impact on the establishment and functioning of the internal market and on the international competitiveness of the European vehicle and refining industries; whereas in accordance with the provisions of Article 3b of the Treaty, it therefore appears necessary to approximate the laws in this field;

(Amendment 2)
Recital 3

Whereas primary air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, unburnt hydrocarbons and particulate matter are emitted in significant amounts through the exhaust and evaporative fumes of motor vehicles thereby posing directly and indirectly through the development of the secondary pollutant ozone; a considerable risk to human health and the environment;

Whereas primary air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, unburnt hydrocarbons, and their secondary pollutant ozone; benzene and other toxic emissions; carbon monoxide and particulate matter are emitted in significant amounts potentially harmful to human health and the environment;

(Amendment 3)
Recital 6

Whereas the European Auto/Oil Programme, the details of which are outlined in the Commission's communication8 on a future strategy for the control of atmospheric emissions from road transport, provides the scientific, technical and economic basis for the introduction at Community level of new environmental fuel specifications for petrol and diesel fuels;

8. OJ No C

Whereas the European Auto/Oil Programme, the details of which are outlined in the Commission's communication on a future strategy for the control of atmospheric emissions from road transport, provides a scientific, technical and economic basis for recommending the introduction at Community level of new environmental fuel specifications for petrol and diesel fuels;

(Amendment 4)
Recital 9

Whereas this Directive should apply without prejudice to the provisions of Council Directive 92/81/EEC9, as last amended by Directive 94/74/EC10, and in particular Article 8(4) thereof;

9. OJ No L 316, 31.10.1992, p.12

10. OJ No L 365,31.12.1994,p.46

Whereas the provisions of Council Directive 92/81/EEC, as last amended by Directive 94/74/EC, and in particular Article 8(4) thereof; prohibit Member States from excise tax differentiation designed to accelerate fuel quality above Community wide fuel specifications;

(Amendment 5)
Recital 9a (new)

Whereas Member States should have the right through differentiated excise taxation to use fiscal incentives to introduce more advanced fuels in line with national priorities, capacity and requirements;

(Amendment 6)
Recital 9b (new)
Originally Recital 13

Whereas, in order to protect human health and/or the environment in specific locations with special problems of air quality, Member States should be permitted to require the marketing of special fuels;

(Amendment 7)
Recital 13

Whereas, in order to protect human health and/or the environment in specific locations with special problems of air quality, Member States should be permitted to require the marketing of special fuels;

(Moved to 9b, c.f. am 6)

deleted

(Amendment 8)
Recital 14a (new)

Whereas Annex I and II to this directive define the harmonised mandatory specifications for petrol and diesel fuels, as and from 1/1/2000;

(Amendment 9)
Recital 14b (new)

Whereas Annexes III and IV indicate target values for petrol and diesel fuel specifications, in the evolution of future Community policy;

(Amendment 10)
Recital 15

Whereas, on the basis of a comprehen-sive assessment, the Commission should, within 12 months of the adoption of this Directive, but in any case no later than 31 December 1998, come forward with a proposal to amend the provisions of this directive;

Whereas, on the basis of a comprehen-sive assessment, the Commission should, no later than 31 December 1998, come forward with a proposal to amend the provisions of this directive, having regard to the target values indicated in Annexes III and IV for petrol and diesel fuel specifications;

(Amendment 11)
Recital 16

Whereas further developments with regard to reference methods for measuring the specifications set out in this Directive may be desirable in the light of scientific and technical progress; whereas to this end, provision should be made in order to adapt the Annexes to this Directive to technical progress;

deleted

(Amendment 12)
Article 3(3)

By way of derogation from the provisions of paragraph 1, Member States may continue to permit the marketing of leaded petrol in their territory until three years after the adoption of this Directive, but in any case not later than 1 January 2002, if it can be demonstrated that the introduction of a total ban on the marketing of leaded petrol as from 1 January 2000 would result in severe socio-economic difficulties.

Member States wishing to make use of the derogation, must inform the Commission before January 1999. The Member States shall also provide the Commission with a justification of the need for such a derogation.

The Commission may authorize the derogation for the marketing of leaded petrol.

The Commission shall notify the Member States and inform the Council of its decision.

By way of derogation from the provisions of paragraph 1, Member States may continue to permit the marketing of leaded petrol in their territory until five years after the adoption of this Directive, but in any case not later than 1 January 2005, if it can be demonstrated that the introduction of a total ban on the marketing of leaded petrol as from 1 January 2000 would result in severe socio-economic difficulties.

It shall be open to Member States to request limited transitional periods in regard to the provisions of paragraph 1, in the event of difficulties with the age composition of the vehicle fleet, the production or supply infrastructure or substantial socio-economic problems arising from the application of this Directive.

Member States wishing to make use of the derogation, must inform the Commission before January 1999. The Member States shall also provide the Commission with a justification of the need for such a derogation.

The Commission may authorize the derogation for the marketing of leaded petrol and provide for limited transitional periods where appropriate.

The Commission shall notify the Member States and inform the Council of its decision.

(Amendment 13)
Article 5(a) (new)

The Commission shall, in reviewing Council Directive 92/81/EEC as amended by directive 94/74/EC, propose to Council and the European Parliament, Community law that has as its object the active use of fiscal incentives through differentiated excise taxation, to facilitate the introduction of more advanced fuels and outlining the procedures to be followed by a Member State wishing to avail of such a right;

(Amendment 14)
Article 9(1)

The Commission will, periodically and for the first time not later than 12 months from the date of adoption of this Directive but in any event not later than 31 December 1998, and in the light of the assessment carried out in conformity with the requirements of Article 5 of Directive 96//EC, submit to the European Parliament and the Council a proposal for a revision of this Directive. This proposal will include further, cost effective, improvements to the specifications for petrol and diesel fuels with regard to the parameters laid down in Annexes 1 and II to this Directive and should comprise, in particular, a significant reduction in the sulphur content of both petrol and diesel fuels, to come into effect on 1 January 2005. This action will form an integral part of a strategy designed to produce effects to meet the requirements of the Community air quality standards together with related human health and environmental objectives at least cost.

The Commission will, periodically and for the first time not later than 31 December 1998, and in the light of the assessment carried out in conformity with the requirements of Article 5 of Directive 96//EC, submit to the European Parliament and the Council a proposal for a revision of this Directive. This proposal will have regard to the target values indicated in Annexes III and IV for petrol and diesel fuels. This action will form an integral part of a strategy designed to produce effects to meet the requirements of the Community air quality standards together with related human health and environmental objectives at least cost.

Limits

Test Method

-49,0(4 6)81,0(75 )------

60,014,0(1 8)41,0(4 5)2,02,3 150(2 00)0,005

EN 12 ISO 3405ASTM D1319EN 238prEN 1601ISO 8754EN 237

(Amendment 15)
(ANNEX I)
(Replaces Annex I)
ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR MARKET FUELS TO BE USED FOR VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH POSITIVE IGNITION ENGINES
(The Commission's proposals in brackets.)
Type: Petrol

Parameter

Unit

Minimu m

Maximum

Reid vapour pressure,Summer periodDistillationevaporated at 100ΊCevaporated at 150ΊCHydrocarbon analysis:- olefins- aromatics- benzeneOxygen contentSulphur contentLead content

kPa% v/v% v/v% m/mppmg/l

Limits

Test Method

52,0(5 1)----

837(845 )350(36 0)6(11)300(35 0)

ISO 5165ISO 3675ISO 3405prlP391ISO 8754

(Amendment 16)
(ANNEX II)
(Replaces Annex II)
ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR MARKET
FUELS TO BE USED FOR VEHICLES AND NON-ROAD MOBILE MACHINERY EQUIPPED WITH COMPRESSION IGNITION ENGINES
(The Commission's proposals in brackets.)
Type: Diesel fuel

Parameter

Unit

Minimu m

Maximum

Cetane numberDensity at 15ΊCDistillation95% pointPolycyclic aromatichydrocarbonsSulphur content

kg/m3ΊC% m/mppm

Limit

Test Method

To be define d49,081,01,7

To be define d10301,02,7500,005

EN 12ISO 3405ASTM D1319EN 238prEN 1601ISO 8754EN 237

(Amendment 17)
(ANNEX III (new))
TARGET ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR MARKET FUELS TO BE USED FOR VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH POSITIVE IGNITION ENGINES
Type: Petrol

Parameter

Unit

Minimu m

Maximu m

Reid vapour pressureDistillationevaporated at 100ΊCevaporated at 150ΊCHydrocarbon analysis:- olefins- aromatics- benzeneOxygen contentSulphur content Lead content

kPa% v/v % v/v% m/mppmg/l

Limits

Test Method

55810---

837350150

ISO 5165ISO 3675ISO 3405prlP391ISO 8754

27 February 1997

(Amendment 18)
(ANNEX IV (new))
TARGET ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR MARKET
FUELS TO BE USED FOR VEHICLES AND NON-ROAD MOBILE MACHINERY EQUIPPED WITH COMPRESSION IGNITION ENGINES
Type: Diesel fuel

Parameter

Unit

Minimu m

Maximu m

Cetane numberDensity at 15ΊCDistillation95% pointPolycyclic aromatichydrocarbonsSulphur content

kg/m3ΊC% m/mppm


 OPINION

(Rule 147)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection

on the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amendment of Directive 93/12/EEC (proposal for an EP-Council directive)(COM(96)0248 - C4-0462/96)

Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy

Draftsman: Mr Umberto Scapagnini

PROCEDURE

At its meeting of 2 October 1996 the Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy appointed Mrs Eryl McNally draftsman.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 17 December 1996, 6 February 1997, 26 February 1997 and 27 February 1997.

At the last meeting it adopted the following conclusions by 15 votes to 12, with no abstentions.

The following took part in the vote: Scapagnini, chairman; Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Adam, and Lange, vice-chairmen; McNally, draftsman; Ahern, Bloch von Blottnitz, Chichester, de Gaulle, Desama, Estevan Bolea, Ferber, Gomolka (for Mombaur), Herman (for Rovsing, pursuant to Rule 138(2)), Izquierdo Collado, Linkohr, Malerba, Marset Campos, Matikainen-Kallström, Pompidou, Rothe, Soulier, Stockmann, Tannert, W.G. van Velzen, Weber and West.

Following the vote, Mrs McNally stated that she no longer wished to be responsible as draftsman for the opinion as voted. The Committee agreed that the Opinion be taken over by the Chairman, Mr Umberto Scapagnini.

Introduction

The Auto/Oil proposals stem from Directive 94/12/EC which required the Commission to propose future motor vehicle emission standards which (inter alia) meet the requirements of the Community's air quality criteria in a cost effective way. There are two complimentary approaches: one proposal directly concerns the reduction of motor vehicle emissions of pollutants; the other concerns the quality of the fuel used by motor vehicles, and is the subject of this opinion.

Motor vehicles emit a wide range of substances into the atmosphere, many of which have adverse effects on human health, vegetation, and buildings. In addition, evaporative losses from fuel tanks, spillages and refuelling operations also contribute to the problem. The pollutants which are of most concern, and the reasons for that concern, are as follows:

Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) - these are formed in the combustion chamber of motor vehicles. They have been implicated in the exacerbation of respiratory diseases, increased susceptibility to allergens, and the formation of atmospheric ozone.

Particulate matter - this is a generic term used to describe very small particles. PM10 is an abbreviation used for particles which are less than 10 microns in diameter (1 micron is 1 millionth of a metre), and which are produced, inter alia, by diesel engined motor vehicles. Recent research suggests correlations between atmospheric concentration of such particles and asthma attacks and deaths from respiratory disease. It also suggests that particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) may be particularly problematic, since they can lodge deep in the lung tissues.

Carbon monoxide (CO) - this derives from incomplete combustion of fuel and in high concentrations is fatal. It reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and at lower concentrations causes dizziness and similar effects.

Hydrocarbons - again deriving from partial or incomplete combustion of fuel. Among them are the so called VOCs, (volatile organic compounds), which include benzene, and 1,3 butadiene, both of which are known carcinogens.

Ozone - although vital (and under threat) in the stratosphere, because of its role in limiting ultra violet radiation, ozone is an increasing pollutant in the lower atmosphere, which can damage lung function and inflame airway linings. It also leads to sore eyes and throats.

Sulphur - sulphur dioxide derives from the combustion of sulphur, which is present in small quantities in mineral oils/fuels. It is an acidic irritant which also leads to the formation of acid rain, and the formation of sulphate particulate matter, now thought to be implicated in the exacerbation of respiratory disease.

Lead - the health effects of lead on the brain, the central nervous system and haemoglobin synthesis have been well known for many years, which has already resulted in the widespread use of unleaded fuels.

Pollution deriving from motor vehicle emissions is obviously most serious in urban areas, but problems can also be generated over much wider areas. For example, high concentrations of atmospheric ozone are often found in rural areas, because of gradual photo-chemical reactions in polluted air coming from urban and industrial centres.

The case for improving fuel quality

The Commission has proposed that existing fuel quality standards be tightened in both 2000 and 2005. It has made proposals for the year 2000 standards, and has stipulated that new standards for 2005 should be brought forward in 1998. The Directive to come into effect in 2000 will regulate the volatility and the aromatics, benzene and sulphur content of petrol, and the polyaromatics and sulphur content of diesel.

It is important to improve fuels as far as is possible, for a variety of reasons:

a) better quality fuels will have an immediate beneficial effect on air quality;

b) they are not dependent on fleet renewal. This is particularly important in places such as Athens, where pollution problems are acute and where the majority of the cars are some years old, and fleet renewal is very slow;

c) the efficient working of engines and emissions control systems (e.g. catalytic converters) is dependent on 'clean' fuels;

d) cleaner fuels mean lower emissions from off-road and mobile machinery (e.g. garden and leisure-time tools);

e) improved diesel fuel leads to a greater reduction of emissions than improved petrol, which is significant given the increasing market penetration of diesel vehicles (25% of new cars sold in Europe are diesels) and the fact that in most cities the taxicab and public transport fleet are diesel.

The oil industry has argued, so far successfully, against the tightening of fuel specifications, stating that improving vehicle technologies, such as increased engine efficiency and better emissions control systems, would be a more cost-effective means of achieving air quality targets. On the other hand, some automotive manufacturers have argued that advanced anti-pollution devices such as lean-burn traps will not work unless very high quality fuel is available. In particular, the operation of continuously regenerating traps (CRTs) for diesel vehicles is pointless if high sulphur levels in diesel fuels continue to be permitted.

There is also the issue of whether the Commission's computer forecasts accurately represent the likely personal exposure to pollution, as the forecast levels are averaged over a 4km2 grid. Levels of pollutant next to busy streets and road junctions may be much higher.

The main fuel quality problems

The three main issues are the levels of sulphur, benzene and aromatics.

Sulphur

The Commission has proposed limits of 200 ppm for petrol cars and

350 ppm for diesels. (In Japan, levels of sulphur will be reduced to

50 ppm from October 1997.) The need for low sulphur limits is welldocumented:

a) the AECC (Automobile Emissions Control by Catalyst) have stated that one tankful of high sulphur fuel will immediately degrade the catalyst performance. High sulphur levels impair the efficient working of catalysts and new technologies such as Nox traps. These new technologies are in use now in Japan and can significantly reduce emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, NOx, and air toxics. Ozone reactivity is also reduced by lower sulphur;

b) Japanese manufacturers have also introduced lean burn technologies to improve fuel efficiency, but which are also sensitive to high sulphur levels. The implementation of these technologies would lead to a reduction of CO2 emissions;

c) sulphates have also been closely linked with fine particulate matter as significantly increasing the mortality risk (by between 1517%) in the most and in the least polluted cities in the US. Recent research indicates that a reduction of sulphur levels to a maximum of 50 ppm, a possible second stage figure for the EU, could save some 10,000 lives each year in the EU.

Benzene

Benzene is toxic and carcinogenic and is present in gasoline. The previous legal limit in the EU was 5%, but the Commission has proposed reducing this to 2%.

There does not seem to be a pressing need to reduce benzene levels further:

a) the main problem with benzene is local concentrations that cannot be dealt with effectively by just reducing the background concentrations. This will require local non-technical measures;

b) reducing benzene levels would be more successfully achieved by reducing aromatics content, but more importantly by implementing VOC Stage II (emissions from refuelling at service stations).

Aromatics

The Commission have proposed setting a limit of 45% for aromatics in gasoline and 11% for polyaromatics in diesel. (Both of these figures are higher than the present base averages.) Reducing aromatics contributes to the reduction of NOx, as well as having the effect of reducing benzene. Lower aromatics levels allows for a reduction in earlier catalyst light-off time for all vehicles, which improves their efficiency and therefore their potential for reducing emissions.

To oxygenate or not to oxygenate fuels?

The possibility of Member States allowing the use of specialised fuels in particular circumstances is included in the Commission proposal (Article 6). This is a very important article, in that it sets a precedent for mandatory product standards based on higher, not lower, environmental standards. There are, however, strong arguments against mandating an oxygenated fuel EU-wide:

a) there is no doubt that oxygenated fuels have been successful in reducing CO emissions in the US. However, CO is not a great problem in the EU;

b) in the US, the ozone problem is restricted to VOCs, whilst in the EU, it is linked to NOx, which is not best tackled with oxygenated fuel;

c) it would lead to a loss of flexibility of petroleum crackers, which would in turn have an adverse effect on important industries such as the chemical industry;

d) using oxygenated fuel leads to an increase in aldehydes and there is little information on their public health effects.

Timescale

There has been concern expressed about the timescale proposed by the Commission. The fuel specifications are for 2000, but the proposal will be revisited in December 1998, to see if further improvements need to be made, which would be introduced in 2005. The Commission seems already to be convinced that a second stage will be necessary.

Conclusions

Given the above analysis of the Commission document, the Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy regards the proposal as positive and balanced, involving substantial efforts to achieve the air quality, health and environmental protection objectives. It calls on the Commission, on the basis of appropriate studies, to continue to impose more stringent requirements in the interests of users of the environment. It therefore asks the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection to incorporate these conclusions in its report.

Last updated: 20 April 1999Legal notice