Berlin to be brought before the Courts regarding PM10

Following the entry into force of limit values to be met under Directive 99/30/EC on limit values for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and lead in ambient air on 1 January 2005, a flood of cases are expected to be raised by citizens in various German cities.

German environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) is supporting a case to be taken against the city of Berlin next month to force it to comply with EU limits on fine particulate (PM10) air pollution, which took effect earlier this year. Subsequent legal actions are expected to be raised in Munich, Stuttgart and other German cities.

The Directive stipulates amongst other things that particulate matter (PM), which is the concentrations of fine dust in the air, cannot exceed 50 micrograms per cubic metre on more than 35 days of the year.

However, the German Environmental organisation claims that such levels have been grossly exceeded in previous years and daily PM10 levels have already exceeded the EU directive’s daily limit on 16 days so far in 2005.

According to the German Federal Environmental Agency, levels of pollution recorded on the street in which the those bringing the case live, have already exceeded the maximum pollutant levels on 20 days this year. The group is therefore looking to the authorities to impose restrictions on diesel traffic during certain periods of the day or in certain areas.

Alternatively, Berlin could follow the Italian example and introduce car-free days within the city, or city tolls such as those implemented in London, though there is strong opposition to both measures.,1564,1526551,00.html

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