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Monitoring NSL : Progress of the National Air Quality Cooperation Programme (NSL) State of affairs 2011

Monitoringsrapportage NSL : Stand van zaken Nationaal Samenwerkingsprogramma Luchtkwaliteit 2011

Synopsis

The NSL was created to facilitate improvement in air quality in the Netherlands and to ensure that the Netherlands meets the deadlines set for compliance to EU limit values for particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. Local, regional and national authorities work together within the framework of this programme to ensure that these goals are met. A monitoring programme, centred around a specially designed assessment tool, has been put in place to monitor progress and enable timely adjustments to the programme, if necessary. This tool uses data that the participating authorities are required to provide as part of the annual monitoring process. The results of the tool have been bundled together by the Monitoring Bureau (collaboration between RIVM and the InfoMil Knowledge Centre) into this progress report. The prognosis, based on the results obtained using the assessment tool, is that human exposure to outdoor concentrations of PM10 and NO2 will decline between 2010 and 2015. The calculated concentrations for both substances fall below the EU limit values in most parts of the Netherlands, although exceedances do occur at specific locations. For PM10, these exceedances mostly occur in close proximity to a number of industrial sites and livestock farms. For NO2 (2015 calculation), exceedances will mostly occur close to locations with a high road traffic intensity and is partly the result of disappointing emission figures. Use of the basis administration of buildings and addresses (BAG), which has recently become available, has led to the conclusion that the NSL assessment tool does not contain all of the required assessment sites relevant for assessing human exposure. This, together with the focus on sites characterized by exceedances of the limit values, results in an underestimation of the number of exceedance locations in the current calculation. In addition, a number of assessment sites were removed from the calculations during an extra data modification cycle without being replaced with new sites. This is likely to increase still further the underestimation of the number of exceedances in the current results. Recommendations to rectify these points in the next monitoring cycle are presented in this report. At many locations, the calculated concentrations for 2011 and 2015 fall just under the limit value. Consequently, there will be a large increase in the number of exceedances should one or more of the working assumptions become less favourable. It also appears that considerable uncertainties still remain in the current results. A better understanding of the uncertainties and a complete picture of all potential exceedances can improve the usefulness of the monitoring results with respect to monitoring and adjusting the NSL.
 

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