Dutch air quality assessment for the European measurement obligation : Background report

Beoordeling Nederlandse luchtkwaliteit voor de Europese meetverplichting : Periode 2009-2013 Achtergrondrapport


EU legislation requires the Netherlands to establish a minimum number of fixed sampling sites for assessing air quality at the national level. This minimum requirement is determined by the Member States on the basis of measured air pollutant concentration levels and the number of inhabitants. The minimum required measurement effort may therefore change over time. As a result, EU countries must regularly evaluate the required number of fixed sampling sites. In this report, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) provides an overview of the minimum number of fixed sampling sites in the Netherlands when air quality is assessed solely based on measurements. The results show that the current setup mostly meets the minimum measurement obligations. One of the exceptions is found in the The Hague / Leiden region. Measurements at one sampling site in this region have been temporarily suspended due to changes in the traffic situation. It is expected that this deficiency will be resolved in 2016. In addition, there are not enough monitoring sites to determine ozone concentrations representative of suburban areas. The relevant national legislation (Regeling Beoordeling Luchtkwaliteit, Rbl) is based on the minimum measurement obligations defined in EU legislation. In some locations, the Rbl legislation prescribes more sampling sites than are required under EU legislation. This is because the national legislation has not been adjusted in all cases to account for the decreasing pollutant concentration levels measured in recent years in the Netherlands. In some cases, national legislation is consciously more stringent than EU legislation, for instance to enable continuous monitoring of the concentration levels of specific air pollutants. The measurements at the national level are performed by the National Air Quality Monitoring Network (LML), supplemented with data derived from sampling sites in partner monitoring networks, such as those operated by the Amsterdam Regional Health Authority and the Rijnmond Environmental Protection Agency (DCMR).

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