Air Quality Innovation Programme: Preliminary study

In the Netherlands there is currently (spring 2005) considerable debate on the issue of air quality around roads and motorways. Many construction works (road-building, housing projects) have now been put on hold while a way is found to address the (current or immanent) breaching of air quality standards at the sites in question. The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP) has stated that in many cases current and scheduled generic environmental policy in transport and other sectors will not suffice, necessitating additional measures. To this end the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management recently launched an Air Quality Innovation Programme. This study was carried out by CE and KEMA back in 2003 as part of preparations for that programme, to furnish policy-makers and stake-holders with a basic understanding of the issues. With local air quality problems now appearing almost insurmountable, the report has now been republished for a wider audience. The study first of all analyses the contributions of various sources to atmospheric levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates (PM10) near major roads and motorways and the resultant health impacts. This uniquely detailed source analysis provides a key point of departure in designing any strategy to address the current problematique. The second part of the report then proposes around 130 concrete abatement measures, under a series of pertinent headings, and assesses their effectiveness, cost and feasibility. The headings cover the full causal chain from emission source to human exposure and comprise generic policies as well as measures geared purely to the local level. The report concludes with a discussion of the potential available at each link in the chain and respective benefits and draw-backs.


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