Germany will soften econorms for carsFebruary 15, 2019
In Europe, more and more voices are heard that environmentalists are tired and need to revise the norms of maximum permissible concentrations of nitrogen oxides in the air. The Germans are going to correct environmental requirements in the near future, despite the fact that the European Commission opposes.
In Germany, they are going to increase the rate of maximum permissible values for nitrogen oxides in the country from 40 to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, according to Augsburger Allgemeine, citing a source in the government. Such a turnaround was a victory for the Federal Minister of Transport of Germany, Andreas Scheuer, who for several weeks is leading a campaign to increase the limit values.
This decision was unexpected, because quite recently, European Commissioner for the Environment Carmen Velha, on the contrary, demanded that standards of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which get into the air together with exhaust gases, be tightened in the EU countries.
The main reason for the high levels of nitrogen dioxide are diesel vehicle emissions. On this basis, in a number of cities in Germany, after complaints from the German Environmental Association, they limit and even want to completely ban the use of diesel cars.
In 2018, Stuttgart headed the list of the most polluted cities in Germany, in which the NO2 value was 71 micrograms, followed by Munich and Kiel with 66 and 60 micrograms, respectively. According to the latest data, in the 61 municipalities in Germany, the currently existing limit of 40 micrograms has been exceeded. And this will have to do something, because according to the agreement adopted in the EU, fines can follow, and considerable ones.
In the current discussion of restrictions and a total ban on diesel engines, new facts have caused a sensation. In a letter signed by 112 medical specialists, the experts did not see any scientific evidence of the health risks of nitrogen dioxide and questioned the applicable limit values. Therefore, the public demands that the rate of nitrogen oxides in Germany be increased to at least 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
The European Commission strongly opposes this, emphasizing that the average annual limit of 40 micrograms of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter is mandatory for all EU member states and has been approved by the European Parliament. How each country is going to achieve this value is its internal affair, but no one has the right to unilaterally soften this rule.
Nevertheless, on November 12, 2018, Germany informed the EU Commission about the decision of the country’s cabinet to amend the Federal Law on Abatement of Air Pollution, according to which it is allowed to prohibit regions where the value of nitrogen dioxide in the air exceeds the level of 50 micrograms of NO2 per cubic meter of air per year, not 40 micrograms, as it has been so far and is accepted throughout the European Union.
The country is obliged to notify the European Commission about changes in technical regulations prior to their adoption. Now everyone is waiting for the European Commission to respond to Germany. Nevertheless, this is only a tiny victory for the opponents of the “green” and does not cancel the restrictions for diesel engines.
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