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Germany Exceeding PM Limits, Speeds Introduction of PM Filters

Reuters.  The German government will draft legislation before the summer to speed the introduction of diesel engine particle filters after air pollution levels in two of its major cities exceeded EU limits.

Italy, which is in a similar situation of having major cities exceeding the limits that took effect 1 January, is resorting to periodic daily bans on cars and scooters. (Earlier post.)


The law, 1999/30, passed in April 1999, established binding EU-wide limits on emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, lead and PM10. For PM, the 24-hour limit value is 50 µg/m3, not to be exceeded more than 35 times in a calendar year.

Munich and Stuttgart have already exceeded the 35-day limit.

The map to the right (Click to enlarge) is a daily rendering from the German Federal Environmental Agency plotting, in this case, PM10 concentrations for 31 March. Any color darker than yellow reflects concentrations beyond the 50 µg/m3 cap. Although it might be hard to see in this reproduction, the urban areas, not surprisingly, are ringed witih the darker colors.

The German government said in February it planned to propose tax breaks to people buying cars fitted with diesel filters or adapting older vehicles, but did not put a timetable on any law after some of Germany’s 16 states rejected the idea.

Under the government's plans, new car buyers would be offered a €350 ($453) reduction in road tax if their vehicle is fitted with a diesel filter. Those converting older cars would get €250.


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