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Directive on ambient air quality assessment and management

The text of Directive 96/62/EC on ambient air quality assessment and management, adopted in September 1996, has now been published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

The aim of the Directive is to define a common strategy to:

- Define and establish objectiv...
The text of Directive 96/62/EC on ambient air quality assessment and management, adopted in September 1996, has now been published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

The aim of the Directive is to define a common strategy to:

- Define and establish objectives for ambient air quality in the Community designed to avoid, prevent or reduce harmful effects on human health and the environment as a whole;
- Assess the ambient air quality in Member States on the basis of common methods and criteria;
- Obtain adequate information on ambient air quality and ensure that it is made available to the public, including by means of alert thresholds;
- Maintain ambient air quality where it is good and improve it in other cases.

The Member States are responsible for designating authorities to implement the Directive within their territories. The Commission will bring forward proposals for limit values for individual pollutants. The pollutants to be taken into consideration are: sulphur dioxide; nitrogen dioxide; fine particulate matter such as soot; suspended particulate matter; lead; ozone; benzene; carbon monoxide; poly-aromatic hydrocarbons; cadmium; nickel and mercury.

The first limit proposals are to be submitted by 31 December 1996, for the first five pollutants on the list above.
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