"Shocking” rates of nitrogen dioxide measured by ClientEarth in Brussels

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 14:16
Brussels has extremely high levels of nitrogen dioxide, and some particularly high readings have not been reported to the European Commission by the Brussels authorities. Brussels has extremely high levels of nitrogen dioxide, and some particularly high readings have not been reported to the European Commission by the Brussels authorities. © Belga
Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in Brussels are “a cause for great concern.” This is per measurements produced by ClientEarth. It is an international legal third sector organisation, which specialises in environmental law. Le Soir and De Standaard report this today (Tuesday).
From February 19th to March 20th, ClientEarth took measurements on Rue de la Loi, Rue Belliard and Avenue des Arts. The values noted (ranging from 69.22 to 99.44 micrograms per m3) are significantly higher than the average annual legal limit which should not be exceeded. This has been fixed at 40 micrograms since 2010. Tests were also completed on Avenue de la Couronne, where an official measuring station has been set up. Concentrations measured were lower there (43.09, 41.61 and 42.25 micrograms).

ClientEarth is wishing to stress a particular issue, which in itself had already justified the NGO’s support for a complaint made by Brussels citizens last year. This is the lack of regular pollution measurements in the capital. A European directive imposes the need to take such measurements in the most polluted locations. However the measurement station at the Arts-Loi crossroads has produced figures which have not officially been reported to the European Commission by the Brussels authorities. This was on the grounds that the readings were taken too close to traffic. ClientEarth emphasises, “Brussels is the only European city with pollution measurement problems.” It considers that “there is no genuine policy within the Brussels region” as regards air quality.

Oscar Schneider
The Brussels Times
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