Belgium respects European threshold for fine particulate matter for second year running
Share article:
Share article:

Belgium respects European threshold for fine particulate matter for second year running

© Belga
The fine particulate matter output from cars is gradully slowing down.
© Belga

European standards for fine particulate matter were complied with for all measuring stations in Belgium this year. This result completely mirrored 2015. Frans Fierens, the Administrative Director for the Inter-regional Environment Unit (known colloquially as Celine) indicated “This is more than coincidence. We can genuinely speak of structural improvement in air quality.”

The European standard was instigated in 2005. The standard specifies that, for each measuring station, the daily threshold of 50 micrograms of fine particulate matter per cubic metre of air can only be exceeded for a maximum of 35 days.

Roulers was the measuring station which came closest in 2016, with 30 days where this threshold was exceeded.

Mr Fierens concludes, “However, the chances of the amounts of such matter exceeding the standard are indeed remote. Favourable weather conditions are expected during the next few days.”

Flanders and Brussels complied with the standard for the third year running, whereas in Wallonia, one location had, in fact, exceeded European standards (this was Engis, in the province of Liège) in 2014.

However, the south of the country proved completely green in 2015. Frans Fierens acknowledges that climatic conditions have been fairly good in recent years. However he remains convinced that we can point to “structural improvement in air quality.”

He adds, “We owe this to a combination of local, regional and European policies, along with measures decided in all sectors, such as agriculture, industry, transport and housing.”  He qualifies this report by stating that European standards are indeed less stringent than the values recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Furthermore nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a problem. Such concentrations are decreasing less rapidly than first anticipated. According to the Director, this can be explained by diesel vehicle emissions which are the largest sources of NO2.

He states, “Although NO2 emissions had decreased as quickly as reports had indicated, the situation may possibly have, in fact, been less of an issue.”

However since the vehicle emissions scandal, it is now clear that diesel cars cause more pollution in reality than they indicate in their brochure.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Over 50,000 march against fascism in Rome
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated against fascism in Rome on Saturday, one week after violent protests against the Covid certificate. Over ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Vaccinations: Belgium’s Health Minister currently not in favour of a general booster shot
The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with ...
Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Belgium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The federal government will set aside about one million euros in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister ...
Unfinished draft of new Astérix story discovered
The discovery of the unfinished draft of a cartoon album on the most famous of all Gauls, sketched by cartoonist René Goscinny, was announced by his ...
Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...