EU Commission releases benzene, CO, study

Backing for proposed EU ambient air limits placed on DG Environment web pages

The European Commission has publicly released the economic study on which currently proposed limits on the pollutants benzene and carbon monoxide (CO) in ambient air are based. The limits - five micrograms per cubic metre by 2010 for benzene and ten milligrams per cubic metre by 2005 for CO - were approved by member state governments in December (ENDS Daily 13 December 1999), and currently await a second reading in the European Parliament.

A Commission official said the study's main conclusions backed its intention to consider much larger numbers of pollutants together in future cost-benefit analyses of pollution reduction options. The study also found that member states would have to make greater efforts than envisaged to respect limits on four air pollutants set down in the first air quality daughter directive, passed last year. This would make it easier than foreseen to meet the benzene and CO targets, the study said.

Follow Up:
Economic evaluation of air quality targets for CO and benzene.

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