Spain attempts to tackle stubbornly dirty air

Government outlines plan for economic instruments, improved local controls, to tackle air pollution

Accepting its failure so far to bring air quality into line with EU norms, Spain's government published draft legislation on Tuesday to improve the effectiveness of controls by regional and local authorities. Unspecified "economic instruments and market mechanisms" are to be used to reduce transport emissions. The legislation is to be introduced in 2006.

Fine particulate (PM10) air pollution in all of Spain's major cities (over 250,000 inhabitants) is well over EU limits that came into full force this year, and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceeds maximum levels set for 2010 in the six largest cities, the government admitted.

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