MEPs press for stronger smog controls

Conciliation probable as parliament maintains call for fewer ozone exceedences, binding long-term target

MEPs voted for a conciliation showdown with EU governments over smog this week by repeating demands for a new directive to set tighter and more binding limits on ozone pollution. Meeting in Strasbourg on Wednesday, the European Parliament's plenary session finalised its second reading of the ozone directive, following a common position agreed by ministers last year (EED 10/10/00).

The assembly backed UK Liberal rapporteur Chris Davies's proposal that the EU should commit to not exceeding a World Health Organisation recommended ambient ozone limit of 120 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) by 2020. It also called for no more than 20 exceedences of the limit per member state per year by 2010, instead of the 25 agreed by environment ministers.

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