Commission back-pedals on metals in air limits

Environment directorate shifts towards non-mandatory targets, abandons mercury controls

The European Commission will no longer propose legally binding EU limits on air concentrations of a series of heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), ENDS Europe DAILY has learned. A new air quality daughter directive, possibly to be officially unveiled before Christmas, will instead include only guideline values (see link to latest draft proposal below).

Moves to introduce binding limits emerged from the Commission's environment directorate last year. It has retreated in the face of industry protests, which led it late in 2001 to halt drafting in order to carry out a reassessment (EED 20/12/01).

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