MEPs set to clash with ministers over air quality

Environment committee votes for tougher particulate matter limits but more flexibility to meet them

The European parliament's environment committee set the assembly on a collision course with governments on Tuesday when it voted to amend a ministerial compromise position reached last year. MEPs opted for tighter limits on fine particulate pollution and longer implementation deadlines than wanted by ministers.

The committee backed rapporteur Holger Krahmer's second-reading recommendation to impose a binding limit of 20 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) on particulates less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5), to be met by 2015. Ministers want a 25 ug/m3 limit (EED 24/10/06). The PM2.5 limit was one of the focal points of debate in the parliament's second reading (EED 13/09/07).

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