Air Monitoring

Revision of the Legislation of Atmospheric Pollutants Emissions in Portugal

Oct 03 2014

Author: R. Rodrigues, M. Coutinho, M. Lopes, J. Ferreira and C. Borrego on behalf of CEM

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The publication of the European Framework Directive (96/62/EC) and the proposal Daughter Directives for the different pollutants are the most recent legislative instruments concerning a new political strategy and a new air quality management approach for the European Union.

In Portugal, this new Directive introduces deep changes on national legislation. The former legislation establishes the air quality protection and control regime (Decreto-Lei n.º 352/90 of 9th November 1990) (1) and integrates both air quality and emissions standards (Portaria n.º 286/93 of 12th March 1993) (2). The new directive transposition through the Decreto-Lei n.º 276/99 of 23rd July 1999 (3) created a new air quality regime and, at the same time, induced the need for a revision of national emissions policy.

On the other hand, the former legislation, mainly for emissions control, emerged up some difficulties on its effective implementation, related to its easy understanding and technical requirements. Over the past years, the administration has been pressured by industrials seeking for explanations and presenting their concerns on technical aspects.

Additionally, new Directives related to air pollutants emissions have been published, such as those on emission of organic compounds (1999/13/EC), on national emission ceilings (2001/81/EC) and on great industrial combustion plants (2001/80/EC). New legislation should also agree with international Portuguese commitments, such as Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and the Gothenburg Protocol to the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution, that establish national emission ceilings for greenhouse gases.

The aspects mentioned above motivated the elaboration of the study presented in this paper, from which the results and the achieved conclusions were used as a basis for the new legislative proposal on emissions control strategy that was just approved (Decreto-Lei nº 78/2004 of 3rd April 2004).

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