Chapter 7. Local air quality

Regulations relating to pollution control (Pollution Regulations). This is an unofficial translation of the Norwegian regulation.

Laid down pursuant to sections 5, 9, 39, 49, 51 and 81 of Act no. 6 of 13 March 1981 concerning protection against pollution and concerning waste (the Pollution Control Act). Cf. EEA agreement appendix XX nos. 13d (Directive 2000/69/EC), 13e (Directive 1999/30/EC), 14a (Directive 96/62/EC) and 21ag (Directive 2002/3/EC).

7-1. Purpose

The purpose of the provisions in this chapter is to promote the health and well-being of people, and to protect vegetation and ecosystems by setting minimum requirements and target values for air quality and ensuring that they are complied with, and by setting requirements for the monitoring of and information about the concentration of tropospheric ozone.

I. Local air quality

7-2. Scope

Subchapter I, Local air quality, covers the following substances:

  • particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), 
  • nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxides (NO2 and NOX),
  • sulphur dioxide (SO2),
  • lead (Pb),
  • benzene (C6H6),
  • carbon monoxide (CO),
  • arsenic (As),
  • cadmium (Cd),
  • nickel (Ni),
  • benzo(a)pyrene (B)(a)P), as a marker for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,
  • mercury (Hg).

7-2a. Definitions

In these regulations, the following definitions shall apply 
a) Limit value is a fixed concentration level in outdoor air that shall be achieved within a given time limit, cf. Section 7-6 
b) Target value is a concentration level in outdoor air that shall be achieved where this does not involve disproportionately great additional costs, See Section 7-7 
c) Reduction target is a target for a percentage reduction of a concentration level in outdoor air from a reference year to a target year. The target shall be met where this does not involve disproportionately great additional costs, See Section 7-7 
d) Margin of tolerance is a percentage of a given limit value by which the limit value may be exceeded, based on the conditions set out in these regulations, See Section 7-6 
e) Alert threshold is the concentration level in outdoor air that gives health effects in the population after a short exposure. 
f) Information threshold is the concentration level in outdoor air that gives health effects for sensitive groups of the population after a short exposure. 
g) Assessment threshold is a level of pollution lower than the limit value that gives a requirement for a measurement network and assessment of measures. Measurements and assessment of measures shall be performed if the upper assessment level is exceeded. The requirement for measurement is reduced between the upper and lower assessment thresholds. There is no need for measurements below the lower assessment threshold. The levels for the various substances are specified in the regulations, See Section 7-8 
h) National reference laboratory is an independent national body that shall ensure that the quality system under the regulations functions in accordance with fixed standards and requirements.

7-3. The responsibilities of plant owners

The owner of a plant that contributes substantially to the risk of exceeding the limit values listed in Section 7-6 shall ensure that necessary measures are taken to ensure that the limit values and requirements pursuant to these provisions are complied with, and shall cover the costs associated with this action. The owner of a plant that contributes substantially to exceeding the alert thresholds listed in Section 7-10 may be ordered to notify the public, and to cover associated costs. The Environment Agency may issue an order for several plant owners to collaborate on an assessment of measures and on carrying out the measures.

The owner of a plant that contributes substantially to the risk of exceeding the target values listed in Section 7-7, shall ensure that necessary measures, that do not involve disproportionately great additional costs, are taken to ensure that the target values are complied with. For plants that are required to adopt the best available technology (BAT) pursuant to Section 11 of the Pollution Control Act, the authority that has given a permit may order the implementation of further measures over and above BAT.

The owner of a plant that contributes to concentrations as described in sections 7-8 and 7-9 shall help perform measurements, calculations and assessments of possible measures as described in sections 7-8 and 7-9, cf. section 7-4. However, the owners of smaller heating plants that are covered by section 8, paragraph 1, point 2, of the Pollution Control Act shall only be responsible for the obligations imposed by the municipality pursuant to sections 7-4, 7-6 and 7-7.

Only locally-created contributions shall be taken into account when determining whether a source contributes substantially to exceeding individual limit values or target values. Emissions from road traffic shall be seen as a whole, regardless of who owns the roads. The same applies to emissions from contiguous port areas with different owners. Emissions from smaller heating plants that are covered by section 8, paragraph 1, point 2, of the Pollution Control Act must also be seen as a whole.

With the exception of plants that are required to adopt the best available technology, cf. paragraph 2, permits issued pursuant to section 11 of the Pollution Control Act do not provide exemption from obligations pursuant to subchapter I, Local air quality.

7-4. The municipality’s responsibilities and authority

The municipality shall ensure that measuring stations are established and that measurements and/or calculations are made pursuant to Section 7-8, after a statement has been obtained from the other parties responsible, pursuant to Section 7-3. The municipality shall also ensure that the necessary assessments of possible measures are made, pursuant to Section 7-9, in consultation with the parties responsible, pursuant to Section 7-3. The Environment Agency can order several municipalities in the same zone, see Appendix 1, to collaborate in the establishment and operation of measuring stations.

The municipality can issue the necessary orders to ensure that the requirements in this chapter are met, including giving orders for action to be taken to guarantee compliance with the requirements in sections 7-6 and 7-7, and issuing orders regarding duty of disclosure and investigation, pursuant to sections 49 and 51 of the Pollution Control Act. The municipality can also order the parties responsible, pursuant to section 7-3, to perform duties pursuant to sections 7-8, 7-9, 7-10 and 7-11.

Orders to businesses that have received permits pursuant to section 11 of the Pollution Control Act, to take action to guarantee compliance with the requirements in sections 7-6 and 7-7, shall be issued by the competent authority that has issued the permit.

The municipality shall make sure that the owners of smaller heating plants, as mentioned in section 7-3, as a group complete their share of the obligations pursuant to sections 7-6 and 7-7. Through regulations pursuant to section 9 of the Pollution Control Act or individual decisions pursuant to section 7, paragraph 4 of the Act, the municipal council can regulate emissions from such heating plants. However, such regulations or individual decisions cannot contain restrictions that lead to the overloading of the capacity of the local or national power grid.

In individual cases, the municipality can decide that the responsibilities of the owner of a plant, pursuant to this chapter, will instead be passed on to another party who runs an operation that causes pollution. In special cases, the municipality can order the parties responsible for a plant to comply with requirements pursuant to this chapter, even though the plant does not contribute significantly to the concentration of each substance.

7-5. Coverage of costs

The Environment Agency can order coverage and distribution of the costs of plant owners, when measures are taken to comply with the requirements in sections 7-6 and 7-7.

The municipality can order the parties responsible pursuant to section 7-3, to cover the costs related to complying with the obligations pursuant to sections 7-8, 7-9, 7-10 and 7-11. The costs shall be divided according to each party’s contribution to the pollution concentration.

The municipality can order the owners of smaller heating plants to cover the costs associated with the smaller heating plants’ share of the obligations in section 7-3, cf. sections 7-6, 7-7, 7-8, 7-9 and 7-11. The municipal council can draw up regulations regarding fees for case processing and inspection of the requirements listed in this chapter. The fees can be claimed from the parties responsible, pursuant to section 7-3, as well as from the owners of smaller heating plants, and shall be set so that the total does not exceed the municipality’s costs associated with case processing or the inspection scheme, cf. section 52a of the Pollution Control Act. The mandatory nature of the fees means that they may be collected through enforcement measures.

7-6. Action limit values

Starting on the set deadlines, the concentration of pollution in outdoor air shall not exceed the following limit values by more than the permitted number of times:

Sulphur dioxide Averaging period Limit value Margin of tolerance Date by which limit value is to be met
1. Hourly limit value for the protection of human health 1 hour 350 µg/m3 The limit value must not be exceeded more than 24 times a calendar year 1 January 2005
2. Daily limit value for the protection of human health  1 day (fixed)

 

125 µg/m3 The limit value must not be exceeded more than 3 times a calendar year 1 January 2005 

 

3. Limit value for the protection of ecosystems Calendar year and winter (1/10–31/3) 20 µg/m3   4 October 2002
Nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen        
1. Hourly limit value for the protection of human health  1 hour

 

200 µg/m3 N02 The limit value must not be exceeded more than 18 times a calendar year 1 January 2010

 

2. Annual limit value for the protection of human health Calendar year 40 µg/m3 N02   1 January 2010
3. Annual limit value for the protection of vegetation Calendar year 30 µg/m3 NOx   4 October 2002
Particulate matter PM10        
1. Daily limit value for the protection of human health  1 day (fixed) 50 µg/m3 PM10

 

The limit value must not be exceeded more than 30 times per year 1 January 2005
2. Annual limit value for the protection of human health Calendar year 25 µg/m3 PM10   1 January 2005
Particulate matter PM2,5        
Annual limit value for the protection of human health Calendar year 15 µg/m3 PM10   1 January 2015
    20 µg/m3 PM10   1 January 2020
Lead        
Annual limit value for the protection of human health Calendar year 0.5 µg/m3   4 October 2002
Benzene        
Annual limit value for the protection of human health  Calendar year 5 µg/m3   1 January 2010
Carbon monoxide        
Limit value for the protection of human health Maximum daily 8-hour mean 10 µg/m3   1 January 2005

Measures (implemented) in one area shall not lead to the limit values being exceeded in other areas. The measures shall ensure that the limit values will be complied with for at least 3 years after the measures have been implemented.

In zones (cf. Appendix 1) where the limit value for NO2 is exceeded, the Ministry of Climate and Environment, or a person or body authorised by the Ministry, may postpone the deadline by up to 5 years. A precondition for postponement is that there shall be an application from the municipality with information about measures that have been taken and an action plan describing how the limit values shall be achieved by the new deadline. Further conditions may be imposed on the postponement. The postponement shall be approved by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA). The margin of tolerance (cf. Appendix 4) shall not be exceeded during the period up to the expiry of the new deadline.

The average concentration of PM2,5 in urban areas, cf. Appendix 3, shall not exceed 20 μg/m3 by 2015.

7-7. Target values

Necessary measures shall be implemented to ensure that the pollution concentration in outdoor air does not exceed the target values listed below within the given deadlines, provided that this does not not involve disproportionately great additional costs.

Components Averaging period Target values Date by which target values is to be met
Particulate matter PM2,5 Calendar year 25 ng/m3 1 January 2010
Arsenic Calendar year 6 ng/m3 1 January 2013
Cadmium Calendar year 5 ng/m3 1 January 2013
Nickel Calendar year 20 ng/m3 1 January 2013
Benzo(a)pyrene Calendar year 1 ng/m3 1 January 2013

The concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, nickel and benzo(a)pyrene shall be calculated based on the total content in the PM10 fraction, averaged over one calendar year.

In order to reduce the population's exposure to PM2,5 the Environment Agency established in 2011 a national reduction target for the average background concentration in urban areas that shall be achieved by 2020, cf. Appendix 3.

7-8. Requirements governing the measurement and calculation of air quality

For sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter (PM10, PM2,5 ), lead, benzene, carbon monoxide, arsenic, cadmium, nickel and benzo(a)pyrene, the air quality in zones and urban areas shall be measured and/or calculated according to health-based and evaluation thresholds (cf. Appendix 3). 
 
The Environment Agency shall ensure the establishment of measuring stations for performing measurements and/or calculations in regional background, cf. Appendix 3.

In larger urban areas and other zones where the lower assessment threshold is exceeded, measurements shall be made. In larger urban areas and zones where the concentrations over a representative period are between the upper and lower assessment thresholds, the number of measurement stations may be reduced if a combination of measurements and model calculations is used. In larger urban areas and zones where the concentrations are below the lower assessment threshold, it is sufficient to use model calculations or techniques for objective estimation to assess air quality. Even so, in larger urban areas measurements of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide shall still be made.

In order to evaluate the air quality related to the health-based limit values in section 7-6, the minimum number of permanent measuring stations for each substance shall be:

 

Population in larger urban area or zone (thousands) If upper assessment threshold is exceeded For concentrations between upper and lower assessment threshold
0 - 249 1 2 1 1
250 - 499 2 3 1 2
500 - 749 2 3 1 2
750 - 999 3 4 1 2
1,000 - 1,499 4 6 2 3
1,500 - 1,999 5 7 2 3

If the upper assessment threshold for nitrogen dioxide or particulate matter is exceeded, at least one urban background station and one traffic-oriented station shall be included. The same applies if the upper assessment threshold for benzene or carbon monoxide is exceeded, if this does not lead to an increase in the number of stations.

In larger urban areas, measuring stations shall be established to provide representative data on the concentration of PM2.5.

In order to assess the air quality in relation to the vegetation-based limit values in section 7-6, the minimum number of measuring stations for each substance shall be:

 

When the upper assessment threshold is exceeded For concentrations between the upper and lower assessment thresholds
1 station every 20,000 km2 1 station every 40,000 km2

The measuring stations that will be used to assess compliance with the limit values in terms of protecting health shall be placed in locations where they yield data on the areas in a zone or an agglomeration that have the highest concentrations that the population must expected to be exposed to, directly or indirectly. Such measurements shall be carried out during a period that is relevant to the limit value’s averaging period. The measuring stations shall be placed so that they also reflect concentration levels in other areas within a zone or an agglomeration that is representative of the exposure the population is subjected to.

Measuring stations with fixed measurements that shall be used to assess compliance with the limit values for ecosystems and vegetation shall be placed at a considerable distance from agglomerations, other built-up areas, industrial plants and motorways.

In order to assess the air quality related to the target values in section 7-7, the minimum number of permanent measuring stations for each substance shall be: 

 

Population of an agglomeration or 
zone (thousands)
If concentrations exceed the 
upper assessment threshold 
For concentrations between the upper and lower evaluation threshold
  Arsenic, cadmium, nickel Benzo(a)-
pyrene
Arsenic, cadmium, nickel Benzo(a)-
pyrene
0 – 749 1 1 1 1
750 – 1,999 2 2 1 1
2,000 – 3,749 2 3 1 1

In order to assess pollution in areas around larger point sources, the number of measuring stations will be assessed according to the emission quantity, probable pollution dispersion patterns and potential exposure risks for the population.

Concentrations of other relevant polycyclic hydrocarbons shall be measured in ambient air at a limited number of measuring stations where B(a)P is also measured, in order to identify long-term trends and geographical variation. The compounds shall include at least benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(j)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene and dibenz(a,h)anthracene.

Irrespective of concentration levels, the Environment Agency shall ensure that stations are established for the background monitoring of indicative measurements of arsenic, cadmium, nickel, mercury vapour, benzo(a)pyrene and other relevant polycyclic hydrocarbons in ambient air. One station should be established every 100,000 km2. The total deposits of arsenic, cadmium, nickel, mercury, benzo(a)pyrene and other relevant polycyclic hydrocarbons shall be measured at the same stations.

The reference methods for measurements given in the applicable EU directives shall be used when such exist. Other methods can only be used if sufficient correspondence with the reference methods for each component can be documented.

7-9. Action assessments

If the measurements taken pursuant to Section 7-8 in a zone or a larger urban area show a risk of more exceedances than permitted of one or more of the limit values specified in Section 7-6, an assessment of possible measures shall be conducted to account for the necessary steps to be taken to satisfy the requirements in this chapter.

If the measurements taken pursuant to Section 7-8 in a zone or a larger urban area show a risk of exceeding one or more of the target values specified in Section 7-7, an assessment of possible measures shall be conducted to account for the necessary steps to be taken to satisfy the target values in this chapter.

From the date from which the limit value and target value shall be maintained, there is a risk of exceeding values if the upper assessment threshold in Appendix 3 is exceeded. 
 
The municipality shall send its assessment of possible measures to the Environment Agency no later than 2 years after the obligation to assess measures is triggered. The assessment of possible measures shall as a minimum include the information in Appendix 5.

7-10. Alert thresholds

If the concentration of sulphur dioxide exceeds 500 µg/m3 or the concentration of nitrogen dioxide exceeds 400 µg/m3 over three consecutive hours at locations representative of air quality over at least 100 km2 or an entire zone or agglomeration, the municipality or the entity appointed to do so by the municipality shall notify the public of:

1) the date, hour and place, as well as the reason for the exceedance, if it is known,
2) forecasts of 
- changes in concentrations (improvement, stabilization or deterioration), together with the reason for the changes expected, 
- the geographical area affected, 
- the duration, 
3) the type of population groups potentially sensitive to the exceedance, and 
4) the precautions to be taken by the sensitive population.

7-11. Reporting, documentation and control

The municipality shall ensure that updated information on air quality and routine assessments of possible measures are available to the public on the internet or in other media. The Environment Agency can make further conditions regarding making information accessible to the public.

The Environment Agency shall publish annual status reports of all components in the regulations in accordance with EU directives.

The municipality shall ensure monthly reporting of air monitoring data in accordance with the requirements of the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency may also set further requirements for the number and location of measurement stations, procedures, methods and documentation, so as to ensure that the data is of satisfactory quality and is comparable, as well as setting further requirements regarding assessment of possible measures.

The Environment Agency shall appoint a national reference laboratory.

The municipality is responsible for supervision to ensure compliance with the provisions in this chapter.

7-12. Appeals

Municipal decisions or decisions made by the County Governor pursuant to section 7-4 regarding performance of measures to ensure compliance with the limit values in section 7-6 and the target values in section 7-7 can be appealed to the Environment Agency. Other decisions made by the municipality can be appealed to the municipal council or special appeals board appointed by the municipal council. In major cases of principle and of a political nature, the Environment Agency shall, in consultation with the Ministry of Climate and Environment, determine whether the appeal shall be reviewed by the Ministry.

Decisions made by the Environment Agency pursuant to this chapter can be appealed to the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

II. Monitoring the concentration of tropospheric ozone

7-13. Monitoring and information about the concentration of tropospheric ozone in agglomerations and built-up areas

Two measuring stations shall be established to monitor the concentration of tropospheric ozone in zone 1, listed in appendix 1 to this chapter. One of the measuring stations shall be located in central Oslo. One measuring station shall be located at a suitable site near the city. A nitrogen dioxide meter must also be set up, as well as a meter for monitoring VOC. These meters shall be located in central Oslo.

A measuring station shall be established in zone 2, the municipality of Bergen, close to the city, to monitor the concentration of tropospheric ozone.

One measuring station shall be established in the municipality of Skien, close to the city, to monitor the concentration of tropospheric ozone in zone 4, listed in appendix 1 to this chapter. A nitrogen dioxide meter shall also be set up at this measuring station.

Whoever is responsible for a substantial part of the local contribution to the formation of tropospheric ozone in the zone or area to be measured will be responsible for setting up and operating the measuring stations, pursuant to this section. In the event of disputes or lack of agreement, the Environment Agency will determine who is considered responsible pursuant to this section.

Whoever is responsible for setting up and operating the measuring stations pursuant to this section shall make sure that information about the concentration of tropospheric ozone is made available to the public. This information shall be updated at least once a day. At the very least, information shall be given about all exceedances of the long-term objective for tropospheric ozone listed in appendix 2 to this chapter, and the possible effect of these exceedances.

When the information and alert thresholds listed in appendix 2 to this chapter are exceeded, those responsible shall notify the public. The public shall also be informed within a reasonable period of time about any expected exceedances of the alert threshold. The notification shall contain information as specified in appendix 2.

Whoever is responsible for setting up and operating the measuring stations shall report all exceedances of date-specific goals, long-term objectives and the information and alert thresholds for tropospheric ozone listed in appendix 2 to this chapter to the Environment Agency. Environment Agency can provide further guidelines for the reporting.

In each case, the Environment Agency can set further requirements on the number and location of measuring stations, procedures, methods and documentation to ensure that the data is of satisfactory quality.

7-14. Monitoring and information about the concentration of tropospheric ozone in sparsely-populated areas

The Environment Agency shall ensure that measuring stations are set up to monitor tropospheric ozone outside built-up areas in zones 4 to 7, listed in appendix 1 to this chapter.

The Environment Agency shall ensure that information about the concentration of tropospheric ozone is made available to the public. This information shall be updated at least once a day. At the very least, information shall be given about all exceedances of the long-term objective for tropospheric ozone listed in appendix 2 to this chapter, and the possible effect of these exceedances.

The public shall be informed in reasonable time of actual or expected exceedances of the alert threshold listed in appendix 2 to this chapter. The notification shall contain information as indicated in appendix 2 to this chapter.

The Environment Agency shall also ensure that annual reports about the concentration of tropospheric ozone are made available to the public. The annual reports shall at the very least contain information about all exceedances of date-specific goals, long-term objectives and the information and alert thresholds listed in appendix 2 to this chapter, and an assessment of the effects of these.

III. Concluding provisions

7-15. Penalties

To ensure compliance with the provisions in subchapter I, Local air quality, or decisions pursuant to provisions pursuant to this chapter, subchapter I, the municipality may impose a fine payable to the state, cf. Section 73 of the Pollution Control Act. The Environment Agency can likewise impose a penalty linked to decisions pursuant to this chapter.

Appendix 1. Zones

Zone 1 (urban area): Oslo, inc. Asker, Bærum, Lørenskog, Skedsmo, Oppegård, Ski, Lier and Drammen.
Zone 2 (urban area): Bergen
Zone 3 (urban area): Trondheim
Zone 4: Eastern Norway, Vest-Agder inclusive (with the exception of zone 1).
Zone 5: Rogaland, Hordaland (except Bergen) and Sogn og Fjordane.
Zone 6: Møre og Romsdal, Sør-Trøndelag (except Trondheim), Nord-Trøndelag and Nordland.
Zone 7: Troms and Finnmark.


Appendix 2. Tropospheric ozone

 

Date-specific targets for tropospheric ozone

  Parameter Target for 2010
1. Target for the protection of health Maximum daily 8-hour mean 120 μg/m3 shall not be exceeded more than 25 days per calendar year, averaged over three years
2. Target for the protection of vegetation AOT401, calculated from 1-hour values from May to July 18,000 mg/m3 average hours over a 5-year period

1 AOT40 means the sum of the difference between hourly concentrations greater than 80 μg/m3 and 80 μg/m3. The hourly concentrations must be measured over a specific period of time where only 1-hour values measured between 0800 and 2000 hrs. are used.


Long-term targets for tropospheric ozone

  Parameter Long-term target
1. Long-term targets for the protection of health Maximum daily 8-hour mean within a calendar year 120 μg/m3
2. Long-term targets for the protection of vegetation AOT40, calculated from 1-hour values from May to July 6,000 μg/m3 hours


Information and alert thresholds for tropospheric ozone

  Parameter Threshold
Information threshold 1-hour averaging period 180 μg/m3
Alert threshold 1-hour averaging period (a) 240 μg/m3


Requirement to provide information when thresholds are exceeded

If the information or alert thresholds are exceeded, the public shall at the very least be notified of: 
1. the location, type of threshold exceeded, the duration of the exceedance and the highest 1-hour and 8-hour concentrations, 
2. the forecast for the following afternoon/day(s) regarding 
- the geographical area affected by information and/or alert thresholds, 
- expected changes to the pollution level, 
3. information about population groups at risk, a description of likely symptoms, recommended precautions and where to find further information.

Appendix 3 Measurement and calculation of air quality

Health-based assessment thresholds

Pollution component Upper assessment threshold Lower assessment threshold
Sulphur dioxide 75 µg/m3 (day value) which must not be exceeded more than 3 times a calendar year 50 µg/m3 (day value) which must not be exceeded more than 3 times a calendar year
Nitrogen dioxide 140 µg/m3 (hourly mean) which must not be exceeded more than 18 times a calendar year
32 µg/m3 (annual mean)
100 µg/m3 (hourly mean) which must not be exceeded more than 18 times a calendar year
26 µg/m3 (annual mean)
Particulate matter (PM10) 30 µg/m3 (daily mean) which must not be exceeded more than 7 times a calendar year
14 µg/m3 (annual mean)
20 µg/m3 (daily mean) which must not be exceeded more than 7 times a calendar year
10 µg/m3 (annual mean)
Particulate matter (PM2,5) 17 μg/m3 (annual mean) 12 μg/m3 (annual mean)
Lead 0.35 µg/m3 (annual mean) 0.25 µg/m3 (annual mean)
Benzene 3.5 µg/m3 (annual mean) 2.0 µg/m3 (annual mean)
Carbon monoxide 7 µg/m3 (8-hourly mean) 5 µg/m3 (8-hourly mean)

 

Vegetation-based assessment thresholds

 

Pollution component Upper assessment threshold Lower assessment threshold
Sulphur dioxide 12 µg/m3 (winter mean) 8 µg/m3 (winter mean)
Oxides of nitrogen 24 µg/m3 (annual mean) 19.5 µg/m3 (annual mean)

For arsenic, cadmium, nickel and benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P), requirements for measurement of air quality shall be based on the following assessment thresholds:

 

Pollution component Upper assessment threshold 
(annual mean)
Lower assessment threshold 
(annual mean)
Arsenic 3.6 ng/m3 2.4 ng/m3
Cadmium 3 ng/m3 2 ng/m3
Nickel 14 ng/m3 10 ng/m3
B(a)P 0.6 ng/m3 0.4 ng/m3

In larger urban areas and other zones where the lower assessment threshold is exceeded, measurements shall be made. In larger urban areas and zones where the concentrations over a representative period are between the upper and lower assessment thresholds, the number of measurement stations may be reduced if a combination of measurements and model calculations is used. In larger urban areas and zones where the concentrations are below the lower assessment threshold, it is sufficient to use model calculations or techniques for objective estimation to assess air quality. Even so, in larger urban areas measurements of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide shall still be made.

In order to evaluate the air quality related to the health-based limit values in section 7-6, the minimum number of permanent measuring stations for each substance shall be:

 

Population in larger urban area or zone (thousands) If upper assessment threshold is exceeded For concentrations between upper and lower assessment threshold
0 - 249 1 2 1 1
250 - 499 2 3 1 2
500 - 749 2 3 1 2
750 - 999 3 4 1 2
1,000 - 1,499 4 6 2 3
1,500 - 1,999 5 7 2 3

If the upper assessment threshold for nitrogen dioxide or particulate matter is exceeded, at least one urban background station and one traffic-oriented station shall be included. The same applies if the upper assessment threshold for benzene or carbon monoxide is exceeded, if this does not lead to an increase in the number of stations.

In order to calculate the average background concentration in urban areas (Section 7-6) and the national reduction target (Section 7-7) for PM2,5 , the concentration in the urban background of Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim shall be measured. The average background concentration is the average of the measurements for these cities.

In order to be able to assess air quality in relation to the vegetation-based limit values in Section 7-6, the minimum number of measurement stations for each substance shall be:

 

If upper assessment threshold is exceeded For concentrations between upper and lower assessment threshold
1 station every 20,000 km2 1 station every 40,000 km2

Measurement stations to be used to assess compliance with limit values for health protection shall be placed so that they give data about the areas in a zone or in a larger urban area that have the highest concentration that the population can be expected to be exposed to, directly or indirectly, in a period that is meaningful in respect to the mean period of the limit value(s). The measurement stations shall be placed so that they also reflect concentration levels in other areas within a zone or larger urban area that are representative for the exposure that the population receives.

Measurement stations with fixed measurements that shall be used to assess compliance with limit values for ecosystems and vegetation shall be placed a good distance from larger urban areas, other built-up areas, industrial plants and motorways.

In order to be able to assess air quality in relation to the target values in Section 7-7, the minimum number of fixed measurement stations for each substance shall be:

 

Population of an agglomeration or 
zone (thousands)
If concentrations exceed the 
upper assessment threshold 
For concentrations between the upper and lower evaluation threshold
  Arsenic, cadmium, nickel Benzo(a)-
pyrene
Arsenic, cadmium, nickel Benzo(a)-
pyrene
0 – 749 1 1 1 1
750 – 1,999 2 2 1 1
2,000 – 3,749 2 3 1 1

For assessment of the pollution in areas around larger point sources, the number of measurement stations shall be assessed on the basis of the probable volume of emissions, the probable distribution patterns of pollution and the potential exposure of the population.

The concentrations of other relevant polycyclic hydrocarbons in the ambient air shall be measured by a limited number of measurement stations that also measure B(a)P, so that long-term trends and geographical variations appear. These compounds shall as a minimum include benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(j)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene and dibenzo(a,h)anthracene.

Regardless of concentration level, the Environment Agency shall ensure that background stations are established for measuring PM2,5, ozone and indicative measurements of arsenic, cadmium, nickel, mercury in vapour form, benzo(a)pyrene and other relevant polycyclic hydrocarbons. One station shall be established for every 100,000 km2. Total accumulations of arsenic, cadmium, nickel, mercury, benzo(a)pyrene and other relevant polycyclic hydrocarbons shall be measured at the same stations.

Measurements of PM2,5 in regional background shall as a minimum be analysed for the following components 

SO42- Na+ N4H+ Ca2+ Elementary carbon
NO3- K+ Cl- Mg2+ Organic carbon


Appendix 4. Margin of tolerance

 

Pollution component Margin of tolerance
Nitrogen dioxide Hourly mean: Annual mean:
The hourly mean must not be exceeded more than 18 times in a calendar year 300 μg/m3 60 μg/m3


Appendix 5. Requirements for the content of assessments of possible measures

Assessments of possible measures in accordance with Section 7-9 shall as a minimum include the following information: 

1. Geographical area, where the limit was exceeded 
a) region 
b) town (map) 
c) measurement station (map, geographical coordinates) 

2. General information 
a) zone type (urban, industry, rural background) 
b) estimated extent of polluted area (km2) and number of persons exposed to pollution 
c) relevant climatic data 
d) relevant topographical data 
e) sufficient information about target groups that make it necessary to protect the area in the zone 

3. Responsible authority (municipality or plant owner) 
a) names and addresses of those responsible for preparing and implementing action plans. 

4. The nature and assessment of the pollution 
a) observed concentrations for previous years (before the implementation of measures and improvements) 
b) measured concentrations from and including the implementation of measures 
c) measurement method, also calculation method if calculations have been made. 

5. The origin of the pollution 
a) summary of the sources that contribute most of the pollution (map presenting point/line/area) 
b) total emissions from these sources (tonnes per year) 
c) information about other regions' contribution to the pollution 

6. Analysis of the situation 
a) more information about factors that have led to the limit being exceeded 
b) more information about possible measures to improve air quality. 

7. Information about measures and projects initiated before 11 June 2008 to improve air quality, i.e. 
a) local, regional, national and international measures 
b) observed effects of these measures. 

8. Information about such measures or projects as have been initiated for the purpose of reducing atmospheric pollution that have been indicated pursuant to this directive 
a) list and description of all measures that are indicated in the project 
b) schedule for implementation 
c) calculation of the measures' effect on air quality, as well as estimates of how long it will take to reach this level 
d) division of responsibility for emergency response in situations of acute atmospheric pollution.

9. Details of planned measures or projects that are being planned or shall be implemented in the longer term 
a) description of all long-term measures 
b) responsibility for implementation 

10. List of publications, documents or other works etc. that have been used to supplement information required in accordance with this Appendix.