COMMISSION serves formal notice to the CITY OF BRUSSELS for non-compliance with DIRECTIVE 2008/50 / EC OF 21 MAY 2008 ON AMBIENT AIR QUALITY AND CLEANER AIR FOR EUROPE (OFFENCE No. 2016/2005)


R&D asks OIB to ensure reliable control of ambient air and

air filtering systems in our buildings


Air quality is a concern of the Union to protect citizens’ health and their environment, as stipulated in Directive 2008/50/EC of 21 May 2008 merged with the “Air Quality Framework Directive 96/62/EC and other three “related” directives including Directive 1999/30/EC.


The objective of this directive promoting better air quality has been integrated into the general Union Environment Action Programme to 2020.


However, despite the taken measures, the situation is still a cause for concren. A Commission Impact Assessment [SWD(2013)531] identified serious health risks that may result.


Let us recall that one of the key problems denounced by the Commission regarding the Member States, refers to the lack of conformity of external control facilities, compared with current standards, which brings about a serious defect of the air quality control system.


In this context, the City of Brussels has been formally notified by the Commission for non-compliance with the legislation. Loud criticism is going on as regards, in particular, breaches of air quality control.


R&D welcomes this initiative of our institution, demonstrating to Brussels citizens, the care that the Commission brings to the defence of their health.


It has come to our knowledge that the station for measuring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in Arts / Law no longer applied since 2008, whereas according to Airbase (European Environment Agency), this station had detected concentrations very high between 1993 and 2008.


It is the same for Belliard Street Station which has not worked since 2014 while according to Airbase, the annual concentration of NO2 taken between 2012 and 2013 was much higher than normal.


In 2014, it appears that there were 5 stations not complying with the limit values. Besides the two stations mentioned above, we were informed of two others, namely Schuman and the European Parliament.


Violations of annual limit values have existed since 2010 in the air quality area of Brussels-Capital Region. As everyone knows, the best way to manage the fever is to break the thermometer…


R&D would like to bring to your attention European standard EN 13779 that clearly specifies the filter performance required by the system to provide a good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) taking into consideration the outdoor air quality.


Given the above, and anxious to protect the health of our staff, R&D asks OIB that the ambient air and the air filtering system in our buildings are monitored and maintained with the utmost rigour in order to meet the most demanding standards.


As all experts indicate, it is essential that pipes are cleaned and disinfected regularly and that air filters for the filtration of external and internal pollutants are always replaced at their established deadline, e.g., two times a year for optimum effectiveness


R&D experts are at your disposal to answer all your questions and assist you if you feel that you do not benefit from the best air quality conditions in your building.