Environment: New maps give Europeans close-up picture of air pollution from diffuse sources
The Europe-wide register aims to help Europeans actively engage in decisions affecting the environment. New online maps published today by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency, in close cooperation with the Joint Research Centre, the Commission’s in-house science service, allow citizens for the first time to pinpoint the main diffuse sources of air pollution, such as transport and aviation. The new set of 32 maps shows where certain pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter are released. It complements existing data on emissions from individual industrial plants from the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR).
The E-PRTR, launched in 2009 to improve access to environmental information, contains already data reported by individual industrial facilities (point sources) and, as of today, information on emissions from road transport, shipping, aviation, heating of buildings, agriculture and small businesses (diffuse sources).
Diffuse sources of pollution are widespread and/or concentrated in highly populated areas. A large number of many tiny emissions from houses and vehicles represent collectively a large, diffuse source of pollution, in particular in cities.
The new, comprehensive set of 32 maps allows Europeans to see on a scale of 5 km by 5 km where pollutants are released. They include details of nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulphur oxides (SOX), carbon monoxide (CO), ammonia (NH3) and particulate matter (PM10).
Source: European Commission/European Environment Agency