The term exterior air quality describes the level of exterior air pollution, which may affect human health, vegetation, entire ecosystems and materials. Exterior air pollution is caused by the emission of pollutants from various sources as a consequence of human activity (such as transportation, combustion, industrial production, etc.). Pollutants emitted from a source are transported in the atmosphere and can thus affect the air quality in both the immediate vicinity of the pollution source and the broader territory.
The fundamental legal regulation covering air quality assessment and management is Act no. 86/2002 Coll., on air protection, as amended. Further details are specified by Government Regulation no. 597/2006 Coll. on the monitoring and evaluation of air quality (hereinafter, the Regulation). The Regulation sets out the permissible levels of air pollution (pollution limits, target pollution limits, and long-term pollution targets) for a total of thirteen pollutants with established negative effects on human health, ecosystems, and vegetation.
Summary information on air quality in the past year is presented to the Government Assembly on an annual basis; it is also published on the Ministry of the Environment website. Information on air quality for the past years is also available on the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute website.
Update of the National Emission Reduction Programme
The Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic is currently updating the National Emission Reduction Programme. This strategic document defines the state policy of emissions reduction of certain atmospheric pollutants. The respective substances include sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, VOC and fine particulate matter PM 2,5.
The Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic already prepared the National Emission Reduction Programme in 2004, 2007 and 2015. The approved version of the document in the Czech language can be found here. The present updating process is related mainly to the necessity to meet the requirements of the Directive (EU) 2016/2284 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants. The National Emission Reduction Programme is being amended with respect to the above mentioned Directive´s provisions, so it can be considered a National Air Pollution Control Plan in accordance with that Directive. The National Emission Reduction Programme is also updated in order to meet the requirements of the national emission reduction commitments for years 2025 and 2030.
On the basis of the emission projections for the selected pollutants additional measures for further emission reductions have to be set to comply with the national emission requirements in 2030 and also to achieve the air quality objectives. The main goal of the National Emission Reduction Programme update is to identify additional measures for the further reduction of certain emissions.
The proposal of the updated analytic part of the above mentioned document was published on the web site of the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic on January 17th 2019. The Ministry invited the public and competent authorities to provide feedback to the draft document. Suggestions and comments were sent to the Ministry until the end of January this year. The exact procedure of the consultations was set in the paragraph related to the update of the National Emission Reduction Programme (here).
The updated National Emission Reduction Programme will be assessed in the SEA procedure as well. The public and competent authorities will also have a chance to provide their feedback to the document during the assessment process of SEA.
The Directive (EU) 2016/2284 defines the need of transboundary consultations especially if the air quality in neighbouring countries is affected. Therefore the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic carried out the analysis of transboundary contribution of the Czech Republic to the air quality in neighbouring states. Its results, together with the conclusions of the analytic part of the National Emission Reduction Programme, are published on this web page.