Title: The European Network of National Air Quality Reference Laboratories (AQUILA): Its Roles and Activities
Citation: Newsletter - Who Centre Air no. 40 p. 7-11
Publisher: Umwelt Bundes Amt
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC41719
URI: http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/whocc/titel/titel21.htm
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The European Community ambient air quality legislation has the objective of mitigating human health and ecological damage due to air pollution in the EU. To achieve this objective, an EU-wide air quality assessment (monitoring, modelling as well as objective estimation) is required that enables comparisons of pollutant concentration levels against the defined European Union limit or target values within and between the Member states. The Ambient Air "Framework" Directive was published in 1996, and since then four "Daughter" Directives have been published. More recently the EC has prepared, through the Clean Air for Europe Programme, a proposal for a new Directive entitled "Directive of the European Parliament and Council on Ambient Air quality and Cleaner Air for Europe" . The main novelty is the introduction of new fine particle PM2.5 objectives and the corresponding monitoring requirements. The proposal also merges and updates the original Framework and the first 3 Daughter Directives. These Directives require EU Member States to nominate "competent bodies" to carry out a number of tasks at a national level including: a) Assessment of ambient air quality; b) Approval of measurement systems (methods, equipment, networks and laboratories); c) Ensuring the accuracy of measurements; d) Analysis of assessment methods; e) Coordination on their territory if Community-wide quality assurance programmes are being organised by the Commission. Formally, the responsibility for these tasks usually lies with the corresponding environmental ministries at the national, regional or even local level. The technical implementation at the national level however, in particular when coordinating the nation-wide quality assurance programmes and participation in the Community-wide QA/QC programmes, is left to one or several bodies within the Member State known as the ¿National Reference Laboratories¿ (NRLs). AQUILA as the formal network of these laboratories has been established in 2001 with the support of the two European Commission services that are involved in the development and implementation of the Community ambient air quality legislation: Joint Research Centre ¿ Institute for Environment and Sustainability, and DG Environment. It currently comprises about 40 organisations across Europe and is open to all NRLs in Europe (including non-EU countries) that are performing the assessment of ambient air quality in close relation to the provisions of the EU ambient air quality legislation.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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