Clean air plans

According to Community law, all EU Member States are required to set up clean air and action plans if air quality thresholds are exceeded. In Germany, public authorities at the Laender and municipal level cooperate closely to develop these plans. The plans consist of more or less large bundles of individual measures.

Cities and municipalities may apply urban and regional planning measures in their clean air plans, and thus many municipalities have designated “low emission zones (LEZ)”, decreed construction of ring roads, or set up urban logistics centres.  A large number of cities and municipalities have integrated ecological requirements in public transport, e.g. procurement of buses with particle filters, into their invitations to tender for public transport services.

One ‘short-term’ measure in action plans often includes the closure of heavy traffic roads to commercial vehicles, although this often amounts only to exclusion of through traffic (i.e. closed to commercial vehicles). ‘Short-term’ measures in this sense mean that they take effect within a short period of time, but in fact usually become effective in the long term.

The German Federal Environment Agency ( Umweltbundesamt ) has published a list of links to websites detailing these plans. The respective municipalities are responsible for keeping information on their low emission zones up-to-date.

Printer-friendly version
 clean air area  air pollutant  air quality control