The Flanders Environment Agency assesses the air quality of arsenic, cadmium, nickel and benzo(a)pyrene across the entire territory.
Measurement in accordance with the criteria stated in §7 is compulsory in the following zones:
zones and agglomerations where the levels lie between the upper and lower assessment threshold, and
other zones and agglomerations where the levels exceed the upper assessment threshold.
The measurements can be supplemented by models that offer an adequate level of information on the quality of the air.
rmation on the quality of the air.
A combination of measurements, including indicative measurements in accordance with Appendix 184.108.40.206, Part I, and models can be used to assess air quality in zones and agglomerations where levels lie between the upper and lower assessment threshold for a representative period. This is established according to the provisions stated in Appendix 220.127.116.11, Part II.
In zones and agglomerations where the levels lie below the lower assessment threshold, as established according to the provisions stated in Appendix 18.104.22.168, Part II, the levels may only be assessed through the use of models or techniques based on objective estimates.
If polluting substances have to be measured, these measurements are taken at permanent measuring points, either continuously, or by means of random sampling. The number of measurements must be high enough to establish these levels.
Where arsenic, cadmium, nickel and benzo(a)pyrene in the air is concerned, the upper and lower assessment thresholds stated in Appendix 22.214.171.124, Part I, apply. The classification of each zone or agglomeration for the purpose of implementing this Article must be evaluated at least once every five years according to the procedure stated in Appendix 126.96.36.199, Part II. However, this classification will be evaluated earlier if significant changes occur in activities relevant to the concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, nickel and benzo(a)pyrene in the air.
The criteria for establishing the location of sampling points at which concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, nickel and benzo(a)pyrene in the air are measured to assess whether the target values are being met, are stated in Appendix 188.8.131.52, Parts I and II. The minimum number of sampling points for fixed measurements of concentrations of each of the polluting substances is stated in Appendix 184.108.40.206, Part IV. The sampling points are set in each zone or agglomeration in which measurements are to be taken if fixed measurements are the only source of data on concentrations in this zone or agglomeration.
To assess the content of benzo(a)pyrene in the air, other relevant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are monitored at a small number of measuring points. These compounds contain at least benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(j)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene and dibenzo(a,h)anthracene. Measuring points for these polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are set up at the same location as the measuring points for benzo(a)pyrene and must be selected in such a way that geographic variations and long term trends can be noted. Appendix 220.127.116.11, Parts I, II and III apply.
Irrespective of the concentration levels, where background values are concerned a sampling point must be set up for indicative air measurements of arsenic, cadmium, total gaseous mercury, nickel, benzo(a)pyrene and the remaining polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds stated in §8 and of the total deposition of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel, benzo(a)pyrene and the remaining polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons stated in §8. At least one measuring station is to be set up. With mutual agreement and in accordance with European Commission guidelines, one or more communal measuring stations covering neighbouring zones in adjacent countries can be set up to achieve the required spatial resolution (1 station per 100,000 kmē). It is recommended that divalent mercury be measured in particulate form and as gas. Wherever useful, the monitoring must be coordinated with the monitoring strategy and measuring programme operated by the Cooperative programme for monitoring and evaluation of the long-range transmissions of air pollutants in Europe (European Monitoring and Evaluation of Pollutants, EMEP). The sampling points for these polluting substances must be selected in such a way that geographical variation and long-term trends can be noted. Appendix 18.104.22.168, Parts I, II and III apply.
Where regional patterns of influence on ecosystems are being assessed, the use of bio-indicators can be considered.
In zones and agglomerations in which the information from permanent measuring stations is supplemented by information from other sources, such as emission inventories, indicative measurement methods or air quality models, the number of permanent measuring stations set up and the spatial resolution of other techniques must be adequate to establish the concentrations of polluting substances in the air in accordance with Appendix 22.214.171.124, Part I, and Appendix 126.96.36.199, Part I.
The quality objectives for the data are stated in Appendix 188.8.131.52, Part I. If the assessment makes use of air quality models, Appendix 184.108.40.206, Part II shall apply.
The reference methods for the sampling and analysis of airborne arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are stated in Appendix 220.127.116.11, Parts I, II and III. The reference techniques for measuring the total deposition of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel and the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are stated in Appendix 18.104.22.168, Part IV, and the reference techniques for air quality models are given in Appendix 22.214.171.124, Part V, if these techniques are available.
Via the appropriate channels, the Flanders Environment Agency informs the European Commission by no later than 15 February 2007 of the methods used for the prior air quality assessment according to Article 126.96.36.199, 5°, of Title II of the VLAREM.
The Flanders Environment Agency ensures that clear and understandable information is accessible for, and regularly made available to, the public and to qualified organisations such as environmental organisations, consumer organisations, organisations representing the interests of vulnerable groups of the population, and other relevant healthcare authorities, on the concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel and benzo(a)pyrene, and on the remaining airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, stated in Article 188.8.131.52, §8 as well as on the total deposition of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel and benzo(a)pyrene and the remaining polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons stated in Article 184.108.40.206, §8.
This information will also give the annual exceedances of the target values for arsenic, cadmium, nickel and benzo(a)pyrene in accordance with Appendix 220.127.116.11. The information also indicates the reasons for the value being exceeded and the area in which it applies. It will also contain a brief assessment of the target value and appropriate information on health implications and environmental effects.
The Air, Nuisance, Risk Management, Environment & Health Division provides information on any measures taken by virtue of Article 18.104.22.168 for the organisations stated in paragraph 1.
The information stated in paragraph 1, paragraph 2 and paragraph 3, is made available via channels such as the internet, the press and other easily accessible media.