Subsection 2.5.2.4.
Plans


Article 2.5.2.4.1.

1.

If the level of polluting substances in the air in particular zones or agglomerations exceed a limit value or target value, in both cases increased by the applicable margin of tolerance, air quality plans shall be established for these zones and agglomerations to achieve the limit value or target value in question stated in Appendices 2.5.3.11 and 2.5.3.14.

If limit values for which the deadline for compliance has already passed are exceeded, appropriate measures shall be taken in the air quality plans to keep the period of exceedance as short as possible. The air quality plans may also include measures aimed at protecting vulnerable population groups, such as children.

The air quality plans shall at least include the information stated in Appendix 2.5.3.15, Part A, and may include measures in accordance with Article 2.5.2.4.2. After having been established by the Government of Flanders, the plans shall be communicated to the European Commission through the appropriate channels immediately, but no later than two years after the end of the year in which the first exceedance was recorded, by the Division competent for air pollution.

If a plan has to be drawn up or implemented for different polluting substances, where appropriate, integrated air quality plans shall be drawn up and implemented for all the polluting substances in question.

2.

Where feasible, cohesion shall be ensured with other plans or programmes required pursuant to Article 2.10.3 and Article 2.2.4.4 to achieve the relevant environmental objectives.


Article 2.5.2.4.2.

1.

If, in a particular zone or agglomeration, there is a risk that the levels of polluting substances will exceed one or more alarm thresholds as stated in Appendix 2.5.3.12, action plans shall be drawn up containing measures to be taken in the short term to limit the risk of exceedance or its duration. If that risk applies to one or more of the limit values or target values stated in Appendices 2.5.3.7, 2.5.3.11 and 2.5.3.14, short-term action plans may also be drawn up if appropriate. If, however, there is a risk that the alarm threshold for ozone stated in Appendix 2.5.3.12, Part B, will be exceeded, short-term action plans shall only be drawn up if, taking national geographical, meteorological and economic circumstances into account, there are ample opportunities for reducing the risk, the duration or the seriousness of such an exceedance. If a short-term action plan is drawn up, consideration shall be given to Commission Decision 2004/279/EC of 19 March 2004 concerning guidance for transposition of Directive 2002/3/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to ozone in ambient air.

2.

The short-term action plans stated in paragraph 1 may, as appropriate, provide for effective measures to manage and if necessary suspend activities that contribute to the risk of the respective limit values, target values or alarm thresholds being exceeded. The action plans may include measures for the movement of motor vehicles, construction works, ships at berth, and the use of industrial plants or products, and domestic heating. As part of these plans, specific actions could also be considered to protect vulnerable population groups, such as children.

3.

When a short-term action plan is drawn up, the results of investigations into the feasibility and content of the specific short-term action plans, together with information on the implementation of these plans, shall be made available to the public and to interested organisations, such as environmental organisations, consumer organisations, organisations representing the interests of vulnerable population groups, other bodies involved in healthcare, and interested trade unions.


Article 2.5.2.4.3.

Without prejudice to Article 2.5.2.4.2, 3, the plans and programmes stated in this Subsection, and any amendment or revision thereof, shall be drawn up as follows:

1

the Division competent for air pollution, shall draw up the draft plan and programme, amend or revise existing plans or programmes and may also involve the most interested government bodies, establishments, private-law organisations and social and societal groups. The draft plan or programme or the draft amendment or revision shall then be communicated to the public as stated in 2 and 3;

2

the draft plan or programme or the draft amendment or revision shall, following approval by the Government of Flanders, be published in excerpt in the Belgian Official Journal by the Division competent for air pollution. The Division competent for air pollution shall also ensure the public are actively consulted through the customary channels, such as electronic devices and media, including publication in two newspapers, and via the website of the Division competent for air pollution. At the time of notification, reference shall be made to the public's right to participate in decisions concerning the plans and programmes, and it shall be indicated to which authority questions and comments as stated in this Article must be directed. For a period of one month, beginning on the day after publication in the Belgian Official Journal, the public may bring objections or comments, in writing, to the notice of the Division competent for air pollution;

3

concurrent with its publication, the draft shall be sent to the Environmental and Nature Council of Flanders and the Social and Economic Council of Flanders, which shall give their recommendation and their reasons for this recommendation within a time limit of one month of receipt of the draft. These recommendations are not binding;

4

the plan or programme or the amendment or revision thereof shall be established by the Government of Flanders, taking into account the recommendations and any objections or comments submitted. If the Government of Flanders does not follow, either wholly or in part, the recommendation issued by the Environmental and Nature Council of Flanders or the Social and Economic Council of Flanders, or the objections and comments notified by the public, it shall justify this in a report, attached to the publication stated in point 5;

5

the plan or programme or the amendment or revision thereof, together with the report stated in point 4, shall be communicated to the public by being published in two newspapers and via the website of the Division competent for air pollution. The plan or programme shall be published in excerpt in the Belgian Official Journal.


Article 2.5.2.4.4.

If an alarm threshold, limit value or target value, increased by the applicable margin of tolerance, or a long-term objective is exceeded as a result of the significant cross-border transport of polluting substances or the precursors thereof, Belgium shall cooperate with the countries in question and, if possible, develop joint activities, such as the drawing up of joint or coordinated air quality plans in accordance with Article 2.5.2.4.1 to remove the exceedances by implementing appropriate but proportionate measures.

The European Commission is invited to be present at and cooperate in the collaborative activities stated in paragraph 1. If appropriate in accordance with Article 2.5.2.4.2, joint short-term action plans shall be drawn up and implemented that cover neighbouring zones in other countries. The Flemish minister shall ensure that if neighbouring zones in other countries have developed short-term action plans, they receive all the relevant data.

If the information threshold or the alarm thresholds are exceeded in zones or agglomerations close by national borders, the Interregional Cell for the Environment shall provide the competent authorities of the neighbouring country in question with information as quickly as possible. This information shall also be made available to the population.

When drawing up plans in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 3 and when providing information to the population in accordance with paragraph 4, if appropriate, an effort shall be made to cooperate with third countries and specifically with candidate Member States of the European Union.