Cleaner air and less acidification among proposals for new environmental goals

Tighten the limit values for particulates and put more effort into reducing acidification and euthrophication. These are the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's proposals for how the Government's overall environmental objectives are to be achieved.

The Swedish EPA has the responsibility for developing new intermediate goals under the following overall environmental quality objectives: Clean air, A protective ozone layer, No eutrophication, A balanced marine environment, sustainable coastal areas and archipelagos, Natural acidification only, Flourishing wetlands, Sustainable lakes and watercourses and A magnificent mountain landscape.

"The reports we are now submitting to the Government do not signify the end of the Swedish EPA's involvement in the initiative. On the contrary, it is merely the preface to our future work with the environmental objectives," Hans Wrådhe, the Agency's Project Leader, says.

"The process of developing intermediate goals has been a valuable experience. The dialogues we have had with the other authorities have provided the basis for the sectors in society to take on wider responsibility for the environment. The process has perhaps been just as important as the actual results of the work," he adds.

Clean air

The Swedish EPA presents a number of intermediate goals under the Clean air objective. In ten years' time, nitrogen oxides should not exceed potentially damaging levels. This means that the levels of nitrogen dioxide in some of the busiest streets in the country must drop by 40-60 per cent. The ozone levels in the air must be halved if this environmental quality objective is to be achieved. Since most ground-level ozone comes from the continent, considerable reductions are required internationally.

Very small particles are more damaging to human health than previously believed. Consequently, their levels in air must be reduced far beyond the guideline values recommended in Sweden. Benzene

Contact: Hans Wradhe
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

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