Measures to tackle air pollution

Harmful substances like nitrogen oxides, ammonia and fine particulates can cause air pollution. The authorities take various measures to tackle this problem.

Air pollution

Air pollution has a number of causes, including traffic, air transport, industry and agriculture. Consumers also cause air pollution, when they use their central heating system or burn a fire in their open hearth, for example.

There are various kinds of air pollution, including fine particulates, nitrogen dioxide, ammonia and smog.

In excessive concentrations, air pollution is damaging to health. Elderly people, children and patients with respiratory conditions are particularly sensitive to it. Air pollution can also have a negative impact on the climate and the natural environment. Certain air pollutants are responsible for the greenhouse effect.

National Air Quality Cooperation Programme (NSL)

The Netherlands complies with virtually all European emission limits. The National Air Quality Cooperation Programme (NSL) is designed to ensure that the Netherlands also meets the targets for fine particulates and nitrogen dioxide on schedule.

The NSL programme will run until 1 January 2017. Central government and local and provincial authorities are making every effort to meet the standards before the deadline.

Monitoring air quality

The authorities must check the air quality situation every year. If it is found that progress towards the NSL targets is not on schedule, extra measures will have to be taken. These may include national or local measures, such as a grant scheme for low-emission taxis and delivery vans.

Environmental zone for goods vehicles

Local authorities can use environmental zones to keep the most polluting lorries out of the town or city, or out of certain areas.