Air pollution could get Netherlands fined by EU: environmentalists

Air pollution (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Zakysant)Air pollution (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Zakysant)

The high level of air pollution in the Netherlands could lead to large fines from the European Union. This is according to Milieu Defensie (Environment Defense), based on nitrogen dioxide measurements made on 58 main roads.

This is the first years that the entire Netherlands has to meet the European standard for the concentration of nitrogen dioxide in the air. The European annual standard for nitrogen dioxide is 40 ug/m³.

Milieu Defensie, along with some local residents, starting taking measurements on 58 main roads from January 15th. In the period between January 15th and February 12th, two-thirds of the 58 locations measured a concentration of nitrogen dioxide higher than 40 ug/m³.

The highest concentration was measured on Javastraat in The Hague (an average of 54 ug/m³), followed by Valkenburgerstraat in Amsterdam. Stadhouderweg was the most polluted street in Rotterdam and Marnixlaan was in Utrecht.

According to Milieu Defensie, if the air quality in the Netherlands does not improve quickly, the country will not meet the European standard this year. This could lead to fines running up to hundreds of millions of euros.