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INSPIRE Community Forum

Air Quality

By Stefania MORRONE

Air Quality

imageEU Member States are required to ensure that up-to-date information on air quality is routinely made available to the public as well as to other organisations. When alert thresholds of pollutant concentration are exceeded, Member States need to inform the public about the exceedance and the actions that are eventually taken. This obligation is prescribed in detail in the different Directives.

At EU level a number of sources exist that provide information to the public. In particular, The European Air Quality Portal managed by the European Environment Agency, links to several databases on air pollutants in the EU and a relevant EEA annual report "Air Quality in Europe" gives an overview of the data and its implications.

The Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (AQD) lays down measures aimed at preventing or reducing harmful effects of air pollution on human health and the environment as a whole, obtaining information on ambient air quality in order to help combat pollution and to monitor long-term trends and improvements resulting from national and Community measures.

This Directive foresees the provision of air quality reporting data from the Member States in such a way that is ‘compatible’ with the requirements of the INSPIRE Directive.

The data flows in the AQD are structured according to an INSPIRE extended data model in which INSPIRE data specifications have been extended to cater for information needs in the AQD.

More specifically, the ADQ extends the INSPIRE data specifications from three data themes: Administrative Units (AU), Environmental Monitoring Facilities (EF) and Area Management / Restriction / Regulation Zones & Reporting Units (AM) in accordance to the rules set out in the INSPIRE Generic Conceptual Model i.e. the AQD does not change anything in the addressed INSPIRE data specification and the new elements/constraints introduced to accommodate for the specific requirements stemming from the air quality legislation do not break any existing INSPIRE requirement.

This implies important advantages for countries, as investments in reporting to AQD are building on their INSPIRE compliance.

The Member States upload data mandated by the AQD on the Eionet Central Data Repository.

The following AQD data flows are INSPIRE Priority data sets:



The relevant INSPIRE metadata shall be made available in the INSPIRE Geoportal and tagged using the appropriate label(s) from the INSPIRE metadata code list register.

 Useful Links 

The European Air Quality Portal

Air Quality - Existing Legislation

Air Quality - Data & Reporting