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Old December 9th, 2018, 10:09   #16
wxman
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Originally Posted by eddie_1 View Post
...More recently it has been found that NOx values are too high in many of the big cities and these values violate the EU directives on allowable levels....
Do you have any idea why the EU decided to adopt the WHO "Air Quality Guidelines" as the regulated ambient limit for NO2, but not for any of the other regulated air pollutants? The regulated ambient air quality limit for NO2 is 40 micrograms/m3 in Europe. That is more than twice as restrictive as the NO2 NAAQS in the U.S. (53 ppb which is about 100 micrograms/m3). If the EU had adopted the WHO AQGs for the other regulated pollutants (PM2.5, PM10, O3, BaP, and SO2), NO2 would be the least problematic of all the regulated pollutants according to the latest European Environmental Agency's "Air Quality in Europe - 2018 Report" (EEA Report No 12/2018).

According to Figure 6.1 of that report, none of Europe's NO2 monitors would exceed the U.S. NAAQS for NO2 (looks like a few NO2 monitors in Turkey may exceed the U.S. standard).

The USEPA recently (April 2018) re-evaluated the adequacy of the annual NO2 NAAQS, and kept it at 53 ppb ( https://www.epa.gov/no2-pollution/pr...trogen-dioxide ).
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Old December 9th, 2018, 14:23   #17
eddie_1
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Originally Posted by wxman View Post
Do you have any idea why the EU decided to adopt the WHO "Air Quality Guidelines" as the regulated ambient limit for NO2, but not for any of the other regulated air pollutants? The regulated ambient air quality limit for NO2 is 40 micrograms/m3 in Europe. That is more than twice as restrictive as the NO2 NAAQS in the U.S. (53 ppb which is about 100 micrograms/m3). If the EU had adopted the WHO AQGs for the other regulated pollutants (PM2.5, PM10, O3, BaP, and SO2), NO2 would be the least problematic of all the regulated pollutants according to the latest European Environmental Agency's "Air Quality in Europe - 2018 Report" (EEA Report No 12/2018).
According to Figure 6.1 of that report, none of Europe's NO2 monitors would exceed the U.S. NAAQS for NO2 (looks like a few NO2 monitors in Turkey may exceed the U.S. standard).
The USEPA recently (April 2018) re-evaluated the adequacy of the annual NO2 NAAQS, and kept it at 53 ppb ( https://www.epa.gov/no2-pollution/pr...trogen-dioxide ).
Hi, thanks for the question. I am by no means an expert but from what I can gather the background to this is that the NOx annual mean outdoor 40 μg/m3 limit was adopted by the EU Member States in 1999 with the anticipation that by 2010 the limit would be achievable. The thinking back then was that Diesels would not be selling like donuts with time, which proved to be otherwise. Since 2010 there have been alot more reports and studies about the health effects of NOx coming out. This has put more focus on NOx. How serious the issue is nevertheless difficult to discern. You are right about these limits being very tight in comparison to EPA limits. With all this focus on diesel bans, a discussion started about why the limits for the workplace was much looser. These limits are not EU regulated but still recommended 60μg/m3 for office buildings and 950μg/m3!! for industrial workplaces. The focus on NOx is like kind of a 'souce of all evils' approach. The thinking is that if they can hit NOx, it will automatically hit particulates and other emissions. These violations are occuring everywhere in the EU I am pretty sure. Germany tends to be pedantic about these things like many other things and the Greens have more power to implement things. In France I noticed the cars to be smelling much more, because these DPFs etc. clog up after a while and people just remove them and they probably did a 'better' job with their sensor installations. Except Paris is to eliminate all diesels in 2020.

Here is a translated link from the German Federal Environmental Agency explaining the current situation:
https://tinyurl.com/y8l748te
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Old December 9th, 2018, 17:22   #18
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Thank you for the explanation.

It still seems quite perplexing that the EU would rely on WHO so completely for annual ambient NO2 exposure, but doesn't seem to rely on WHO at all for ambient PM2.5 exposure (and all other regulated pollutants for that matter). The EU annual ambient limit for PM2.5 is 25 μg/m3, while the WHO guideline is 10 μg/m3. The U.S. annual ambient PM2.5 exposure limit is 12 μg/m3.
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Old December 10th, 2018, 01:58   #19
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I think ultimately this has to do with the way the EU works. There is always this dilemma as to what the EU should be regulating and what member states should be regulating themselves. Espeicially on something like emissions, which is not such a big interaction of states related issue - unlike on trade where there are endless amounts of regulations. The EU is very mindful of not wanting to over-reach. The EPA on the other hand has a free reign for the US. I am not sure of the details but I could imagine back then the issue of diesel pollution came up and a NOx value was something all 28 members could rally around. Everything has to be ratified by all 28 countries, soon to be possibly 27.

This brings up a good point though because there is now a lot of discussion about the TSI direct injection engines producing significant amounts of PM and how come they are getting a free pass. Gasoline PM is discussed to be much finer and potentially even more damaging through its higher level of dispersion. Practically every car on the road in Germany now is either a TDI or a TSI.
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Old December 10th, 2018, 05:13   #20
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Thanks for the explanation eddie. Discouraging as it may seem, this appears to be more about politics and money than clean air. Of course things aren't any different here. It'll be interesting to watch this play out, but it probably isn't predictive of anything that may happen here.
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Old December 10th, 2018, 05:15   #21
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Politics and money, for sure. Clean air not so much. This is why our 50 MPG TDIs have been made illegal, but 15 MPG Suburbans are perfectly fine.

I do not feel much of the EU's policies will spill over here. They have enough of their own problems.
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Old December 10th, 2018, 11:11   #22
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Right, you guys figured out what is going on. As you say, where things will go from here is hard to say. Already alot of damage has been done. Because of all the politics and uncertainty people have already started to panic somewhat. The price of used Euro4 or even Euro5 diesels has tanked. People have started to make use of the 'cash for clunkers' offers and hand in their cars (even high end Audis etc.) in almost pristine condition to be junked. Even the junk yard guys are sad, although it is a windfall for them. Most times parts are then sent off to eastern europe etc. With repurchase folks often then go for a TSI not an Euro6 TDI because they don't now trust the diesel politics. Others (like us) say they will just keep driving them as long as possible and where possible. Possible scenarios:
1) The hardware solution becomes legit. The govt. finds a way to implement/finance the Euro4/5 to Euro 6 conversion. This is the fairest way forward. Interstingly, the leader of the Federal Green party Cem Özdemir supports this. (Only guy in the entire govt. that speaks sense to me. He doesn't want to see the little guy screwed.) Even if we had to pay for it ourselves this would be cheaper and less wasteful than junking nice cars.
2) The industry gets its way and the little guy gets squeezed between industry interests and increasing city bans and has to buy new cars.
3) Premature killing of diesel and icb due to electro-hype. The German car manufacturers have now also started making noises to this effect to become electro by mid 2020s. This one is like a holy grail or illusion thing, where suddenly all on offer in a few years are electric cars and they need to dig up half of Africa to make the batteries. This one is hard to say how it will pan out because you are talking of complete industry supply chain change, infrastructure change (Germany is behind even on charging stations), lot of issues like range not sorted out, could still end up being a dead end. (My view).

Hopefully cool heads will prevail and reasonable solutions can be found on both sides of the atlantic.
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