THE road TO CLEAN AIR IN POLAND
European Clean Air Centre, Polish Smog Alert and Frank Bold Foundation assessed the effectiveness of government and locals government actions in the fight against smog. Out of the twenty assessed areas, twelve have insufficient progress and two have not started operations. Although the air in Poland is a bit cleaner, in most places it is mainly due to the weather. The report also includes recommendations for further anti-smog measures for: low-stack emission, transport and industry. We enclose the Report and Main Conclusions. The study in English will be available soon.
People or the weather – what improves air quality?
When one side says: “We have an improvement in air quality” and the other says: “Yes, but it’s only because winter was mild and people didn’t overuse their boilers“, the question is: who’s right? In order to answer this question, the authors of this study decided to look at the impact of meteorological factors on changes in air quality observed in recent years.
The greatest reduction thanks to the interventions to reduce the amount of emissions (after eliminating the influence of meteorological factors) was achieved for 2 stations in Kraków: 22.9 μg/m3 and 22.6 μg/m3. In turn, the worst results were obtained for 2 stations in Gdańsk and 1 in Warsaw, where human activity contributed to an increase in concentrations.
THE HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR MAZOWIECKIE VOIVODESHIP VARIANTS OF ANTI-SMOG RESOLUTION
The Health Impact Assessment for Mazowieckie Voivodeship variants of anti-smog resolution (in Polish) is a comprehensive analysis done by European Clean Air Center experts. The results show that it is necessary to fully implement the ban on solid fuels combustion. The implementation of this measure would allow to avoid 1900 premature deaths and over 1400 hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory reasons annually in the Mazowieckie voivodship. These are very large health benefits and this option should be a long-term goal of air protection measures undertaken in Mazovia.
The Health Impact Assessment for Malopolska variants of draft Air Quality Plan
The Health Impact Assessment for Malopolska variants of draft Air Quality Plan Report (in Polish) is a comprehensive analysis done by European Clean Air Center experts. The results show that it is necessary to fully implement the requirements of the anti-smog resolution for Małopolska as soon as possible. Analyzes show that without additional ambitions, the number of premature deaths due to exposure to high concentrations of PM2.5 dust can be reduced by as much as 800 annually compared to the baseline scenario. Implementing full antismog bill, mortality would drop by 1450 annually in Malopolska. Implementing full antismog bill, would drop mortality by 1450 cases annually in Malopolska
STATE OF AIR QUALITY IN POLAND
The State of Air Quality in Poland Report provides a comprehensive overview on air quality in Poland, with information on main emission sources and their contribution to air pollutant concentrations, legislation and financial instruments aimed at air quality protection, social attitudes towards the problem of air pollution as well as health impacts and economic costs. The report outlines the main areas of air pollution interventions, assessing effectiveness of respective measures and identifying gaps and problems to be addressed. It has been prepared by a wide range of experts and includes information which has not been published elsewhere.
Poland has high concentrations of PM10, PM2.5 and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). The majority of air pollution comes from low-stack emissions, i.e. heating of buildings with coal and wood in technologically outdated boilers. Although extensive progress in legislation covering low-stack sources has been achieved in recent years, much remains to be done when it comes to enforcement of this legislation and streamlining of financial programmes. Exceedances of NO2 are low compared to those observed in Western European countries. Transport, while being the main source of NO2, has a much lower share in particulate matter pollution and exerts a negligible impact on BaP emissions. Legislation on transport is largely missing as there are no regulations on low emission zones or dust particulate filter (DPF) tampering.
Air quality management has no single authority and is mainly performed at a national and regional level. Definitely better regulations are needed for municipalities to take action, with the most crucial element being instruments for low-stack inventories and control of antismog resolutions on the household level.
Campaigns for clean air are very visible and have been instrumental in improving air quality action in urban areas.. Financial programmes for low-stack emission abatement, although available, are in need of further reforms to be effective. Even the most effective programmes, however, require proper promotion, which is currently lacking