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Air quality improves in Lithuania


Air quality improves in Lithuania

A report on air quality in Lithuania for 2008, prepared by the European Commission according the requirements of European Union directives, was discussed at the Ministry of Environment on 16 September. Air pollutant concentrations were assessed in the report in view pollution levels harmful to human health. The results of air quality studies carried out in 2008 have shown that air pollution did not exceed permissible limits. Although there were days when the concentration of pollutants exceeded permissible daily limits, the number of such days did not exceed the permissible one (35 days).

The reduction in air pollution in 2008 was influenced by favourable meteorological conditions, particularly in the first months of the year when warm and rainy weather almost without snow was favourable for the diffusion of pollutants. Measures taken by the responsible authorities to reduce air pollution, namely instant cleaning of streets after winter and stricter control of compliance with environmental requirements at construction sites, contributed to the improvement of air quality as well. Therefore, particulate levels in spring, when air pollution is always higher, were lower than in previous years.

Unfortunately, some city municipalities have made too little effort to ensure good air quality. In eight months of this year, particulate levels in Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai exceeded the permissible limits for 30 – 32 days already (the permissible number is 35 days). The situation in Vilnius, the largest city of the country, was better, because more attention to street cleaning was given there. All possible measures should be taken to reduce air pollution, so that air pollutant concentrations in cities do not exceed permissible levels in future, as it not only poses a threat to human health but may also have a negative impact on the country should any legal actions be taken against Lithuania due to failure to comply with EU directive requirements.

Public Information Division, tel. 266 3659

16 September 2009

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas