Tag - air pollution

CITA Topic Area D and E meetings in Stuttgart

In late March 2024, hosted by DEKRA in Stuttgart, Germany, CITA members met together for the Topic Area D and E meetings.

The meeting on Environmental Protection Systems (Topic Area D) on March 26, 2024, focused on pivotal developments in particulate number (PN) measurement techniques and nitrogen oxides (NOx) testing methodologies. The session opened with an insightful overview of PN measurement in Belgium, tracing the evolution of this critical environmental monitoring technique. Following this, the spotlight turned to the Netherlands, where participants were briefed on the country’s achievements and challenges in PN measurement throughout 2023.

A significant highlight was the introduction of Particulate Number Measurements in Germany, marking a vital step forward in the nation’s environmental protection efforts. Furthermore, the collaboration between the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and CITA resulted in the validation of a method to test NOx levels, a breakthrough in emissions testing. Attendees were also treated to a practical demonstration, offering a hands-on look at the innovative method for NOx testing, emphasizing the practical application of these advanced techniques.

The agenda on March 27 began with an exclusive technical visit, offering members a rare glimpse into DEKRA’s Calibration Laboratory for PTI equipment and a PTI station. This visit not only showcased the cutting-edge facilities at DEKRA but also highlighted the meticulous process behind the calibration and maintenance of PTI equipment, essential for ensuring the accuracy and reliability of vehicle inspections.

The afternoon session on March 27 delved into Topic Area E, focusing on Quality, Training & Confidence. This part of the meeting addressed the imperative of data collection during PTI in the Netherlands, a cornerstone for enhancing inspection quality and vehicular safety. From Norway came insights into the training needs for electric vehicles (EVs), reflecting the growing shift towards electrification and the necessity for specialized knowledge in this rapidly evolving sector.

Moreover, practical experience with the performance of reinspection in Slovakia was shared, offering valuable lessons on the importance of rigorous quality control and the role of reinspection in maintaining high standards of vehicle compliance.

The hybrid meetings hosted by DEKRA in Stuttgart were more than just a gathering of CITA experts; they were a testament to the collective drive towards a more environmentally friendly and quality-focused PTI industry. By bringing together diverse perspectives on environmental protection systems and quality assurance, these meetings laid the groundwork for future innovations and collaborations.

Recap of the 14th VERT Forum and NPTI Workshop, EMPA 2024

The 14th VERT Forum, alongside the NPTI Workshop, marked significant milestones in the field of vehicle pollution control and Particle Number (PN) measurement, bringing together experts and stakeholders in Dübendorf, Switzerland, on March 21st and 22nd, 2024. This year's events underscored a global commitment to advancing environmental standards and fostering collaboration among key players in the sector.

  • March 21st, 2024: NPTI Workshop

The NPTI (Non-Road Particle Number Test Procedure) Workshop, held on the first day, focused on the critical aspects of Particle Number measurement in Periodical Technical Inspections (PTI). It served as an essential platform for authorities, authorized companies, and professionals directly involved in PN measurement to share insights, latest findings, and best practices. The workshop featured presentations of main results from PN measurement in PTI, contributed by representatives from Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland, highlighting the collaborative effort across countries to enhance air quality standards.

The event also welcomed the participation of researchers from the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission's science and knowledge service, indicating a strong scientific backing and a European-wide approach to tackling vehicle emissions. The workshop, hosted and organized by VERT, with support from the International Motor Vehicle Inspection Committee (CITA), aimed at improving the relationship between various stakeholders and developing further workshops and events. This collaborative environment sets the stage for ongoing advancements in pollution control measures and regulatory frameworks.

  • March 22nd, 2024: 14th VERT Forum

The second day was dedicated to the 14th VERT Forum, an event for experts in vehicle pollution control. The forum's focus this year was on particles, encompassing tailpipe emissions, brake wear, and tyre particles, which are significant contributors to air pollution. The discussions and presentations spanned the entire lifecycle of a vehicle, from approval and certification stages through to its eventual scrapping, emphasizing the vital role of PTI in maintaining and ensuring vehicles' environmental compliance.

The forum addressed the multifaceted challenges and innovative solutions related to vehicle pollution, with a special emphasis on the importance of effective particle reduction strategies. By bringing together experts, policymakers, and industry representatives, the forum facilitated a rich exchange of ideas and set the direction for future research, policy development, and technological innovations.

The outcomes of both the NPTI Workshop and the 14th VERT Forum at EMPA 2024 highlight the dynamic and evolving nature of vehicle pollution control efforts. As we move forward, the insights and collaborations fostered during these events will undoubtedly contribute to the development of more effective and sustainable solutions to combat vehicle-related pollution. The emphasis on international cooperation and knowledge exchange underscores the global commitment to cleaner air and a healthier environment, paving the way for further advancements in this critical field.

EU Sets Ambitious Air Quality Standards for 2030: A Leap Towards Zero Pollution

The European Union has made a significant stride towards improving air quality across its member states with a provisional political agreement between the EU Parliament and Council to revise the Ambient Air Quality Directives (AAQD). This deal, reached on February 21, 2024, aims to tighten the exposure limits for various ambient air pollutants, setting stricter standards that must be met by 2030. Specifically, the agreement proposes more stringent limits for pollutants such as particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2), with the most notable changes being the reduction of annual limit values for PM2.5 and NO2 by more than half of the current levels.

This agreement is a part of the broader EU Zero Pollution Action Plan, which targets the elimination of air pollution by 2050. The revised standards are in alignment with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines from 2005, and although the EU Parliament initially sought to adopt even stricter limits based on the WHO's 2021 guidelines, these were not included in the final negotiated text. However, the agreement does include provisions for the standards to be reviewed by December 31, 2030, and at least every five years thereafter, potentially allowing for the incorporation of newer scientific findings and guidelines.

One of the key features of this agreement is the requirement for more air quality sampling points in urban areas across Europe, enhancing the monitoring and enforcement of air quality standards. Additionally, the deal introduces the opportunity for citizens to seek compensation for health damages resulting from violations of these standards.

The agreement still requires formal adoption by the EU Parliament and Council before it becomes law. Once enacted, EU countries will have two years to implement the new rules, marking a crucial period for member states to adjust their policies and practices to meet the heightened standards.

This decision underscores the growing importance of PTI and in these regards of the periodic emission tests, as stricter air quality standards will necessitate more rigorous monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance. It reflects the EU's commitment to protecting public health and the environment by aiming for cleaner air, while also highlighting the challenges and compromises inherent in the legislative process.

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