Legislation

The Cypriot Legal Framework on Ambient Air Quality

The monitoring and management of Ambient Air Quality in Cyprus is performed under the provisions of the Quality of Ambient Air Law of 2010 (Ν. 77(Ι)/2010) and of two series of Regulations that determine limits for the concentrations of certain pollutants in ambient air. This legal framework is completely in line with the European Regulations on Ambient Air Quality. The responsible Ministry for the implementation of the above Law and Regulations is the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance via the Department of Labor Inspection and more specifically the Air Quality and Strategic Planning Section, which owns the necessary infrastructure and has the necessary know-how, experience and equipment for the implementation of the aforementioned Legislation.

The Ambient Air Quality Laws 2010 to 2020 (Law. 77(Ι)/2010Law. 3(I)/2017 and Law. 20(Ι)/2020), accompanied by Regulations P.I. 111/2007P.I. 327/2010P.I. 37/2017P.I. 38/2017 harmonize the Directives 2004/107/EC, 2008/50/EC and 2015/1480/EU regarding the ambient air quality matters.The above mentioned laws and regulations aim to:

a)   Employ and designate target values for the quality of ambient air in the Republic of Cyprus.
b)   Evaluate ambient air quality based on common methods and criteria set by the European Union.
c)   Attain all the necessary information regarding the quality of ambient air.
d)   Inform the public on ambient air quality in Cyprus.
f)   Maintain ambient air quality where it is good or otherwise improve it.
g)  Promote collaboration between EU member states in order to reduce air pollution levels.

Law 77(Ι)/2010 defines, among others, air quality zones while it foresees for actions targeted at air pollution abatement and improvement of air quality per zone. In the frame of this Law, Cyprus is considered as one air quality zone for all air pollutants. It should be noted that Law 77(Ι)/2010 is simpler and easier in terms of implementation when compared to the Law previously in force (Law 188(Ι)/2002).

Catalog of all legislative documents (Laws and Regulations) related to air quality in Cyprus is available here.

The limit values for all the pollutants based on the relevant legislation are shown in the following table:

Table: Limit values for PM2.5, SO2, NO2, PM10, Pb, CO, Benzene, O3, As, Cd, Ni and PAHs, according to the relevant legislation

Pollutant

Concentration limit value

Averaging period

Legal nature

Permitted exceedences each year

Fine articles  (PM2.5)

25 µg/m3

1 year

Target value enters into force 1.1.2010
Limit value enters into force 1.1.2015

                  n/a

Sulphur dioxide (SO2)

350 µg/m3

1 hour

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2005

24

125 µg/m3

24 hours

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2005

3

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

200 µg/m3

1 hour

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2010

18

40 µg/m3

1 year

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2010

n/a

PM10

50 µg/m3

24 hours

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2005

35

40 µg/m3

1 year

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2005

n/a

Lead (Pb)

0.5 µg/m3

1 year

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2005 (or 1.1.2010 in the immediate vicinity of specific, notified industrial sources; and a 1.0 µg/m3 limit value applies from 1.1.2005 to 31.12.2009)

n/a

Carbon monoxide (CO)

10 mg/m3

Maximum daily 8 hour mean

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2005

n/a

Benzene

5 µg/m3

1 year

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2010

n/a

Ozone (O3)

120 µg/m3

Maximum daily 8 hour mean

Target value enters into force 1.1.2010

25 days averaged over 3 years

Arsenic (As)

6 ng/m3

1 year

Target value enters into force 31.12.2012

n/a

Cadmium (Cd)

5 ng/m3

1 year

Target value enters into force 31.12.2012

n/a

Nickel (Ni)

20 ng/m3

1 year

Target value enters into force 31.12.2012

n/a

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

(PAHs)

1 ng/m3
(expressed as  concentration of Benzo(a)pyrene)

1 year

Target value enters into force 31.12.2012

n/a

The average exposure indicator (AEI) is determined as a 3-year running annual mean PM2.5 concentration averaged over the selected monitoring stations in agglomerations and larger urban areas, set in urban background locations to best assess the PM2.5 exposure to the general population.

Title

Metric

Averaging period

Legal nature

Permitted exceedences each year

PM2.5
Exposure concentration obligation

20 µg/m3
(AEI)

Based on 3 year average

Legally binding in 2015 (years 2013,2014,2015)

               n/a

PM2.5 
Exposure reduction target

Percentage reduction 
+ all measures to reach 18 µg/m3
(AEI)

Based on 3 year average

Reduction to be attained where possible in 2020, determined on the basis of the value of exposure indicator in 2010

               n/a

 

Depending on the value of AEI in 2010, a percentage reduction requirement ( 0,10,15, or 20%) is set in the Directive. If AEI in 2010 is assessed to be over 22 µg/m3, all appropriate measures need to be taken to achieve 18 µg/m3 by 2020.

Notes:

  • Limit Value: A level fixed on the basis of scientific knowledge, with the aim of avoiding,preventing or reducing harmful effects on human health and/or the environment as a whole to be attained within a given period and not to be exceeded once attained.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • Target Value: A level fixed with the aim of avoiding, preventing or reducing harmful effects on human health and/or the environment as a whole, to be attained where possible over a given period.                                                                                       
  • Alert Threshold: A level beyond which there is a risk to human health from brief exposure for the population as a whole and at which immediate steps are to be taken by the Member States.                                                                                                 
  • Information Threshold: A level beyond which there is a risk to human health from brief exposure for particularly sensitive sections of the population and for which immediate and appropriate information is necessary.

Ambient Air Quality monitoring and management is addressed via Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe. The new Directive merges Directives 96/62/EC (older AQ framework Directive) and Daughter Directives 1999/30/EC, 2000/69/EC and 2000/3/EC. Directive 2008/50/EC includes all provisions of Directive 96/62/EC, while it defines in detail the ways of informing the public about air quality. It is thus specified that air quality levels should be communicated to the public at least daily and on an hourly basis when possible. Moreover, the same directive has set for the first time ever air quality limit values for PM2.5, and has included the use of models for supporting the assessment of air quality status.

The European Union has developed an extensive body of legislation which establishes health based standards and objectives for a number of pollutants in air. These standards and objectives are summarized in the table below.

Table: Limit values for PM2.5, SO2, NO2, PM10, Pb, CO, Benzene, O3, As, Cd, Ni and PAHs, according to the relevant legislation.

 Pollutant

Concentration limit value

Averaging period

Legal nature

Permitted exceedences each year

Fine articles  (PM2.5)

25 µg/m3

1 year

Target value enters into force 1.1.2010
Limit value enters into force 1.1.2015

                  n/a

Sulphur dioxide (SO2)

350 µg/m3

1 hour

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2005

24

125 µg/m3

24 hours

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2005

3

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

200 µg/m3

1 hour

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2010

18

40 µg/m3

1 year

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2010

n/a

PM10

50 µg/m3

24 hours

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2005

35

40 µg/m3

1 year

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2005

n/a

Lead (Pb)

0.5 µg/m3

1 year

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2005 (or 1.1.2010 in the immediate vicinity of specific, notified industrial sources; and a 1.0 µg/m3 limit value applies from 1.1.2005 to 31.12.2009)

n/a

Carbon monoxide (CO)

10 mg/m3

Maximum daily 8 hour mean

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2005

n/a

Benzene

5 µg/m3

1 year

Limit value enters into force 1.1.2010

n/a

Ozone (O3)

120 µg/m3

Maximum daily 8 hour mean

Target value enters into force 1.1.2010

25 days averaged over 3 years

Arsenic (As)

6 ng/m3

1 year

Target value enters into force 31.12.2012

n/a

Cadmium (Cd)

5 ng/m3

1 year

Target value enters into force 31.12.2012

n/a

Nickel (Ni)

20 ng/m3

1 year

Target value enters into force 31.12.2012

n/a

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

(PAHs)

1 ng/m3
(expressed as  concentration of Benzo(a)pyrene)

1 year

Target value enters into force 31.12.2012

n/a

The average exposure indicator (AEI) is determined as a 3-year running annual mean PM2.5 concentration averaged over the selected monitoring stations in agglomerations and larger urban areas, set in urban background locations to best assess the PM2.5 exposure to the general population.

Title

Metric

Averaging period

Legal nature

Permitted exceedences each year

PM2.5
Exposure concentration obligation

20 µg/m3
(AEI)

Based on 3 year average

Legally binding in 2015 (years 2013,2014,2015)

               n/a

PM2.5 
Exposure reduction target

Percentage reduction 
+ all measures to reach 18 µg/m3
(AEI)

Based on 3 year average

Reduction to be attained where possible in 2020, determined on the basis of the value of exposure indicator in 2010

               n/a

 

Depending on the value of AEI in 2010, a percentage reduction requirement ( 0,10,15, or 20%) is set in the Directive. If AEI in 2010 is assessed to be over 22 µg/m3, all appropriate measures need to be taken to achieve 18 µg/m3 by 2020.

Notes:

  • Limit Value: A level fixed on the basis of scientific knowledge, with the aim of avoiding,preventing or reducing harmful effects on human health and/or the environment as a whole to be attained within a given period and not to be exceeded once attained.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • Target Value: A level fixed with the aim of avoiding, preventing or reducing harmful effects on human health and/or the environment as a whole, to be attained where possible over a given period.                                                                                       
  • Alert Threshold: A level beyond which there is a risk to human health from brief exposure for the population as a whole and at which immediate steps are to be taken by the Member States.                                                                                                 
  • Information Threshold: A level beyond which there is a risk to human health from brief exposure for particularly sensitive sections of the population and for which immediate and appropriate information is necessary.