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Policy Monitor


  • Hendrik Wolff
  • Lisa Perry


The European Union (EU) Clean Air Directive is currently among the strictest acts of legislation worldwide concerning PM10 air pollution. The most visible result of the new PM10 legislation has been the rapid adoption of "Low Emission Zones" (LEZs), which define areas that vehicles may enter only if they are classified as low PM10 emitting vehicles. High-polluting vehicles are not allowed to be driven into LEZs. This article describes recent developments in Europe concerning clean air legislation, focusing in particular on particulate matter (PM). The article begins with a discussion of the health impacts of PM, and then traces the history of ambient PM standards in the EU. After comparing ambient PM standards in the EU with those in the United States, we discuss Germany's implementation of LEZs, including public reaction to the policy. We also provide a brief overview of other urban traffic-related policies aimed at reducing air pollution. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Hendrik Wolff & Lisa Perry, 2010. "Policy Monitor," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(2), pages 293-308, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:renvpo:v:4:y:2010:i:2:p:293-308

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