Air Pollution does not meet the Standard

On 17 November 2015 Alderman De Bruin sent a letter to the Commissie Leefomgeving (commission habitat) (RIS 288620): in more than one place The Hague does not meet the standard of 40 µg/m3 for NO2.
In 2009 the European Commission gave The Netherlands a postponement until 1 January 2015 to meet the European standard for NO2. It now appears that the Municipality did not enough to meet this standard. Measurements done by “Adem graag in Den Haag” show that the air in The Hague is still polluted. Residents of for instance  Javastraat, Hoefkade, Vaillaintlaan and  Weteringkade are particularly affected.

The Municipality’s present policy of passivity is based on the expectation that the quality of the air will improve by itself. Time and again we see that this expectation does not tally with reality. The chances are that in 2015 The Hague officially violates the norm and will be fined. The times of papering over the cracks are definitely over! We can no longer lean on the expectation that the quality of the air will improve by itself. Without further delay The Hague will have to take steps to reduce  traffic where it causes most pollution. Effective measures that “Adem graag in Den Haag” would advocate are:

* a larger and more strictly maintained environmental zone (as in Utrecht)
* prohibtion of polluting 2tact scooters within the environmental zone
* put a check on inexpensive parking by residents and visitors in the city
* less asphalt, more bicycle lanes and public transport
* ban the scooters as soon as possible from the bicycle lanes so that cycling will be safe and healthy again

The Action Plan for the Quality of the Air that will be discussed by the Commission Habitat on 10 December 2015 will not bring the Municipality any closer to meeting the (stricter) standards of the World Health Organization. “Adem graag in Den Haag” calls upon the municipal executive board to not aim its policies at concentrations directly below the European standard, but to make provision for truely clean air.

7 December 2015, Adem Graag in Den Haag
– action group of troubled residents of The Hague and members of environmental and nature organizations.
E-mail: ademgraagindenhaag@gmail.com