Environment in the World
Air quality improvement is one of the main priorities of Environmental policy in Latvia. Besides taking into account air pollution transboundary character, these issues also are prior to UN (United Nations) and European Union environmental policy.
Latvia has joined UN/ECE Convention “Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution” and all protocols to this Convention.
Air protection in Latvia
Law “On Pollution” (2001) and Cabinet Regulations on air quality (2003) regulates air quality requirements and measures that should be implemented to provide air quality in Latvia.
Law “On Pollution” regulates general measures for air quality norms and measures that provide air quality as well as terms (limit values, target values, emission limit values and limits) and general regulations for reduction and control of air polluting substances emission.
However Cabinet Regulations on air quality defines air quality norms for open air as well as terms to achieve them, methods for air pollution sampling and analysis, conditions for location of air quality monitoring stations, aims of measurements and dispersion sample data quality, conditions and criteria for air quality assessment, requirements regarding content, approval and implementation of action programs/plans for air quality improvement.
According to the mentioned legislation, air quality standards are divided into limit values, target values and long-term targets.
In the case if pollution level exceeds limit values, target values and long-term targets, local governments in the area of which these exceeds occur in cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment elaborate air quality improvement action program and implement it complying with the terms set up in the program.
In the Cabinet Regulations on air quality, air quality standards are set up for 22 substances. Also terms for achieving these air quality standards are specified. Latvian Environmental, Geological and Meteorological Agency (LEGMA) once in three years perform air quality assessment for air polluting substances and monitoring of them.