The European Commission plans to aggressively curb air pollution by setting tough new limits on emissions of noxious gases, particulates and lead. Under the plan, by 2005, the fifteen countries of the European Union (EU) must reduce emissions of particulates and cut lead emissions to one-quarter of the present level and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 10%. Then, by 2010, countries must also meet stricter particulate standards and reduce nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions by 10%. The Commission said these restrictions are needed to protect human health. The EU member states must bring emissions below these levels within two years of the proposal becoming law. Cost estimates to implement the plan range from $322 million to $2.84 billion, while health-related cost savings are estimated at between $30.2 and $325 billion.

Source: Reuters