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Cleaner Trucks and Buses to Roll Across Europe
BRUSSELS, Belgium, December 27, 2007 (ENS) - Emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from European trucks and buses will be sharply curtailed by new regulations proposed Friday by the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union.

The new standard will contribute to an improvement of air quality in Europe, the commission said Friday. It also will be a step forward towards global harmonization as it foresees limit values similar to those of the United States.

Current legislation will be simplified. Directives, which need to be transposed in 27 different national legislations, will be replaced by regulations, which are directly applicable in all 27 EU member states.

The new standard, called Euro VI, is expected to enter into force in 2013. The proposal has been subject to stakeholder and Internet consultations, and will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
Heavy trucks in a traffic jam in England. (Photo courtesy FreeFoto.com)

Commission Vice-President Gunter Verheugen, who is responsible for enterprise and industry, said, "More stringent emission limits will pave the way for cleaner trucks and buses. This is good for the health of our citizens and the environment. Industry gets a clear perspective and the time to prepare to produce clean, high quality vehicles without endangering its competitiveness."

Member states and their citizens are concerned about the impacts of air pollution on human health and the environment, Verheugen said. Although air quality has improved over the past decade, air quality problems remain throughout the European Union, especially in urban areas and densely populated regions.

To address this problem, the Euro VI proposal lays down common EU rules on pollutant emissions from heavy motor vehicles. The proposal foresees a reduction of 80 percent in nitrogen oxides and 66 percent in particulate matter emissions compared to the current Euro V stage limits.

The commission has developed the proposal by following the principles of Better Regulation and the recommendations from the High Level Group for Competitive Automotive Regulatory System for the 21st century.

The feedback received in the public consultation has been fully taken into account; and the cost and benefit of different options have been evaluated in an impact assessment.

The current directives will be repealed and will be replaced by directly applicable regulations, reducing the delays inherent in the transposition of directives;

The EU says the proposal "leads to global harmonization in that it foresees limit values similar to those of the United States."

In addition to more stringent limit values, the proposal introduces provisions on off cycle emissions, on-board diagnostics, access to repair information, durability of pollution control devices, replacement pollution control devices, conformity of in-service engines and vehicles, carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption measurement.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2007. All rights reserved.

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