Madrid air pollution tops acceptable EU limits for third day, prompting city-centre parking restrictions

Air pollution in Madrid. Photo: Uly Martin/El País
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• Air quality hits 200 mcg of NO2 for third consecutive day

• Carmena administration first to enact measures to combat pollution

Air pollution levels on Tuesday Dec. 2nd topped 200 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) per cubic meter for the third day running, causing city officials to impose vehicle parking and driving restrictions in an effort to return air quality to an acceptable level.

The EU recommends that NO22 levels be allowed to reach 200 micrograms for no more than an hour before emergency measures be taken. The EU also recommends that the 200 micrograms level not be surpassed more than 18 days in any one year.

Madrid’s city council announced the measures after the NO2 level had reached 200 micrograms for the third consecutive day on Tuesday. Made public late in the evening via social and traditional media channels, the measures included restrictions on vehicle parking in the city centre Monday from 9am to 9pm and a speed limit of 70 kmh/hour in vehicles traveling on the M-30 beltway and access roads into downtown Madrid.

Put into place under the previous Madrid city administration of the Partido Popular (PP), the protocol for dealing with extreme air pollution had nonetheless never been enacted until the arrival earlier of current mayor Manuela Carmena, elected in Spain’s May 24 municipal elections.

Read the Full Story in English at El País >>

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