Madrid’s 2015 air pollution levels violated EU legal limits for sixth year running, say environmentalists

Air pollution in Madrid. Photo: Uly Martin/El País
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• Data shows 13 of 24 monitoring stations surpassed EU limits for year •

Air pollution levels in Spain’s capital city, Madrid, surpassed European Union legally allowable levels repeatedly throughout 2015, with 13 of 24 monitoring stations throughout the city surpassing the allowable levels of nitrogen oxide by anywhere from three to five times the allowable number of hours per year.

The environmentalist organization Ecologistas en Acción said the city’s chronic air pollution problems led to a violation of EU legal limits on contamination of NO2 for the sixth consecutive year in 2015, with some areas of the city in violation of the annual 18 allowable hours of NO2 contamination above 40 micrograms per cubic meter in multiples — ranging from 64 hours for the year in Villaverde to as high as 95 hours in Barrio del Pilar.

The group’s spokesman on air quality, Juan Bárcena, told reporters on Jan. 13th that the air pollution levels in Madrid had worsened noticeably year-on-year, with the 13 stations violating the maximum allowable contamination levels in 2015 more than doubling the six stations found to be in violation during 2014.

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