EPA reports higher levels of pollution in Dublin

The Government has expressed concern about the findings of a report by the Environmental Protection Agency, which suggests areas around certain heavily trafficked roads in Dublin city may have higher levels of air pollution than previously indicated.

These higher levels are due primarily to traffic and some locations are at risk of exceeding the statutory EU limit for the pollutant Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is an air pollutant associated with urban areas, strongly linked with traffic emissions and which is known to have detrimental impacts on human health. Diesel vehicles have historically far higher nitrogen dioxide emissions than other combustion engines, especially for older vehicles.

The EPA report underlines the importance of implementing the actions contained in the Climate Action Plan, including:

  • 180,000 electric vehicles on our roads by 2025

  • Ensure the EV charging network underpins public confidence

  • Create an early public procurement framework for EVs

  • Accelerate steps to decarbonise the public transport fleet

  • Establishing a Cycling Project Of ce and rolling out 200km of new cycle lanes in Dublin

  • A new Park and Ride Startegy to be developed

  • Develop a regulatory framework on low emission zones and parking pricing policies, and provide local authorities with the power to restrict access to certain parts of a city or a town to zero emission vehicles only

  • No new fossil fuel vehicles sold from 2030

    The EPA report also confirms the importance of action already underway to disincentivise diesel car purchasing (1% VRT surcharge), support the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), additionally incentivise taxis to switch to EVs and invest in cleaner, greener buses.

    The first national Clean Air Strategy, to be published later this year, will also address problems arising in relation to harmful emissions from a range of sources, including the transport sector.

    Previous reports by the EPA have flagged NO2 as being potentially problematic and stated that we were approaching the EU limit value in urban areas. This report presents new evidence from dispersion modelling and monitoring using NO2 measurement tubes which indicate that NO2 may exceed the annual EU limit value in the following areas:

  • Certain city centre streets

  • The M50 motorway

  • The entrance to and exit from the Dublin Port Tunnel.