PSA is an organisation whose aim is to make Polish air clean and compliant with Polish and European air quality standards.
This aim is achievable. However, more regulations are required:

  • Coal quality standards. The quality of coal sold to households is much worse than that of coal delivered to power stations because there are no standards or quality certificates for retailed coal. This results in abnormal situations whereby mining waste (highly polluted coal sludge and flotation concentrates) is sold to citizens;
  • Emission standards for solid fuel boilers. Over 50% of particulate pollution in Poland comes from low power solid fuel boilers. Although solid fuel boilers are by far the most popular source of heating in single family buildings, only lately emission standards for household boilers have been established in Poland. As a result, in this sector there are around 3.5 million of boilers in use that are obsolete, unclassified devices, based on technology dating back to the 19th century. They emit large quantities of particulate matter and other pollutants, which has earned them the nickname ‘smokers’.
  • Anti-smog resolutions in voivodships which introduce an obligation to have the old boilers replaced with modern and air-friendly heating systems;
  • Introduction of low emission zones in cities with heavy car traffic. The number of cars per 1,000 inhabitants in Warsaw is over twice as high as in Berlin. The situation is similar in other large Polish cities. Air pollution by motor vehicle exhaust emissions is a major health problem, especially in the summer;
  • Solutions that will allow for better control of emissions from industrial facilities.

financing

  • Support for the poorest citizens in the process of heating system replacement (fuel poverty alleviation programmes), including subsidies to installation of new heat sources and thermal renovation of houses;
  • Introduction of soft loan programmes and tax incentives to encourage the non-poor to replace their air polluting heating systems and conduct thermal retrofits of their houses.

enforcement

  • Regulations aimed at improving air quality must be accompanied by regulations encouraging citizens to take action,
  • To achieve this an effective system of control over the use of low power solid fuel boilers and types of fuels burnt in these devices has to be introduced.
Slider

foto: fotohuta.pl

information

Lowering smog alert thresholds. Polish citizens are not fully informed of the dangers associated with air pollution. Among all EU states, Poland has the most liberal rules for determining pollution levels and informing the general public about the scale of the problem. Just to compare – in Paris, a smog alert is announced when PM10 levels reach 80 µg/m3 whereas applicable alert threshold in Poland is almost four times higher, i.e. 300 µg/m3.