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Environmental impact assessment of air quality in street canyons related to council directives 1999/30/EC and 2000/69/EC

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Council directive 96/62/EC on ambient air quality assessment and management requires the development of action plans for zones where concentrations of pollutants in ambient air exceed limit values. The directive also recognises air quality models as assessment tools. We discuss the application of an integrated air quality model, Air quality modelling in Urban Regions using an Optimal Resolution Approach (AURORA), to evaluate the concentration levels of NOx, SO2, PM10 (1999/30/EC), CO and benzene (2000/69/EC) in street canyons. Air quality modelling in Urban Regions using an Optimal Resolution Approach (AURORA) is applied to 11 selected streets in the City of Antwerp. Comparisons with a measurement station in one of the streets show agreements that are within the uncertainty range given by the guidelines in the EU directives. An analysis of the measured and modelled concentrations and percentiles shows that concentrations of NOx, CO and benzene vary widely from street to street, whereas for SO2 and PM10 the model results show less variation between individual streets, indicating a more important contribution from the urban and regional background. The result for PM10 is not confirmed by the measured higher percentiles.

Keywords: urban air pollution, street canyons, PM10, SO2, NOx, CO, benzene, air quality assessment, modelling, Antwerp, Belgium

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