II. AIR POLLUTION

The term air pollution (emission) includes a whole range of processes during which pollutants are released into the air. The sources of air pollution can be of natural or anthropogenic origin; the boundary between these types of sources is not always entirely clear. The natural sources include e.g. volcanic activity, fires, production of pollutants by plants etc. The activities carried out by humans are referred to as anthropogenic sources. There are two types of air pollution, and namely primary air pollution, during which the pollutants are released to the air directly from the sources, and the secondary type with air pollutants formed as the result of physical and chemical reactions in the atmosphere.

The evaluation of ambient air pollution levels is carried out by CHMI, authorized by the Ministry of the Environment, and namely for anthropogenic pollutants and GHG. The assessment of the level of air pollution is based on the so called emission inventory. The inventory combines the direct approach, i.e. the collection of data reported by the sources operators with the data from model calculations based on data reported by the sources operators or gained within statistical surveys carried out primarily by CSO. The results of emission inventories are presented as emission balances processed according to various territorial and sector structures. The methods of emission inventories are described at CHMI website1.


Emissions of air pollutants

Emission database – the Register of emissions and stationary sources (REZZO), used for archiving and presentation of data on stationary and mobile sources of air pollution, is, pursuant the valid legislation (Section 7 of Air Protection Act) part of the Air quality information system (ISKO) operated by CHMI. Air pollution sources are divided to the individually monitored sources and sources monitored as area sources. Since 2013, in connection with the changes in categorization of sources pursuant to Annex 2 to the Air Protection Act, REZZO sources are newly specified (Table II.1).

The international reporting of summary emission data uses the so called sector classification of sources based on the Nomenclature for Reporting Codes – NFR. The main monitored groups of sources include combustion sources (NFR 1), technological sources without combustion (so called process emissions; NFR 2), sources using solvents (NFR 3), agricultural activities, incl. farm animals breeding (NFR 4), and waste treatment (NFR 6). In addition to the emissions of major pollutants also emissions of PM10 and PM2.5 particles, heavy metals and POP are reported. More detailed information in English, incl. the emissions reported in the detailed NFR structure are available at www.ceip.at. The structure and list of basic NFR groups used for the presentation of emissions in Chapter IV. is attached in the annex.


Emissions from individually monitored sources in the CR

The sources monitored individually are specified in Annex No. 2 to the Air Protection Act. The operators of these sources are obliged, pursuant to Section 17 (3)(c) to keep operational records on constant and fluctuating information on the stationary source describing the said source and its operation, as well as information on inputs and outputs from the said source, and report data each year as the summary operational records (SPE) through the Integrated system of the fulfilment of notification obligations (ISPOP). The data from ISPOP are then submitted to the REZZO 1 and REZZO 2 databases. Data are collected from January to the end of March. The reported data are thus available already in early April, and in the following months the reported data are reviewed and processed, and, if necessary, the suppliers are asked to correct the erroneous data. More detailed information on the control mechanism of the summary operational records is presented at CHMI website2.

Emissions of the pollutants, for which the operators are not required to ascertain the level of polluting, are calculated for each source in the emission database on the basis of the reported activity data and emission factors. Emission factors for stationary combustion sources are divided according to the type of combustion plant and output of heat, as activity data fuel consumption expressed in t.year-1 , thousand.m3.year-1, or the content of heat in fuel in GJ.year-1 are used. For other sources emission factors are related to the amount of the product in tonnes.

To determine the emissions of PM10 and PM2.5, emission factors expressed as the percentage of PM fraction in total emissions of solid pollutants (TSP) are used. If a source is equipped with the device for the reduction of TSP emissions, the share of particles depends on the separation principle of the device. In the combustion sources not equipped with a separator the share of the particles are determined according to the type of fuel, in other sources the TSP origin is a crucial factor (Hnilicová 2013).


Emissions from the collectively monitored sources in the CR

The air pollution sources monitored collectivelly are registered in REZZO 3 include emissions from local household heating, fugitive TSP emissions from building and agricultural activity, ammonia emissions from the breeding of farm animals and application of mineral nitrogenous fertilizers and VOC emissions from the use of organic solvents.

With the exception of emissions from household heating, other groups of sources are calculated exclusively with the use of data obtained within the national statistical monitoring, and the potential yearto-year changes ensue usually from the development of the respective indicators. On the contrary, the year-to-year changes of the amount of emissions from local household heating are dependent primarily on the character of the heating season, which is expressed in the emission model by the number of degree days (see Chapter III.), and on the changes of the composition of combustion plants. The calculation of emissions from local household heating is based mainly on the results of the population and housing census statistical survey (SLBD). The calculation of activity data for the period 1990–1999 was carried out according to the methodology of 1997 (Machálek, Machart 1997) and for the period 2000–2013 according to the methodology of 2007 (Machálek, Machart 2007).

Data on mobile sources registered in REZZO 4 are monitored collectively. This category of sources includes emissions from road, railway, water and air transport, off-road vehicles (machines used in agriculture, forestry and building industry, military vehicles etc.). The database includes also emissions from tyre and brake wear and road abrasion calculated from data on transport performance. Since 1996 the emission balance from mobile sources has been carried out by CDV based on the data on the sale of fuels submitted by ČAPPO (later on the data from CSO) and their own emission factors (Dufek 2006). Emissions from mobile sources in agriculture and forestry are processed by VÚZT. The consistent time series of emissions from traffic are available since the year 2000. The recalculations back to the year 1990 are difficult due to the lack of input data on fuel sales.


Recalculation of emissions

In the sector of local household heating emissions were recalculated in the period 1990–2013 according to the new emission factors (Hopan 2014). Emission factors are based on the results of measurements carried out by VEC VŠB, EIG 2013 recommendation and the respective structure of combustion plants used in households in the CR. These changes resulted mainly in the increase of VOC, CO, PAH and PM2.5 emissions.

New knowledge on the structure of the car fleet resulted also in the recalculation of emissions from mobile sources for the period 2000–2012. As for heavy metals and PAH emissions, new emission factors were used pursuant to EIG 2013. These changes led to lower presented data on emissions from mobile sources in all pollutants.

In the sector of farm animals breeding emissions of TSP, PM10 and PM2.5 were calculated back since 1990 and the already presented data were recalculated due to the update of emission factors in EIG 2013. The comparison with the previous emission balance shows that the new values are higher, mainly in PM2.5 emissions.
 

The development of emissions

The development of air pollution is closely connected with economic and socio-political situation and with the development of knowledge in the field of environment. The trend of emission development in the period 1990–2013 can be generally characterized by the reduction of emissions from stationary sources of REZZO 1 and REZZO 2 categories due to the implementation of the air quality control system, implementing a number of tools at various levels (normative, economic, information etc.). The impacts of these tools was most evident in late 90s of the last century, i.e. in the period when the emission limit values implemented by the new legislation came into force. The significant decrease in emission production resulted i.a. in the reduction of long-range transport of pollutants from the most significant sources. However, there remain the problems in the field of maintaining the air quality parameters, and therefore attention has been focused recently also on the sources of REZZO 3 and REZZO 4 categories; for their regulation the effective measures have not been implemented yet.


The trend in the development of emissions in the period 1990–2001

In 1991 Act No. 309/1991 Coll. on air protection came into force supplemented by the Act No. 389/1991 Coll. on air protection authorities of the state and air pollution charges,, which for the first time in the CR history, implemented the emission limit values effective from the year 1998. This schedule was arranged to help prepare the sources for the new operating conditions. The national economy was restructured, the sources were modernized, and many of them closed or reduced their operation. These changes were reflected e.g. in the sector of iron and steel production where in 1992–1994 a significant decrease of production occurred (Fig. II.3). For instance the termination of pig iron production in the Vítkovice ironworks in 1998 contributed to the improvement of ambient air quality directly in the city centre. In the sector of electricity and heat production old boilers have been closed or modernized, or new low-emission fluid boilers installed since 1991. In the period 1996–1998 the coal burning power stations were desulphurized. The combustion sources with lower heat consumption (heating plants/boiler houses) gradually replaced the solid and liquid fossil fuels by natural gas. The number of pollutants for which fees were charged increased and the fee rates for emission release rose. These measures resulted in the decrease of emissions of all pollutants of REZZO 1 and REZZO 2 categories.

In the sector of local household heating the greatest decrease of emissions was recorded in 1993–1997 due to the gasification and government subsidies for electricity heating. The consumption of solid fossil fuels in the year 2001 was by 60 % lower in comparison with the year 1990 (Fig. II.4).

The total level of air pollution in 2001 decreases as compared with the year 1990 in TSP by 85 %, in SO2 by 88 %, in NOx by 68 %, in CO by 37 %, in VOC by 47 % and in NH3 by 43 % (Fig. II.1).


The trend in the development of emissions in the period 2002–2012

In 2002 new legislation came into force reflecting a number of European directives. The Act No. 86/2002 Coll. on air protection was adopted, which together with the Act No. 76/2002 Coll., on the integrated prevention and limitation of pollution created the basic framework for the solution of air pollution problems. The CR committed to meet the national emission ceilings for emissions of SO2, NOx, VOC and NH3 pursuant to the Directive No. 2001/81/EC with effect to the year 2010. More significant decrease of emissions from the sources of REZZO 1 category resulting from the fulfilment of the National programme to reduce emissions from existing extra-large combustion sources (Government Order No. 372/2007 Coll.), which implemented the emission ceilings for TSP, SO2 and NOx set for individual sources of LCP3 since 2008. The reduction of emissions from industrial processes was influenced by the decline of a number of branches of production after the year 2007 caused by the economic crisis (Fig. II.3).

The favourable trend of the decreasing consumption of solid fossil fuels in the sector of local household heating stopped in 2001. This situation is caused mainly by the growth of prices of natural gas and electricity. In the period 2002–2007 the consumption of coal decreased and firewood is preferred to coal. These changes result in the reduction of TSP and SO2 emissions. Since 2009, within the government subsidies within the Green Savings Programme, thermal insulation of buildings and replacement of environmentally unfriendly heating for low-emission sources have occurred. The effect of these measures on total emission balance of this sector has been marginal so far.

The level of air pollution in 2012 decreased in comparison with the year 2001 as follows: TSP by 26 %, SO2 by 32 %, NOx by 35 %, CO by 30 %, VOC by 43 % and NH3 emissions by 15 % (Fig. II.2).
 

The trend in the development of emissions since 2013

In 2012 the new act on air protection came into force, implementing stricter emission limit values for combustion sources pursuant to the Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions. Some new emission limit values come into force step by step, in order the operators of the sources could prepare for their fulfilment. Thus, by 2016 it can be expected that the decreasing trend of emissions from the specified stationary sources will continue. For instance, in September 2012 the comprehensive renewal of three reactor units of Power plant Prunéřov II of ČEZ group, a. s., was commenced which was reflected in emission balance for the year 2013 (Table II.2).

The absolutely greatest amount of emissions of main pollutants (Table II.2) comes from the production of pig iron. Agglomeration plants and blast furnaces – TŘINECKÉ ŽELEZÁRNY, a. s. and ArcelorMittal Ostrava, a. s. reported, among others, approx. 800 t of TSP and more than 90,000 t of CO in 2013. The greatest amount of emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are emitted in the air by the sources within the sector of public electricity and heat production (the power plants: Elektrárna Počerady, a. s., elektrárny ČEZ, a. s., Elektrárna Opatovice and others) and energy industries (Sokolovská uhelná, a. s., UNIPETROL RPA, s. r. o., ArcelorMittal Energy Ostrava, s. r. o. and others).

The new act is focused on emission reduction from the sector of local household heating and it implements the minimum values of emission parameters for the combustion sources with total nominal heat consumption of up to 300 kW when putting them on the market from 2014 and 2018. In this group of sources, starting from the year 2022, it will be possible to operate only the boilers complying with the 3rd emission class, which should result in the shutdown of the old types of boilers and their replacement by modern devices.

The CR is obliged to further emission reduction within the revised Göthenburg Protocol, setting the obligation of emission reduction by the year 2020 as against the year 2005 as follows: PM2.5 by 17 %, SO2 by 45 %, NOx by 35 %, VOC by 18 % and NH3 by 7 %. Within the EU there are prepared the directive on the reduction of emissions of some pollutants from the combustion sources with the heat consumption from 1 to 50 MW, and the ecodesign directive, aimed at combustion sources with heat consumption of up to 1 MW.

 

Tab. II.1 The classification of air pollution sources according to the method of emission monitoring

Tab. II.2 The comparison of emissions of main pollutants, 2012–2013 (preliminary data)

 

Fig. II.1 The development of total emissions, 1990–2001
 

Fig. II.2 The development of total emissions, 2002–2012
 

Fig. II.3 The output of basic industrial products, 1990–2012
 

Fig. II.4 Fuel Consumption in REZZO 3 sourcs, 1990–2013


1http://portal.chmi.cz/files/portal/docs/uoco/oez/emisni bilance_CZ.html.
2http://portal.chmi.cz/files/portal/docs/uoco/oez/emise/evidence/ aktual/spe_uvod_cz.html.
3LCP – Large Combustion Plants – combustion plants with nominal heat consumption of 50 MW and higher.