Ambient air pollution caused by suspended particles of PM10
and PM2.5 fractions, benzo[a]pyrene and ground-level ozone is a
major problem in the field of air quality in the Czech Republic
(Fig. 1). The level of air pollution in the given year depends
on the amount of emissions and the prevailing meteorological and
dispersion conditions. Most air pollutants characteristics have
had a decreasing trend since the year 2000; this trend, however,
is not as marked as that in the 90s of the last century.
Nevertheless, the concentrations of the above mentioned
pollutants with serious impacts on human health exceed every
year their respective limit values in a number of localities.
From the local and regional perspective the most serious situation remains in the agglomeration of Ostrava/Karviná/Frýdek-Místek, nevertheless the limit values are exceeded in all zones and agglomerations. In the agglomeration of Ostrava/ Karviná/Frýdek-Místek high concentrations of pollutants are caused not only by the sources from the Czech Republic, but also by the transfer of emissions from Poland. On both sides of the border there is a high concentration of industrial production, high density of built-up areas with local household heating using solid fuels and developed transport infrastructure (Chapter V.3). In Prague and in Brno there remain to be solved the above-the-limit concentrations of air pollutants produced mainly by traffic, to which considerable part of population are exposed (Chapters V.1, V.2).
The deteriorated ambient air quality is not a problem only in the agglomerations and larger cities but also in small settlements, where air pollution caused by suspended particles and benzo[a]pyrene comes from the sources of local heating. It can be expected that the increased and the above-the-limit concentrations of these pollutants can occur also in the places where they are not measured.
Considerable part of the territory of the Czech Republic is also exposed every year to the abovethe-limit concentrations of ground-level ozone. However, with regard to the chemism of ozone these are not so densely populated areas as in the case of PM10 and PM2.5 suspended particles and benzo[a]pyrene. Consequently, the result share of inhabitants affected by the above-the-limit concentrations of ozone is lower in comparison with the share of inhabitants affected by the above-the-limit concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 and benzo[a]pyrene.
AIR QUALITY IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC IN THE YEAR 2013 WITH REGARD TO THE LIMIT VALUES FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN HEALTH
The areas with deteriorated air quality (ozone excluded) covered
in 2013 approx. 17.5 % of the CR territory with approx. 54.6 %
of inhabitants. The absolute majority of these areas were
defined due to the exceedance of the limit values of PM10 and
PM2.5 suspended particles and benzo[a]pyrene. Some areas were
included also due to the exceedance of the limit value for
sulphur dioxide, cadmium and arsenic, although to a lesser
extent. The areas with deteriorated air quality (ozone included)
covered approx. 37 % of the CR territory with approx. 60 % of
inhabitants (Chapter VII.).
The daily limit value for PM10 suspended particles was exceeded in 5.7 % of the CR territory with approx. 15.9 % of inhabitants and the average annual concentration in 0.7 % of the territory with approx. 4.8 % of inhabitants. The year 2013 as against the year 2012 recorded the decrease of the 36th highest PM10 concentration at more than a half of stations and the reduction of the areas with the exceedances of the daily limit value for PM10 (Chapter IV.1).
The annual limit value for PM2.5 suspended particles was exceeded in 2.4 % of the CR territory with approx. 9.6 % of inhabitants. The situation concerning the annual average concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 improved only slightly as compared with the year 2012 (Chapter IV.1).
The limit value for benzo[a]pyrene was exceeded, similarly as in the previous years, in a number of towns and small settlements (17.4 % of the CR territory with approx. 54.5 % of inhabitants). The estimate of the fields of annual average concentrations of benzo[a]pyrene is burdened by the greatest uncertainties ensuing from insufficient density of measurements, mainly at rural regional stations and in small settlements in the CR. As regards air pollution caused by benzo[a]pyrene, small settlements represent the substantial influence on ambient air quality due to local household heating (Chapter IV.2).
The limit value for nitrogen dioxide was exceeded only in 0.01 % of the CR territory with 0.2 % of inhabitants, and namely in the localities with high intensity of traffic in Prague, Brno and Ostrava. However, the exceedance of the limit value can be assumed also in other places exposed to similar traffic loads, where there are no measurements. The 1-hour limit value for NO2 was not exceeded, similarly as in the previous years (Chapter IV.3).
The limit value for ground-level ozone was exceeded in 25.6 % of the CR territory with approx. 8.2 % of inhabitants (the average for the period 2011–2013; Chapter IV.4). In comparison with the previous year (the average for the period 2010–2012) the area with the exceeded concentrations increased (Chapter IV.4).
The limit value for benzene was not exceeded in any locality. The highest concentrations were reached at the stations in the agglomeration of Ostrava/Karviná/Frýdek-Místek. In 2013, for the first time from the beginning of the measurements in 1999, the average annual benzene concentration in the locality Ostrava-Přívoz did not reach the limit value (Chapter IV.5).
The limit value for arsenic was exceeded only in the locality Kladno-Švermov. The limit value for cadmium was exceeded only in one locality Tanvald-školka (Chapter IV.6).
The limit values for lead, nickel, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide were not exceeded, similarly as in the previous years (Chapters IV.6, IV.7, IV.8).
AIR QUALITY IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC IN THE YEAR 2013 WITH REGARD TO THE LIMIT VALUES FOR THE PROTECTION OF ECOSYSTEMS AND VEGETATION
The limit value for ground-level ozone expressed as the AOT40
exposure index was exceeded only in a small area of the CR in
the CHKO Bílé Karpaty. In 2013, in comparison with the previous
year, the AOT40 values decreased in 91 % of localities (Chapters
The limit values for sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides for the protection of ecosystems and vegetation were not exceeded in any rural locality with their measurements.
According to the results of modelling the limit values for SO2 were exceeded only in the North-western zone in a small area of the Ústí nad Labem region (Chapter IV.7). The above-the-limit concentrations of NOx occur mainly along transport communications; the results of modelling in the most valuable natural areas of the CR show the exceedance of the limit value for NOx in a very small part of several protected landscape areas of the CR (Chapter IV.3 and VII.2).
SMOG WARNING AND REGULATORY SYSTEM
In 2013 there were announced 20 smog situations and one
regulation due to the increased PM10 concentration. At least one
smog situation was announced in 10 of the total 15 SVRS areas
for PM10. Both the greatest number of smog situations and the
only one regulation were announced in the territory of the
agglomeration of Ostrava/Karviná/ Frýdek-Místek. In comparison
with the year 2012 the number of smog situations increased by 20
% and the number of regulations decreased by 80 %. However, the
number of the announced smog situations and regulations was
substantially influenced by the change of the rules for their
Unlike the year 2012, when there was not announced any smog situation, in 2013, due to high concentrations of ground-level ozone (Chapters III. and IV.4) 16 smog situations in 9 of the total number of 16 SVRS areas were announced (even with regard to the fact that starting from September 2012 only one exceedance instead of three subsequent exceedances of the information threshold value is sufficient for the announcement of a smog situation; Chapter VII.). The greatest number of smog situations was announced in the territory of the Ústí nad Labem region.
EMISSIONS OF AIR POLLUTANTS
Total emissions of main pollutants decreased in 2013 in
comparison with the year 2012 with the exception of CO emission,
where a slight increase was recorded caused mainly by the growth
of emissions in the sector of iron and steel production.
The year-to-year decreasing trend of emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds is caused mainly by the natural renewal of the car fleet, in emissions of TSP and sulphur dioxide also by meeting the stricter emission limit values, resulting in some cases from the updated integrated permits, or from the voluntary commitments fulfilled by major operators of stationary sources. This trend was affected by the increase of emissions in the sector of public electricity and heat production, caused by the longer heating season, and, consequently, by higher demands for heat than in the previous year. The almost 12% decline of sulphur dioxide emissions was caused mainly by the reduction of emissions from waste gases processing in refineries by approx. 3.7 kt. A slight increase of some emissions of the REZZO 3 category is also connected with the longer heating season in 2013 as against the year 2012 (Chapter III.).
The sector of local household heating contributed significantly to ambient air pollution, and namely in emissions of PM10 40.8 %, PM2.5 59.2 %, carbon monoxide 52.8 % and benzo[a]pyrene 89.6 %. The share of the sector of public electricity and heat production prevailed in emissions of sulphur dioxide 62.2 %, arsenic 65.8 % and nickel 58.8 %, the share of the sector of iron and steel production in emissions of cadmium 37.7 % and lead 38.7 %. The sector of road freight transport over 3.5 t, passenger car transport and off-road vehicles and other machines used in agriculture and forestry contributed with 37.1 % of nitrogen oxides emissions. The most significant sources of emissions of volatile organic compounds are found in the sector of organic solvent use and application, contributing to ambient air pollution caused by these pollutants with 52.6 %. The share of the main source of ammonia emissions – breeding of farm animals in total emissions amounted to 69.6 % (data for the year 2012).
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 total suspended particles and more than 90,000 t of carbon monoxide 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., UNIPETROLRPA, s. r. o., ArcelorMittal Energy Ostrava, s. r. o. and others).
With regard to the fact that the newly presented emission data are in many cases based on the significantly innovated methods (e.g. structure of fuels and devices used in household heating, fleet of lorries, completion of specific groups of sources in the whole time series), the comparison of emissions cannot be related to the data presented in the previous yearbooks. There is one key information, and namely that the emission inventory data for the years 2000–2013 are for the first time processed by consistent methods. In spite of the fact that in the future period minor changes and details will be specified, the data presented since 2000 show the ongoing decreasing trend of air pollution levels in almost all sectors monitored pursuant to the international classification of sources (Chapter II.).
As concerns precipitation, the year 2013 was slightly above the
long-term normal. The average precipitation in the territory of
the CR amounted to 727 mm, which is 108 % of the long-term
normal of the period 1961–1990. In comparison with the year 2012
(689 mm) the total precipitation was higher.
Wet sulphur deposition was lower as against the year 2012. It was the third lowest value since the year 1995 (after the years 2003 and 2011). The highest values of wet sulphur deposition were reached in the mountainous areas (the Krušné hory Mts., the Moravskoslezské Beskydy Mts., the Jeseníky Mts., the Krkonoše Mts.).
Dry sulphur depositions increased in comparison with the year 2012. The downward trend from the period 2010–2012 was thus interrupted.
Total sulphur deposition amounted to 49,314 t of sulphur on the area of the CR; since the year 2007 its value ranges around 50,000 t. The highest values are reached in the Krušné hory Mts.
Wet deposition of reduced (N/NH4+) and oxidized (N/NO3-) forms of nitrogen in the year 2013 decreased. The total wet deposition of nitrogen on the area of the CR amounted to 48,457 t.year-1.
Dry deposition of oxidized forms of nitrogen slightly increased.
Total nitrogen deposition amounted to 69,693 t of nitrogen on the area of the CR.
Wet deposition of hydrogen ions slightly increased, and thus the growth of hydrogen ions deposition has continued since 2011, probably due to the increasing total precipitation.
Wet deposition of lead slightly increased. The highest values were reached in the Moravskoslezské Beskydy Mts., the Orlické hory Mts. and the Hrubý Jeseník Mts. Dry depositon of lead reached the similar level as in 2012.
Wet deposition of cadmium in 2013 increased. The highest values were reached in the locality U dvou louček in the Orlické hory Mts. The reason of this increase is not entirely clear.
Wet deposition of nickel ions in 2013 recorded the highest values in the locality Pluhův bor. This was probably caused by the specific undersoil (serpentine) with high content of Ni and Mg.
Wet deposition of chloride ions decreased. This decrease might have been influenced by the end of the measurements in the locality Podbaba, where the highest levels of wet deposition of Cl- were recorded in the previous years (Chapter IX.).