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Germany has received unexpected support from the EU with regard to nitrogen oxide and driving bans: the limit values may be exceeded in the future.From
Urban diesel bans may be disproportionate if the limit is exceeded slightly. The Brussels EU Commission has decided, according to information from our Brussels office on Wednesday, not to veto in such cases, if no driving bans are waived. At the same time, the authority emphasized that it would not shake the current limit of 40 grams of nitric oxide per cubic meter of breathing air. Also, she had not prescribed or required driving bans. How the existing limit values are achieved is a matter for the Member States alone. However, the German Environmental Aid (DUH) had enforced several driving bans before courts with reference to EU law.
The Grand Coalition had drafted a corresponding law in order to avoid having to resort to drastic measures in case of slight overruns. Instead, according to the Federal Government, it would be possible to achieve the targets by other means than driving bans, if there were only minor exceedances of up to micrograms.
The decision comes as a surprise. Just recently, EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella had promised to step up the controversial nitrogen oxide limits. The course swivel is a stage victory for Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer: He has been campaigning for an increase in the limit values for weeks. (with AZ)
Editor's note: In a first version, it was initially said that the limits for nitric oxide to be increased. This formulation was misleading. We apologize and have adapted the wording.