Pollution peak

Last modified:

Thursday 31 October 2019

During winter, when the temperature is low and the wind is gentle, pollutants from vehicle exhaust gases and heating are not sufficiently dispersed. To avoid any significant health risk, the authorities impose traffic and heating conditions based on meteorological conditions.

There is 1 information level and 3 intervention levels(FR) depending on the possible severity of the pollution peak:

  • Level 0
    • warning of the population and of companies of the air quality degradation in order to encourage everyone to adapt travel behavior or heating.
  • Level 1 (yellow flag): 
    • speed limits.
  • Level 2 (orange flag):
    • two-wheeled vehicles not permitted (based on the number plate)
    • speed limit for heavy good vehicles during certain hours
    • temperature limit in buildings in the tertiary sector.
  • Level 3 (red flag):
    • no vehicles permitted
    • temperature limit in buildings in the tertiary sector.

We recommend that every company plan for these situations in advance.  It is also compulsory for companies with over 100 workers to prepare a mobility plan comprising an emergency and communication plan (FR) in case of pollution peaks.

For more details on measures to take and possible exemptions, see the website of Environment Brussels.  It offers general and specific advice (FR) on how to improve air quality in Brussels, details the possible exemptions (FR) etc... 

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