The state policy on clean air protection is to achieve and maintain air quality in accordance with established legislative requirements. The tasks and responsibilities of Republic of Bulgaria increased significantly after its accession to the EU, as this resulted in new commitments for the implementation of a number of European directives and international agreements on the protection of air quality.
The Ministry, assisted by Directorate Air Quality Protection implementes the overall policy in the area, including development of legislative documents, coordination of national programs, setting of emissions limit values of pollutants from stationary sources, implementation of the obligations of our country to the Convention on transboundary air pollution over long distances, the Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer, applying legislation for protection of the ozone layer and reduction of emissions of fluorine-containing greenhouse gases, etc. Since air quality is influenced by many factors, which occur in a specific way in different localities, a significant role in the implementation of protective measures have the Bulgarian municipalities. In this regard, the Ministry assists local authorities in the development of municipal programs to reduce emissions of harmful substances in settlements with exceedances of established norms and respectively supervises their implementation.
The assessment of air quality on the territory of the country is carried out by a National control systems through which the concentrations of key indicators is daily monitored. Republic of Bulgaria does not have chronic problems with major pollutants, with the exception of excess levels of fine particulate matter, which is mainly due to the use of domestic solid fuels for heating and the old automobile stock – a problem in the majority of EU Member States. The national monitoring system data shows a reduction in the past years in the number of both exceedances of daily average rate and average annual concentration of fine particles for almost all monitoring points.
These positive trends in air quality are due to the pro-active policies and measures as taken at all levels, including harmonization of legislation with the EU, the amendments in Clean Air Act towards the responsibility of municipalities to improve air quality and the increased control by the central government, the active implementation of the municipal programs and the integration of the policy for protection of air in the financing operational programs of other ministries.