Ambient Air Quality refers to the condition of the Air in the surrounding Environment.
European Union directives set down air quality standards in Ireland and the other member states for a variety of pollutants.
The ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe (CAFE) Directive (2008/50/EC) was published in 2008, replacing the previously published Framework Directive and the first, second and third daughter Directives.
Directive (2008/50/EC) has been subsequently transposed into Irish legislation in the form of the Air Quality Standards Regulations 2011. It replaces the Air Quality Standards Regulations 2002 (S.I. No 271 of 2002), the Ozone in Ambient Air Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 53 of 2004) and S.I. No. 33 of 1999.
The fourth daughter Directive was transposed into Irish Law by the Arsenic,Cadmium,Mercury,Nickel and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Ambient Air Regulations 2009.
The Environment Protection Agency manages the ambient air quality monitoring network. Further information in relation to this can be found at www.epa.ie