23 oct 18

Smog triggers Milanese Euro 4 diesel ban

As from today, Euro 4 diesels are no longer welcome in Italy's financial heart and in 15 neighbouring municipalities. From 8.30 to 18.30, only petrol cars (except for Euro 0 ones), commercial vehicles and Euro 5 or higher diesel cars can travel on Milanese roads. This is the first time Milan imposes a temporary ban on diesels under the Air Agreement signed in 2017 by Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto and Emilia Romagna.

In addition to the blocking of diesel vehicles, Milan also imposes a 19° C temperature limit for the heating of houses and shops.

Fight pollutants, not mobility

These first-level measures have been activated following 5 consecutive days of increased PM10 emissions: the 50 µg/m³ threshold has been exceeded since last Wednesday, automatically triggering a 4-day ban.

Not everyone in Milan believes the diesel ban is the solution, including regional councilor for the Environment and Climate, Raffaele Cattaneo: "We need less automation and more common sense: in Lombardy we have to fight pollutants and not mobility", he told Quattroruote. 

"On Monday, the regional environment agency measured 20 µg of PM per cubic metre, a number that slightly increased on Tuesday, but for the following days the air quality is to improve considerably. So basically we are blocking traffic for three days while PM10 emissions are below the threshold value." 

"We need an instrument that, when data are instable, like the past few days, allows us to let common sense prevail. Otherwise we will end up creating nothing but difficulties for people."

If the PM10 emission levels drop below the 50 µg/m³ limit - something that is quite likely given the strong winds - the Euro 4 diesel ban will automatically be lifted next Thursday. 

Authored by: Dieter Quartier