Bad Air Quality in the Mont Blanc Area

Anne Lassman-Trappier from the Environn’Mont-Blanc association, a member of France Nature Environnement reports that according to the 2010 annual APS AIR , the worst results in terms of air pollution, nitrogen dioxide (N02) and particles (excluding 2007 for the latter) have recently been recorded at the foot of Mont Blanc, respectively in Chamonix and Passy. The air breathed in this region did not meet the requirements of the French and European laws.

More traffic and …. more pollution

Promises had been made that the Mont Blanc Tunnel traffic will not end up over 50% of trucks traffic before the disaster. However today 75% of heavy vehicles from 1998 have regained access to the tunnel. In addition extra filtering of polutants released by the Tunnel was expected to be added. But it took eight years to partly (only the French side is equipped) achieved this objective.

The consequences of this heavy traffic are multiple on the environment and the health of the locals, particularly with levels of NO2 far exceeding the legal standard. The annual average was 49μg/m3 air in 2010, cons 40μg authorized by law.

Deffering road traffic to the rail through strict traffic control is seen

as the solution, but this comes as freight transport by rail has dropped by 10% in France, while at the same time it increased by 15% in the rest of the EU.